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Soliciting catering businesses?

heat123

Legend Member
Silver Member
Sep 7, 2005
6,977
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I haven't ever seen this topic discussed on these threads before... but I was brainstorming and was wondering how crazy of an idea it would be to try and solicit small and large catering businesses?

Since I know nothing about that industry would it be absurd to try and send them a letter to browse through the catalog or website or offer a demo on our products? Since our tools are so handy and versitile who wouldn't love them in the cooking field! :)
Or are there real "professional" tools out there that they would be using already?? :confused:

Just an idea that aroused my thoughts while I couldn't sleep. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! ;)
 
Feb 16, 2005
83
0
I have worked

for caterers and in kitchens on and off since I was 15. The pub where I work p/t has pc stuff in their kitchen (mini spat, bread knife, lg serving tongs), and the chef is a big fan and great customer of mine. He will order $300 worth of product with each new catalogue, plus about $100 during the selling season... so he is an $800 a year customer. He is not crazy about the cookware (he has tonnes of great stuff in his personal kitchen however he loves the roasting pan & rack and we do use the square griddle at the pub for pancakes - not a huge seller, and we have a very small kitchen so we can't permanently dedicate any space to a flat grill for the few things that we use it for) He realizes that the stuff he uses inthe kitchen voids that warranty, but buys it anyway as the price is reasonable and the product is good, so if the bread knife lasts him 5 year (and counting), even if he has to buy one this year at $12.20 (Canadian), it is worth it. He is not impressed with the cookbooks - hardly anything from scratch. Gnocci with potato flakes ewww - if people knew how simple good food is without these shortcuts!

As a general rule, chefs & caterers are choosy about the tools they want to work with, will have pieces of many different companies because they want the best tool for the best value and aren't as brand loyal. (we have mostly heinkle knives, and we prefer to sharpen our own knives) But they are also "int the loop' when it comes to hospitality and food trends & ideas. Chef's also have their own "toolboxes" that don't come out everyday but that they need to have just like mechanics... at the pub, ours includes the following pc products: meat tenderizer, extra bread knife, stainless cheese knife (our plane is Heinkle), ice cream scopp, large scoop, slice & serve, bamboo spatula)

Worth a shot, I send a catalogue to all the catering companies after I have the info for the kitchen manager each catalogue & invite them to my customer appreciation, even if they haven't made a purchase...

Good luck, keep brainstorming how to branch out - jsut make sure that you are keeping up with the basics - selling, booking and recruiting.

Have a terrific day.

Esther
 

heat123

Legend Member
Silver Member
Sep 7, 2005
6,977
0
thanks Esther!

It's worth a shot I think! Just as soliciting Bridal boutiques and Real estate offices can be worth it for some! I'm a newbie and am just trying to figure out how to get my name and business out there. I've dropped my catalog at local joints but never even thought if doing this until last night and wanted to find out about the food catering business before trying anything!

I figured as much for the cookware since there are probably a ton of other "Professional cookware" out there that they all use. But for hand gadgets like:
the meat tenderizer
crinkle cutter
food chopper
garlic press
batter bowls
stoneware
easy read measuring cups
etc. I can go on and on I thought they could use these kinds of products in their "test kitchens" as well!

So I will look up small businesses at first and create some letter and hope I get some bites!?

Thank you!
 
Feb 14, 2006
105
0
Good Idea!

I think this would be a great idea. I used to work for a small restaurant that did catering and they were always looking around for new display pieces and nice kitchenware. One of the chef's actually worked at the Olympics one year and he was very picky, but I do remember him using bamboo spoons like ours. Try it out! I would just write them a quick letter and send a catalog or drop one off and make sure that if you hear from them to keep the ball rolling by updating them when new products come out and direct them to your website if you have one. Let us know how it turns out!

~Kristen ;)
 

heat123

Legend Member
Silver Member
Sep 7, 2005
6,977
0
any letter ideas?

Thanks for the encourage ment! Anyone have any rough letters I could send? I want to sound knowledgeable and professional !
 

DebbieSAChef

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
2,153
0
Catering letter

Hey everyone,
I just got on the phone with all kinds of people today while the babies are sleeping and the older two are drawing and watching a video.
I got a hold of a caterer who didn't seem interested at first when she thought I was just offering kitchen tools like pots, pans and knives (which she might want for herself when she sees our catalog), but then I mentioned the simple additions and she said she would love to see a catalog. She said she loves to shop. I said that is what I wanted to hear. I just made up this letter right now. Tell me what you think, you guys can use it if you want and just change whatever you want to make it work for you.
Debbie
 

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