The CEO of a catering solutions provider believes so strongly that catering will transform the restaurant industry that he decided to write the book on it—and help a charity at the same time.

Erle Dardick, CEO of MonkeyMedia Software, authored and recently released Get Catering and Grow Sales! A Strategic Perspective for The Multi-Unit Restaurant Executive after 15 years of garnering catering know-how.

Dardick says the way to making a catering program successful is knowing “how to logically layer catering sales on top of the multiunit restaurant environment.” Get Catering and Grow Sales! offers the steps on how to do this.

“I felt a responsibility to the community that it wasn’t just information that I should hold in my head because I believe that catering is for this environment, for the specific niche of multiunit restaurants,” Dardick says. “It will rival the growth of drive thru in the ’70s. I felt it was a transformative idea.”

Dardick says that operators who do catering properly could eventually see it become as much as 50 percent of their sales.

“You’re going to see a fast trend to [catering]. I think this is a low-hanging fruit, so you’re going to see everybody get into it quick,” he says.

“I think it’s probably a 10-year process before it really gets to a point where it’s billions and billions [in sales]. … What’s going to happen is it’s going to become the next trend, and only those that do it well are going to shake out as real leaders in the space.”

One hundred percent of the book’s net proceeds will be donated to the Share Our Strength organization and its No Kid Hungry campaign, which seeks to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.

Dardick says he felt a responsibility to give back with the book’s sales because it wasn’t just his thoughts that made up its content.

“I felt that although I was able to articulate it, this is a community-based initiative, and because of the size of it, in terms of what I believe is going to happen, I felt it was a serious opportunity to help an organization that’s doing great work out there,” he says.

By Sam Oches

Charitable Giving, News, Operations, Restaurant Operations