An idea!

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Posted by Carl on February 28, 1998 at 21:11:23 :

In Reply to: Re: What would you do? posted by Rick on February 28, 1998 at 19:05:13 :

: Sorry, I don't know why it only posted 1/2 of my message. Here's is the
: other 1/2..... I convinced the chairwoman to fax me the other caterers
: and restaurants proposals, and then asked her if I could set up an
: appointment with her to review all the proposals to make sure that the
: committee was comparing apples with apples and not apples with orange.
: I was able to explain the difference in prices to her. I showed her that
: the lowest bidder was not providing adequate staff for the service that
: her group deserves. They were planning on using 1 server per 100 guests
: for a buffet. I also explained to her that the lowest bidder does not
: have mobile kitchen trucks like we do, and that means her group's food
: could be sitting in warmers for 2+ hours. I then asked her if she was
: entertaining in her home would she serve her guests food that was
: prepared hours earlier. I then modified our proposal by redoing the
: menu to bring the cost down, and told her how committed we were to doing
: her event right and that because we had done the event in previous years
: we were uniquely qualified to know her groups' habits, needs,
: expectations, etc. Anyhow, I wish I could say that I convinced her, but
: I didn't. (actually I convinced her, but not the whole committee) The
: committee was still wanting to go with the lowest price. So after,
: discussing the situation with the owner, we decided to donate the
: rentals (china, glassware, tables, chairs, etc. for 600 people) for the
: event. (we own these items). Anyhow, this meant that we would take a
: significant hit on the event, and that in the end with labor, we would
: basically be doing the event at cost. We weren't happy with this, but
: Feb. is traditionally a slower month for us, and the event would be good
: for cash flow. Also, we did not want to let another caterer get their
: foot in the door with this group. All in all a very frustrating
: experience. Not much of an answer, but it is what we did. Please e-mail
: me if you come across a solution that doesn't involve doing an event at
: cost. LOL
: -Rick

: I thought I'd pass along one more thing. When we invoice events, we
: also include an evaluation form for them to return along with the
: payment. In dealing with committees it is often helpful for us to showm
: the evaluations for their event in prevoius years if we catered it. When
: they see the evaluations filled out by their group in previous years, it
: really helps in rebooking the event. Especially, if you are not among
: the lowest bidders.

: -Rick

Excellent approach, did the committee seem to be hesitant to show you
the other bids? that could backfire sometime if they got you lower
then went to one of the others and showed yours and they go lower to b
beat you.... or maybe they feel it is unfair to let you lower yours..

as far as doing events at cost, one approach is to come down a little
but tell the committee IF they allow you to do it you simply cannot do
it any cheaper, but IF they dont see a noticable difference in your
quality/service, you will discount the bill to the lower price... (just
an idea)

another approach i use: lets say my bid is 15.00 and the brand x
caterer bids 13.00... i usually tell them i can do WHAT they do for
11.00, so at 13.00 brand x is over charging you.. what i am giving
you is really WORTH 4.00 more per person... so my price is actually lower
at 15.00 ( if they say why dont i do what brand x does for 11.00, i say
i CAN but i WONT serve an inferior product...)

if they insist on a lower price then i show them WHAT i can do for
the lower price... and encourage them to go with my UPGRADES.. it seems
to work that way.... (more than not)

Anybody else????


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