The Importance of Educating Your Team About Catering

The team at The Off Premises Growth Academy is making a huge investment in developing a curriculum for catering out of restaurants. This curriculum is based on much of the prior work done at The Catering Institute but reimagined for our current state of conditions and learning. This investment was made because of our deep belief that we need to help restaurant operators grow sales and increase profits in their catering operations.

In my view, continuing education is the key to greater understanding and without it our operations never get fully optimized.  The catering revenue channel for our community is constantly being defined as the conditions and customer needs change over time. 

Only through a commitment to education, will we have the ability to help others meet a proper standard that can help catering and restaurant leaders adapt to the market changes. Education is important to so many other areas of the restaurant business (after all, why else do we go to so many conferences each year) and when applied to catering, it has the same ability to keep organizations ahead of their competition. 

Education not only keeps employees motivated, but it teaches them new skills that can be used to foster positive attitudes by clarifying expected behaviors of everyone on the team. It raises the bar for your entire organization and helps to keep all stakeholders aligned. This in turn will ooze into your “catering culture”, and as a result, your customers will spend more money with you. 

History has shown that many in the restaurant industry have attempted to launch catering strategies and programs, and have failed. I am positive that this is because these same brands failed to take the time to understand the commitment that is required to succeed. The most successful operators that I have encountered over the years have taken the time to understand the overall strategy of catering and educated their organizations about smarter catering. The work we have been doing, first with The Catering Institute and now with The OPGA is specific and focused. This is because we invest all our resources toward helping our clients set the bar for their catering expectations and customer experience. 

Also consider how your C team provides context and connection with your catering strategy, market position, and customer engagement with these three teams.

This is how strong programs are built but without the education to help each member understand the brand’s purpose and strategy along with a clear view of how each separate part impacts the whole, the team is left with just understanding their piece and will struggle to make those “right decisions” when it comes to effecting the customer.

Marketing plans position products and services. Your sales team will use your marketing assets to sell. Think about how your operations teams will use your four walls to market this new business. Once you have the four walls considered, move on to the outside walls, how does the sales team integrate this messaging into their presentations. Now with all the team aligned you can then think of the marketing plan for the next four blocks, and four miles. The plan needs to focus on the buyer segments for the catering service channel and occasion based feeding opportunities.

With your leadership team, centralized services and sales and marketing plans in place, let’s discuss how to fit the catering manufacturing and distribution into the overall operations of your restaurant.  

People are still the most important asset you have when looking to grow this revenue channel.  The language you use in your company to differentiate services both inside and out will become very important as you scale these services. 

Your menus need to be considered, costs looked at, manufacturing lines studied and the entire sale to cash cycle is completely different from your in-restaurant business that you currently excel at. Expect the off-premise strategy to change the unit economics of your restaurant in a good way. So, get ready.  

The OPGA is excited to announce that a new catering and off premises E-Learning platform will be ready soon.  

Our focus will include all members of your team;

  • A focus on strategy and leadership
  • Our first course focuses on the Off Premises Coordinator role, the primary touch point in your restaurants
  • Course curriculum for your sales team.

We look forward to working with brands to help facilitate and even develop training materials focused on your brands specific needs.  

Let’s talk catering!


Advisory Success Programs

The Off Premises Growth Academy is an advisory, education and certification firm with a focus on helping restaurant brands evaluate, build and implement direct to consumer off-premises programs.

We specialize in:

  • Advisory Support
  • Education & Certification for Operators & Suppliers
  • Program Evaluation
  • Strategy, Leadership, Operations, Experience, & Promotion Guidance and Support

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