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Three Things Every Caterer Should Do to Make 2018 Their Best Year Ever

As we begin the new year, we’re all thinking about what the future holds. And yes, we are impacted by outside forces, but we also can influence our destiny by doing what we can control. After 38 years in business and 72 years on this planet, as the insurance commercial says, “I think I’ve learned a thing or two” and in this case, it’s three.

#1 Set goals that are just out of reach but not out of sight. But think big! Make some quiet time and visualize what you want to accomplish in 2018. Napoleon Hill put it best when he wrote, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe it shall achieve.” What is it that you would like to do in your business that you have not done yet? I think we all want more sales, but what do what need to do to get there. And what is “more sales”? Five years ago, I set a goal to grow my sales by 25% per year for five years and we did. Why, because my team and I believed we could do it. We set out on a course to do everything we could to grow our business. (If you would like to know what I did join me at Catersource join me at 9:30 Sunday morning for a Candid Conversation with Bill Hansen.)

One thing I’ve learned later life is to focus on a few goals, rather than too many. I’ve been guilty of taking on too much, but no more! Now my team and I have five:

• Grow Sales

• Do More with Less

• Focus on Plate and Station Presentation

• Improve Employee Engagement

• Develop Key Performance Indicators to measure progress

That’s it. No more, no less.

Growing sales and doing more with less are easily measured on our income statements. Plate and station presentation is hard to measure, but feedback from our clients and our team members at least gives us an idea as to how we are doing. Employee engagement can be measured and if you haven’t done it, do so—your employees are your lifeblood and engaged employees will help you achieve all your other goals. And measuring team performance with Key Performance Indicators in a variety of areas is a great way to keep score, give your team feedback and determine where to focus your efforts moving forward.

#2 You’re Only as Good as Your Team Members—Yes, I know, this is nothing new, but I urge you to take a hard and thorough look at your employees and if there are people on your team that you’ve “put up with” but truly are not “putting everything they have into your business” it’s time to make some changes.  None of us likes to terminate team members, but if they’re not carrying their weight, they’re not only hurting you but also the other employees. They are sapping your energy, while not giving energy to your company.

#3 If It Were Easy, Everyone Would be Doing It—Catering is one of the toughest knowledge businesses in the world. Certified Catering Consultant Carl Sacks reminds us all that we all need to be experts in manufacturing, logistics, service and sales. That’s something to think about. Yes, it is complicated, and we have tight deadlines and it must be done right the first time.

So, to start the year off right, give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself and your team for doing work that few can do well!

See Bill Hansen at Catersource 2018! Click here for a list of all sessions, including Bill's.

Bill Hansen

Bill Hansen

CEO, Bill Hansen Catering and Event Production, Miami, FL

From catering for four U.S. Presidents, to Pope John Paul II, to champion Super Bowl teams, Bill Hansen brings over 50 years of catering, entrepreneurial and food service management experience to his consulting practice. A published author, Bill’s extensive expertise has made him one of the country’s leading food experts and Founder and CEO of one of South Florida’s top catering firms.

Bill’s areas of expertise are in leadership, and management. In 1980, he founded Bills’ Catering with his best friend Bill Hendrich. In 1990, Bill began teaching Catering Management at Florida International University. After 403 years, Bill’s firm continues to prosper, while spawning scores of South Florida caterers...