How much to pay catering sales person?

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Joined Nov 9, 2021
Hi Chef Talk. Just registered. I'm here searching for help on how much I should pay my catering sales person. These are all on-site catering events only (house parties, weddings, corporate & private events...) - no delivery or pick up. Current responsibilities (basically from the start of the process until the end):
Respond to new email catering requests
Email event proposals
Respond to client questions/requests.
Finalize event details
Arrange any rentals
After event follow up

Current pay is 20% of f&B dollars sold (pre-tax/after any discounts). So, if the client's f&b = $3,000, then the payout to the sales person = $600. This is w-2 income, so taxes are deducted, and I pay my share of employer's taxes. However, like with many of you I'm sure, except until recently most of the events this past year have been very small (wedding for 14 guests) = smaller profits, and paying 20% when the f&b is only $700 is not affordable to the business. I've been considering making changes, but not sure. Perhaps a sliding scale something like: <$1,000 = 10%, <$2,000 = 15%, =>$2,000 = 20%. But, a friend suggested this might be demotivating, and might not incentivize the sales person to book smaller events. So, instead 10% for all events was suggested with an additional 5-10% bonus depending on the f&b amount. But isn't that basically the same thing? A salary and smaller % was also suggested (maybe 5-10%). To give you an idea of sales volume, and how all of these numbers add up: this year we're on pace to cater ~105 events, and the average f&b is ~$1,800. In 2019 we catered ~100 events, but the events were much bigger, and the avg f&b ~$3,000. Out of the ~100 events in a normal year ~40% are weddings (higher guest count/higher f&b). Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any feedback, shared experiences, or new approaches.
 
3,318
739
Joined May 5, 2010
Hi Chef Talk. Just registered. I'm here searching for help on how much I should pay my catering sales person. These are all on-site catering events only (house parties, weddings, corporate & private events...) - no delivery or pick up. Current responsibilities (basically from the start of the process until the end):
Respond to new email catering requests
Email event proposals
Respond to client questions/requests.
Finalize event details
Arrange any rentals
After event follow up

Current pay is 20% of f&B dollars sold (pre-tax/after any discounts). So, if the client's f&b = $3,000, then the payout to the sales person = $600. This is w-2 income, so taxes are deducted, and I pay my share of employer's taxes. However, like with many of you I'm sure, except until recently most of the events this past year have been very small (wedding for 14 guests) = smaller profits, and paying 20% when the f&b is only $700 is not affordable to the business. I've been considering making changes, but not sure. Perhaps a sliding scale something like: <$1,000 = 10%, <$2,000 = 15%, =>$2,000 = 20%. But, a friend suggested this might be demotivating, and might not incentivize the sales person to book smaller events. So, instead 10% for all events was suggested with an additional 5-10% bonus depending on the f&b amount. But isn't that basically the same thing? A salary and smaller % was also suggested (maybe 5-10%). To give you an idea of sales volume, and how all of these numbers add up: this year we're on pace to cater ~105 events, and the average f&b is ~$1,800. In 2019 we catered ~100 events, but the events were much bigger, and the avg f&b ~$3,000. Out of the ~100 events in a normal year ~40% are weddings (higher guest count/higher f&b). Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any feedback, shared experiences, or new approaches.
Welcome to CT.
Your list of responsibilities is not anywhere near complete. Think about how your catering sales person has to work with the other departments to make that event possible. Think about that catering sales person as the "face" of your company and how that person needs to be at the function until it's completion. Think about how your representative should dress, speak, and help you identify issues to make your company grow.
Now think about compensation.
 
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