Catering sales managers are responsible for securing new business and maintaining repeat customers for a facility or catering service provider. This is typically done through sales calls, networking, advertising and social media. Catering sales managers may also negotiate prices and help clients select their menu. They also draw up and ensure contracts are signed and make sure that any special requests are fulfilled.
Catering sales managers work with the public extensively to perform their duties. They remain in close contact with clients and potential clients from the planning stages to after events. Having a personable and highly professional demeanor is absolutely necessary for this type of job. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are also key.
Often, catering sales managers have sales goals that they are required to meet on a monthly or yearly basis. These goals may be adjusted periodically, so an ability to adapt to change is important. These goals may include a target number of bookings and/or client contacts, and a percentage of new business versus existing clients.
The hours worked by catering sales managers are irregular, and vary based on clients' needs. Although a large portion of the work involved may be done in the office during normal business hours Monday through Friday, catering sales managers are often expected to be present at an event to ensure that all goes according to the contract. This can often mean late hours and working on the weekend.
Most employers require that their catering sales managers have several years of catering experience as well as two years of college experience. Most important is to have a highly service-oriented demeanor, basic computing skills and higher level communication skills. Employers usually also value flexibility and availability at a variety of times.
Catering Sales Manager Tasks
Maintain contact with key markets by visiting and investigating the operations and local conditions.
Evaluate and provide analysis to management for new products and international market opportunities.
Plans and implements sales programs for one or more of the company's product line.
Ensure execution of the developed sales strategies, plans and advertising or promotional programs.
Ensure activities are in accordance with the developed sales objectives.