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Category: Catering


Reacting to Negative Online Reviews

Social media has made it easier than ever for a customer to share their opinions with the world, which can have a positive impact on your business. The majority of reviews posted online are favorable. Online review sites are a great way to get exposure for your restaurant, hotel, or other business. But what if you receive a bad review online? How should you respond? No matter how dedicated you are to providing your customers with a positive experience, chances are you may have to deal with a negative review at some point. Here are some tips for handling a bad review:

Have a Plan in Place

Even if you’ve never received a bad review in the past, it’s a good idea to have an action plan in place so you can swiftly address a negative review when it’s posted. Many business owners and managers make the mistake of allowing their emotions to get the best of them when a bad review comes in. The result is often a defensive and ineffective public response to the reviewer which can reflect poorly on your business.

Act Quickly

When it comes to online reviews, failing to address negative feedback in a timely manner can make matters worse. Potential and existing customers can mistake your silence for indifference. Reply to the review publicly, letting the customer know that their concerns are a top priority. If possible, request more details about their experience via a private message. Talk to any staff members that may have knowledge of the incident in question to determine where you could have served the customer better.

Make it Right

Do your best to mend your business relationship with the reviewer. If you find that your establishment failed to offer them with adequate service, compensate them in a way that seems fair. The promise of a future discount or a credit or partial credit of their recent visit can go a long way in bringing a disgruntled customer down to a cool calm. Above all, be sure to always validate their feelings, even if you don’t feel your business was in the wrong. Many customers will update their review if they feel you adequately handled their complaint.

Negative review can be devastating, especially for restaurants and hotels with multiple locations, where a bad review of one location can hurt business for all the other locations. If your expansion has caused variability in the customer experience, you will benefit from a purchasing services organization that will help you initiate restaurant-wide buying standards and set up systems to monitor and enforce your procurement processes.

Take your next step toward greater profit with the Source1 Purchasing Solution.
Call: 888.411.9987
Contact Us Here

Click here to get your free Market Basket. (Typically, a Market Basket will identify savings opportunities of 9% or more!)


How to Make your Catering Company Stand Out

Catering is an extremely competitive industry, and many companies struggle to define what makes their brand unique. Any catering company can offer an attractive menu and exceptional customer service, but what will really set your company apart comes down to the details. Here are a few ideas on how to build a catering business that stands out from your competitors:

Find Your Niche

It’s tempting to try to appeal to all types of clients, however, establishing a niche for your catering company can help attract stronger leads. Weddings are a popular specialty, but there are plenty of other industries you can serve with less competition. Do some research to try to identify the underserved industries in your service area. Large office buildings, financial institutions, family reunions and wellness retreats are good markets to start exploring. Specialized menu offerings are another good way your catering company can be competitive. Offering organic, vegan or even culturally-specific menu items could help your company stand out.

Form Strategic Partnerships

No matter what type of food you serve, it’s imperative that you strive to source the highest quality ingredients. Aligning your company with trustworthy suppliers can make or break your business. Sourcing your food, linens, and equipment from the right providers can help build your company’s reputation for quality and consistency. Unfortunately, vendor management can often be a daunting task for catering companies. Joining a buying group is an excellent way to make your purchasing systems run more efficiently with the added benefit of cutting down on overhead.

Shine on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to creating a name for yourself online. Prospective customers will often look to your social media channels to get a sense of what your company has to offer prior to ever reaching out for a quote. You only get one chance at a first impression, so it’s important that your social media profiles reflect your company and what makes it unique. The content you share on these channels should tell a story about the care that goes into every event you cater. Of course, you’ll want to share photos of your beautifully designed spreads and expertly plated meals, but you should also consider sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the prep that goes into an event. Learning how to get catering clients is essential and giving prospective customers the opportunity to peek behind the curtain will help them feel more connected to your brand, which could ultimately lead to more bookings.

Take your next step toward greater profit with the Source1 Purchasing Solution.
Call: 888.411.9987
Contact Us Here

Click here to get your free Market Basket. (Typically, a Market Basket will identify savings opportunities of 9% or more!)



Gluten-Free Sourcing Best Practices

Gluten-free offerings have increased in demand in recent years. Some consumers have embraced gluten-free or gluten-reduced diets because they believe it’s beneficial to their health. However, there is a segment of the population that suffers from a serious autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease, a condition that can cause severe damage to the small intestine if gluten is consumed. People with severe cases of celiac disease must take extra precautions when dining out. Many food distribution companies are working to increase the number of gluten-free items they offer in an effort to accommodate customers with gluten sensitivities.

For restaurants and catering companies committed to offering more gluten-free dishes, choosing the right food service company is crucial. There is a huge difference between gluten-reduced foods and those that are truly gluten-free. A trustworthy vendor will have standards set in place to ensure that an item not only contains no trace amounts of gluten but was never at risk of exposure to gluten during processing. A food vendor that is experienced in providing truly gluten-free options should be able to explain how they safeguard their products against cross-contamination. If your vendor can’t make such guarantees, you have no way of ensuring that your dish is truly gluten-free.

It’s important that kitchen staff is trained to segregate gluten-free foods upon delivery to avoid any cross-contamination. Gluten-free supplies should have a dedicated space within a kitchen and should be clearly labeled. Keep in mind that your vendor may offer both gluten-free and non-gluten-free selections for the same item. If your kitchen orders both varieties, it’s important that the two are stored in different places. Precautions should also be taken by kitchen staff to avoid cross-contamination by setting aside pans, cutting boards, and other tools specifically designated for cooking gluten-free meals. For a customer with a severe case of celiac disease, even the smallest trace of gluten can be detrimental to their health.

Having a reputation for offering quality gluten-free options can give you a major advantage over your competitors. With a strong set of best practices for product sourcing and handling supplies, you can serve your gluten-free dishes with confidence. Source1 Purchasing has partnered with a number of trusted suppliers of gluten-free and gluten-reduced foods. Connecting with our network of quality food distributors and other vendors can help you optimize your supply chain while cutting your overall costs.

Take your next step toward greater profit with the Source1 Purchasing Solution.
Call: 888.411.9987
Contact Us Here

Click here to get your free Market Basket. (Typically, a Market Basket will identify savings opportunities of 9% or more!)

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Recipe of the Month! – Sweet Potato Nachos

• 12 ounces McCain® Sweet Potato Fries
• 2 cups grated cheddar cheese or as needed
• ½ cup chopped red onions
• ¾ cup sour cream
• ½ cup chopped tomatoes
• ¼ cup bacon bits
• ¼ cup sliced, pickled jalapeños


1. Prepare sweet potato fries according to package directions.
2. Arrange potatoes in a serving skillet and top with grated cheddar and cooked onions.
3. Return to oven or place under broiler until cheese is melted.
4. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, Bacon Bits and jalapeños.
5. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe of the Month: Taco Party Wings

This spicy oven baked chicken wings recipe is perfect for parties – very easy to make, and not messy like their glazed counterparts. The Hot Taco Seasoning provides just enough heat to give them some zip without being too fiery. Find our easy hot wings recipe below! Photo credit: Georgia Johnson from Comfort of Cooking.


Servings: Makes 16 wings

  • 1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix Hot
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons McCormick Parsley Flakes
  • 4 pounds chicken wings, pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix Seasoning Mix, cornmeal and parsley in large resealable plastic bag. Add wings, several at a time, to bag; shake until evenly coated.
  2. Arrange wings in single layer on 2 foil-lined shallow baking pans. Place pans on separate racks in oven.
  3. Bake 15 minutes. Switch pans between racks (no need to turn wings). Bake 15 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.
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