Should your GM always be closing?

Last month the team at GiftieApp began rolling out our personal introduction software, which introduces our restaurant clients to the corporate contacts we have in our community.

The product drafts a very personal email message that makes a connection between both parties, before running through a pool of potential catering contacts and sending about 1–5 emails per day. We then ‘cc’ everyone involved so that they can connect directly to set up a tasting, request a quote, or place an order.

AND GUESS WHAT WE DISCOVERED?!?!?

The restaurant clients who had us ‘cc’ their general managers complained that they were getting “too many emails,” and wanted it to stop. Meanwhile, when we ‘ccd’ the actual owner/operator we had no complaints. Not even a peep. In fact they loved the product.

So what does it mean? Are these managers lazy or are they overworked? Or is it something else?

At first, it might seem like asking a salaried GM to add a few replies to their daily email regimen is not too taxing. After all, we are in business to make a profit, and it’s the GM’s job to ensure everything runs smoothly and the business has an opportunity to make a sale.

But the discipline of selling doesn’t always come naturally to most GMs. Responding to a lead means managing the lead, setting up a tasting, following up, getting the order, executing the order, ensuring the customer was completely satisfied, then rinse and repeat.

Given that there are about “a zillion tasks” that any given retail restaurant manager does on any given day, is adding these new tasks a good idea?

I think it depends on a number of factors, like how organized they are, how capable their team is, and even what kind of day they’re dealing with. But, in short, I would say it is a very bas idea indeed.

Let’s face it, most general managers by design are not ‘sales people.’ It’s just no their job. True, some do know how to sell, but even then it’s not their core competency.

Owner/Operators, however, can generally sell ice to The Inuit. They know the business, the product, the food cost, the cash in the bank (or lack thereof) and when the phone rings and its a paying customer on the other end, the will stop at nothing to earn new business. However, most also suffer from serious ADD… oh look a (insert clever noun here.)

Nonetheless, we at Giftie see a correlation here, and feel our new product offers a real solution. That’s why are have been testing the concept of a shared catering coordinator program. It costs each restaurant between $300-$750 per month and ensures that there is a full time person available to handle the sales process from start to finish.

Watch this space for more details.

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