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Tips for Great Tastings

Tastings are a huge way to build your catering business. But to make sure you have the best tastings possible, here is a general list of tips and strategies concerning tastings:

• The most important part of a tasting is building and fostering relationships!

• Ideally, the same person should communicate with the customer throughout the entire process.

• Do not provide tasting samples of anything that is not on your menu.

• Do not embellish or change any of your items (e.g., adding more meat to sandwiches).

• If possible, the business owner or manager of the company you hope to service should attend the tasting.

• Within one to three days after calling, mail a letter to your contact along with a copy of your menu. This will give the prospect an opportunity to preview your offerings prior to the tasting. It is also a good idea to include a brief handwritten note at the bottom.

• If possible, do a little preliminary web-based research about the company you will be contacting. Having some basic information about the organization might prove beneficial.

• Call the day before the tasting to re-confirm, especially if it was scheduled weeks in advance.

• The Business Journal (a print publication) is featured in 41 markets in the U.S. If you subscribe for a year, the Book of Lists is included. This weekly business newspaper is a great way to stay informed locally, and it has a ton of sales leads.

• Within 24 hours follow up with a confirmation email.

• Make sure the point person presenting at the tasting is an expert in all areas of your catering operation. You never know what type of questions you may be asked. If the person does not know the answer, make sure they respond with, “I do not know. I will find out the answer and get it to you later today.”

• When preparing for your sample tastings it's best to expect that more people will show up than less.

• It’s always a good idea to send a friendly reminder email within a day or two of the scheduled tasting.

• Either leave a questionnaire with a return envelope at the tasting or send an email with a link to an online survey such as Survey Monkey. People generally like to be asked for an opinion. Getting honest feedback, especially constructive how-to-improve feedback, is some of the most valuable information available to you.

• Leave a business tasting sign-up form near your counter. 

Michael Rosman is the CEO of If you need more tips, please visit his website or email him.

Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman is the founder of, a consulting, coaching and lead generation company for businesses that aspire to take their corporate catering business to the next level or start a new division. He is also a Senior Consultant with He can be reached at [email protected].