For caterers, the frenzy of holiday planning is at its pinnacle. It’s all we can do to corral clients for last moment selections, secure rental and decor orders, fulfill staffing assignments, and ensure that, with a few deep breaths, a wipe of the brow, and many sleepless nights, parties go off without a hitch. But before popping the champagne in celebration of having survived the holidays, remember that the job continues until well after the last gingerbread man is served.
All too often, attentive customer service ends when the event ends. However, a proactive post-event strategy is as important as your pre-event sales process. It is a key to developing ongoing business and client trust. Here is a post event step-by-step strategy:
- Call client the next day to say "thank you" and include a short event debrief. For more involved events, schedule a conference call or meeting.
- Call venue contact to review execution of the event.
- Hand write a Thank You to the client.
- Review event reports from Sales Executive, Chef and Supervisor.
- Generate a P&L.
- Create client/venue/vendor information files noting their preferences.
- Evaluate the client using a grading system based on criteria for your Best Fit Clients. Grading should be based on event revenue, profitability, frequency of events, ease of function, and client's willingness to promote your company.
- Request a client testimonial.
Following these steps after each event will help nurture your relationships with clients and venue managers. You will quickly find that a proactive and comprehensive post-event program leaves the sweetest taste and wraps up each event with the prettiest bow.