Next Door American Eatery on Keeping Catering Consistent

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast host Valerie Killifer chats with Elyse Boule, the director of catering for casual “real food” restaurant Next Door American Eatery.

Boule joined the Next Door American Eatery team in 2018. Prior to Next Door American Eatery, Boule worked for over twenty years in event sales and operations. She credits her time working in trade shows for her attention to detail and commitment to developing and understanding process.

Boule advises start-ups and emerging brands building an off-premises strategy to do three things: listen to your customer, start slow and expand as you feel comfortable, and recognize that you can never be too deep in the details.

“Customers know what they want, and they’re extremely honest,” says Boule. “They love to be a part of things on the ground level… use those customer connections and ask for feedback. Hold focus groups before you start a new program. Test those ideas on customers and let them be a part of your solution.”

Many catering businesses fail because they try to expand too quickly. Customers expect consistency and conformity regardless of what they purchase or where they eat your product—and one bad experience can severely harm your brand.

When it comes to catering, “there are probably thirty points of failure from the time that an order comes in to the time that you deliver it to your customer,” adds Boule. “All of those little details in-between can add up to the best experience that a customer can ask for or the worst experience that could cause them to tell everyone not to use you.”

Next Door American Eatery makes sure to note its takeout, delivery, and catering options in “every piece of marketing that we have,” notes Boule. In the next few years, Boule aims to have off-premise sales represent 20 to 30 percent of the restaurant’s overall revenue.

Listen to the episode above to learn more about the restaurant’s investment in sustainable packaging, Boule’s thoughts on third party delivery, and how to develop a successful, scalable menu!

Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Darisha Beresford

Production Manager / Sr. Producer