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Mentoring for caterers: how to make more money out of mobile catering


DO THESE SCENARIOS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Scenario #1: You’re new to the business and are daunted by the entire start-up process. The stress of risking your financial capital without better understanding the industry is making you anxious. You might not even know what questions to ask or have no-one to turn to. OR

Scenario #2: You’ve been street trading or trading at small festivals and events and are keen to scale up and trade at larger festivals and events. You’re worried that you don’t have a firm grasp on the logistical and business decisions that need to be made. The financial risk has increase by an order of magnitude and you want some peace of mind that you’re making a well-calculated business extension. OR

Scenario #3:
You’ve been trading for a number of years now, with some success. But you haven’t made as much money as you’d like or deserve. Problem is, you’ve already critically evaluated your operation but you can’t work out what’s throwing the spanner in the works.

Ring any bells? You might be surprised to know how many caterers find themselves in a similar boat.

You could really benefit from mentoring

Well, engaging a mentor could be the perfect investment for you and your business. Partner up with catering mentor Henry Barbour and you will gain a fresh set of eyes to critically evaluate your business and decision-making, the know-how to provide essential insight and the experience to help you improve your business and make more money. As a mentor he will offer you a sustained period of:


  • Face-to-face communication

  • Psychosocial support (an agony aunt for your worries and concerns)

  • Business and professional development

  • Discussion and problem solving

  • Involvement during your own operation

  • Opportunities to work within his business

Why approach Henry?

There are lots of reasons you’d want Henry on your side, when it comes to making more money out of your food business. Check this out:


• Henry began working in restaurants in 1983 and has been operating Teabag Chihuahua Ltd since 2001. He has a huge amount of experience, having traded at 500+ events in the last 15 years.

• He trades primarily at music festivals of all sizes and genres. He has also street traded in London, and caters at agricultural shows, motor and horse events, and at corporate parties and weddings out of season.

• Teabag Chihuahua operates up to 4 units (though Henry has found that operating two units efficiently is actually more profitable). The business sells Mexican and Tex-Mex foods that are all cooked from scratch from whole foods, providing high quality food with an event caterer’s efficiency and volume.

• He is an expert in creating processes and systems that make catering businesses more efficient and profitable and as such has achieved great success with his Teabag Chihuahua Ltd. brand.


Bob FoBob Foxx says, “I can’t think of many caterers that I’d trust more to help me improve my catering business. He’s a legend in the business – even some of my own staff have worked for him! If you’re looking for ways to make more money in catering, Henry will give you the guidance you need.”

Can mentoring provide value for money?

Undergoing a mentoring program will give you a great shot at improving your business and, by extension, your net financial return. For example, if you typically trade for eight hours a day over a three-day weekend, you could potentially improve your turnover through mentoring by:


• Three additional sales per hour at £7 each = £21, across a day = £168, across a weekend = £480
• Seven additional sales per hour at £7 each = £49, across a day = £392, across a weekend = £1176
• Fifteen additional sales per hour at £7 each = £105, across a day = £840, across a weekend = £2520


As a mentor, Henry can help you to identify how to reduce your operating costs, more efficient ways to utilise staff and how to reduce food waste – among lots of other things. In fact, it’s really up to you to decide which areas of your business you’d like him to focus on (but here are a few ideas…).

Mentoring for start-ups

• Assessing event suitability for your business concept (e.g. demographics, fees, site positioning, T’s and C’s etc.)
• Menu creation and costing
• Product sourcing and menu pricing
• Choosing a catering structure
• Making your stall stand out in a field
• How to make a successful application
• Getting to grips with due diligence paperwork, compliance and employers’ legal requirements

• Ordering and vehicle loading checklists
• Food and equipment checklists
• Staff management including skill requirements, job duties, time sheets, rotas etc.
• Storeroom management
• Cashflow and finances
• Systems and processes for food production and service
• Managing queues

Mentoring for scaling up your operation to large event catering

• Staff skill requirements, creating a management team, and delegation
• Managing large crews and staff handbooks
• Staff, stall and product logistics and travel
• Health and safety considerations
• Vehicles, drivers and the law

• Product and business depots and product storage at events
• Systems and processes: food production and service
• Keeping your crew happy, engaged and efficient
• Manual and checklist creation and other helpful paperwork

Mentoring for improving the financial return of your existing business

• Set-up and break-down for efficiency and effectiveness
• Managing queues, customer flow, customer interest and retention
• Service patter and up-selling techniques
• Pitch layout and operation

• Food production and service processes
• Making your stall stand out in a field
• Systems and processes
• Cash handling
• Day versus night marketing

What other mobile caterers have to say about Henry's mentoring services…

"Henry saved my business. At the end of my 2nd year, Halls Dorset Smokery had a great product and good pitches but was not turning a profit. Henry showed me how his systems would improve productivity and increase turn over. Halls Dorset Smokery has just finished its 12th year and I still use the systems that Henry helped me put in place."
Rich Hall, Halls Dorset Smokery

"When we started our festival catering business, 10 years ago, we had no one to advise us. Financial and business advisors do not have the expertise relevant to the business. Unless you have been in the festival catering business and made a success of it you cannot offer specific advice. This changed when we met Henry. He is a very knowledgeable, professional and calm individual who has answered all of our questions over the years no matter how daft they may have been! If we had had access to someone like Henry earlier in the creation of our business, I sincerely believe we would have achieved our goals faster and cheaper."
Sonia Smale, The Lush Creperie

"Working with Henry at a festival helped me to re-evaluate my set up, service and organisation, by allowing me to visualise the changes I needed to make to help my business run that little bit smoother during a busy event."
Chris Hislop, Fire in the Hole

The price levels

The potential increased turnover that you could achieve because of a mentoring program means that you could very well recoup its costs within just one weekend’s trading. Here’s how much Henry’s mentoring will cost you.

Level 1: £299 (2 hours)
Covers a two-hour long session, over the phone, via Skype or in person. Please bear in mind your travel costs as you will be expected to travel to the mentor should you like to take your session in person.

Level 2: £549 (4 hours)
Level 2 covers one initial session that will last at least two hours, either in person or by phone or Skype (the choice is yours). This will be followed by a further two hours’ worth of telephone or Skype sessions (each telephone session must last at least 30 minutes) or face-to-face sessions (a face-to-face session must last at least two hours). The full four hours’ mentoring must be used within four months of booking.

Level 3: £959 (8 hours)
Level 3 covers one initial session that will last at least two hours, either in person or by phone or Skype (the choice is yours). This will be followed either by a further six hours of telephone or Skype sessions (each telephone session must last at least 30 minutes) or face-to-face sessions (each face-to-face session must last at least two hours). The full eight hours’ mentoring must be used within eight months of booking.

Level 4: £2950 (the ultimate package, including hands-on experience)
This package will only be available to four people annually, from May through September. It will include four hours of phone, Skype or in-person mentoring as well as a three-day shadowing and/or work opportunity plus a one-day mentor’s visit to your stand for a complete evaluation of your business. The three-day shadowing and/or work opportunity will include:

• Shadowing or assisting with all aspects of logistics, set-up, operation and break-down, while looking for transferable efficiencies.
• Shadowing the mentor or operation manager on management meetings with festival organisers, suppliers, staff and environmental health officers.
• Daily meetings with the mentor to discuss revelations and how to apply what you have experienced to your own business.

How to get in touch and find out more

Can't see the purple form to register your interest below?

Apologies - we're working on it! Click here to go straight to the Google form and express your interest in Henry's mentoring program for mobile caterers. >




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