Four Keys For Utilizing A Catering Software To Create A Custom Menu

By Ryan ONeil
For the past few months, the Curate team has been working with the folks at Corky's BBQ and Simply Delicious Caterings in Memphis, TN to develop a turnkey system that their franchisees could easily use. We're so excited to be in the final stages of our implementation phase and have learned a lot about the best practices for utilizing a catering software to create a custom menu that we're delighted to share with you today.

Don't Skimp On the Photos

When we started to build out the first draft of the Corky's BBQ Feast menu, Tricia Woodman, owner of Corky's and SDC, emphasized that we needed to be sure to include the prettiest photos possible, both in the Pinterest-style inspiration board and throughout the proposal. She realized that people buy with their eyes and that the best tool her team could use to close a client was making the proposal into an object of desire by showing off the best photos of menu items.
If you don't have professional photos of your menu items, hire a food photographer to take photos at your next event or two. The investment made in taking your photos for the proposal will have a solid ROI as clients eagerly sign and pay for their proposals. Plus, you can always use those photos on your website, social media posts, and other marketing materials to make sure you're presenting the best version of your company at all times.
Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.29.39 PM

Create Templates Based On Party Size

Corky's BBQ has five core menus that they use for their events (with add ons and substitutions allowing for optimal customization). Each of those menus have price breaks based on the number of guests and utilize recipes that differ slightly for bulk quantities. To make it super easy for the sales team to create accurate proposals with minimal work, we created three versions for each of the menus for 50-99 guests, 100-149 guests, and for 150+ guests. 

Because of this, there are only a few clicks that the sales team member needs to make from the time a form submission comes in to the time that they send the proposed custom menu to the client.
Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.27.23 PM
Let's talk about how you can start creating custom proposals with accurate recipes included in just a few steps!
Schedule A Consultation

Include Separate Recipes For Required Items

As we got to the final stages of developing Corky's menus, we realized that there was a little bit more to creating recipes for their menu items than tossing everything into a single recipe. Because required items were not needed at a 1:1 ratio with the number of guests, we added the required items as secondary unlinked recipes (unlinked simply means the recipe quantity will not be multiplied by the line item quantity). That allowed for everything needed--ingredients and required items--to be built into each line, rather than separate line items, and made it incredibly easy to generate a pack list that was crystal clear.  
Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.36.56 PM

Include A Simplified Possibilities Section

The Corky's menus have nearly forty possible add-ons and substitution options that clients can choose from--ranging from meats and sides to platters, desserts, and more. Knowing that a possibilities section is crucial to promoting up-sells, Tricia didn't want to eliminate the possibilities section completely. However, listing out all of the options as separate line items would leave clients scrolling forever without actually seeing the different offerings. So, instead, she asked us to develop a simplified version of the possibilities section that showed the different options in a much cleaner way that maintained the beautiful look of the overall proposal. 
Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.33.30 PM
Ready to start creating custom menus with a few clicks?
Schedule A Consultation

Tags: Efficiency, Small Business Sally, Corporate Cate, Established Ed, catering


Keep up with the latest event industry happenings