It was an absolute delight to join my friend and colleague, Tracy Stuckrath, on her “Eating at a Meeting” podcast. Tracy and I share a deep passion for food inclusion and diversity, and how these crucial elements can drive success in catering sales. Our conversation was not just a meeting of minds but also a fusion of ideals that are close to our hearts.

Our discussion began with a reflection on our shared mission in the catering world. We both believe in the power of food to bring people together, and how understanding and catering to diverse dietary needs is not just a service but a form of respect and care for clients and their guests.

“The power of food education cannot be overstated. By harnessing it, we can transform outcomes and establish genuine connections, especially in the context of food which is an intimately personal subject. I encourage everyone to adopt a mindset of lifelong learning. When you educate yourself about safe, sustainable, and inclusive food and beverage experiences, you open up an entirely new avenue for meaningful engagement with your clients.”

I emphasized the importance of food education in our conversation. Knowledge about safe, sustainable, and inclusive food practices is a game-changer in the catering industry. It’s about more than just meeting requirements; it’s about creating experiences that resonate with every guest, making them feel valued and included.

Sharing personal stories, like my family’s journey with gluten-free living, I highlighted how these experiences enrich our understanding and empathy towards clients with specific dietary needs. This personal connection is not just about adapting menus; it’s about building trust and long-lasting relationships.

We delved into how sustainability is integral to modern catering and how storytelling can be a potent tool in sales. I shared anecdotes, like my nephew’s involvement in sustainable aquaculture, to illustrate how personal connections can enhance client engagement and set your service apart.

A significant part of our discussion revolved around employing an empathic approach in catering sales. Understanding and anticipating the needs of clients, especially those with dietary restrictions, is crucial. It’s about creating an environment where every guest feels seen and cared for.

“Being food inclusive is like saying to the guest, ‘We see you, we value you, and we want you to savor this experience fully, without compromise.’ It’s about ensuring that every guest, irrespective of their food preferences or restrictions, feels welcome and cherished. When a caterer takes the time to create an inclusive menu, it becomes a celebration of diversity and a testament to the power of food in bringing people together. It’s about crafting not just a meal, but an experience that resonates with the guest long after the last course has been served.”

Tracy & I also tackled some industry challenges, like the misconception that catering to specific dietary needs or the non-alcoholic market isn’t worthwhile. I argued that this is a growing market segment, and catering to these needs can open doors to new client bases and opportunities.

Our time together was not just a conversation but a reaffirmation of our commitment to inclusivity and diversity in catering. It reinforced the idea that being mindful and respectful of every guest’s needs is not just good business but also a way to make every event memorable and inclusive.

I left the podcast feeling inspired and hopeful. The catering industry is evolving, and by embracing inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability, we can make a significant impact. I encourage all catering professionals to listen to this enlightening conversation and join us in this important mission.

Listen to the podcast here:

Podcast Episode Link

Margaret Brower
Schedule a chat with Margaret Brower

My specialty is hospitality sales, but my passion has always been the psychology of sales. I have loved and lived the life of a results-driven Director of Sales, and in that time developed a sales program with a two-fold leadership approach, skill development and human development.

Schedule a call with Margaret and learn how Rainmaker will bring that know-how and strategy to your company.