Catering to your Customer

FanFare Catering on the set of Well Wishes
My daughter launched her catering business, Fanfare Catering several months ago.Through Fanny's friend from high school, she got an opportunity to cater a feature film being shot in Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina in October. She has to feed about twenty five people breakfast and around thirty five people for lunch, six days a week for four weeks.

Fanny Slater
Owner of Fanfare Catering 
We speak or text daily and she has done an amazing job. Of course I am a proud father watching her take her craft to a new level, but she also has demonstrated a keen instinct for marketing. She is at the halfway point and I thought I’d share a few observations about what she is doing that every small business owner should understand to nourish the relationships with their customers and clients. 

1. Fanny is trying to have a WOW factor every day. She looks to do something that surprises and delights her customers in an unexpected way. What have you done today that is truly remarkable and above and beyond what is expected? You want your customers to remark about your business to their friends.  

2. Fanny evaluates her own work each day based on her criteria for her brand which is focused on making light, local and healthy food. It is vital that she be consistent with her own brand standards and she is a tough critic. She understands that she has to live up to the promise of her brand. Do you check to make sure your living up to the promises your brand represents to your customers or clients? 

3. Fanny is learning why being flexible and adaptable is so important to a small business owner. When one of two refrigerators broke, she had to quickly shift to a menu that allowed her to feed 40 people with half the food she expected. How flexible are you as you face adversity in your business?

4. Fanny is coming to appreciate why planning is such a powerful tool in running a smooth operation. Of course things shift, change and break down but the better she plans out the day, the easier it is to handle a work load that would have been unimaginable to her just a few weeks ago. Are you using planning to help you manage and organize your work so that you can accomplish more and more each day?

5. From all accounts she is working harder than she has ever in any job but she is also enjoy the intensive creative high that comes from being the source of her own inventiveness. I don’t remember her being this happy in a job ever. How much pleasure are you gaining each day from your work? Happiness in a business owner and an positive outlook are powerful marketing messages that come through in your work. Are you being positive and upbeat with your customers? 

6. Fanny only has one person helping her but she is quickly gaining an understanding of how to manage a helper or employee and why it is important to always be a few steps ahead of them in your plans.  I think she is learning valuable lessons in delegating that are difficult for perfections to understand. How well are you delegating work to your staff or team members or are you trying to do everything yourself? 

7. Her film catering opportunity came about from her network. She had been posting food photos on Facebook and Instagram for a while, and through sharing her passion for food, she reconnected with someone who had an opportunity for her. I have been talking about the importance of networking to her for years but suddenly, it became real. How well are you feeding your network and developing connections today? Are you being helpful to them or hyping them with a sales pitch? 

Breakfast is served by Fanfare Catering 
Catering to your customer’s needs is the best way to make sure your competition doesn't eat your lunch. 

You can follow Fanny's adventures at:   BLOG

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