Booking more catering sales starts with having a professional looking proposal. Think about it, if your potential client gets two proposals, one that is simply an email with the total cost or one that looks like this catering proposal sample…which company do you think is off to a better start?
As you can see we start off with a cover letter for the catering proposal. It has the basic details at the top so the customer can get a quick overview. It then goes into basically just thanking the customer for considering using our services.
At the end of the cover letter, it then outlines the next steps. Either they will contact us if they have question or if they would like to book the order. Or we will contact them if we have not heard back. Make sure you do this!
This is just an extra step that will separate yourself from your competitors. Our catering software automatically creates this page for us so we don’t even have to think about it.
If you are not currently using software (will make your life much easier) simply create a template in Microsoft Word. Of course, you will have to fill out the details for each new event but this will still save you time and energy in the long run.
There are some basic things you need to get right. If you have a 20 minute phone call with a customer and then send them a quote with the wrong date or time, how does that make you look? They might be asking themselves if you were even paying attention!
If you need to, double check the simple details of the event before you get off the phone with them. Or maybe they sent an email without many details, make sure you let them know when you send them back the quote that you didn’t have many details but can certainly finalize those should they choose to work with you.
The other thing that will show up on our catering proposal cover letter is a total for the order. Again this just allows the customer to quickly see what they are getting into. They will obviously want to get into the next page with all of the details but this gives them a quick overview.
The second page of our catering proposal is filled with all of the finer details. As you can see we like to itemize as many items as possible. We feel like transparency encourages a more trusting relationship with our clients.
We have had to match quotes before that simply say “we can provide the menu requested for $XX”. That’s it?
Sometimes this happens and it is not so obvious if you are comparing apples to apples. We then have to ask the customer if the other caterer is also providing items a, b and c like we are. They usually don’t know so they have to ask the other caterer.
Either way, we don’t like to appear shady or misleading so that is why we prefer to list out as many details as possible.
Follow up is crucial to booking more sales! Do you ever send out quotes and then just never hear back from that person? Wondering what happened? Well reach out to them and ask!
Just by simply sending a follow up email or phone call a week or so after you send the quote, you will see your closing rate go up. Maybe they got busy and simply forgot to call you back. Or maybe they got quote form your competitor they liked more. Or maybe it was a budget issue.
If there is a reason why they didn’t want to go with you, this at least gives you a chance to respond and perhaps change their mind.
If they are still undecided, well, then you all of sudden seem much more interested in earning their business than some of your competitors. So do yourself a favor and follow up!
As you can see, a lot of thought can go into a catering proposal, I hope you have enjoyed the sample above. If you spend some time making yours look professional it will pay dividends down the road.
Set yourself up for a great first impression and either invest in some software that will do this for you or create a template that you can use every day.