This will be a lengthy post but I encourage anyone that wants to chime in to please read the entire post before replying.
After having a few years of experience in sales I decided to take on a position as catering sales for a small organic Asian restaurant. The focus would be on catering for corporate lunches, meetings, parties and eventually bigger events. I would be paid a small flat rate and 20% commission on all orders.
First thing that caused concern was the catering contract that he had devised. All orders would be subject to a 20% "service charge" which I was told was to cover transportation, trays etc. Added to that would be a 15% gratuity. He maintained that these fees were to cover "my end" so that he still could be profitable. Even though I had never been in the catering business I knew that this sounded ludicrous but I let it go cause I wanted to make it work.
First client(huge corporate company) I acquired did not want to pay for service charge, to which my boss agreed. The client left a 8% tip(on a 300 dollar bill) to which I assumed belonged to me. I was wrong. He mentioned that I am already getting a commission so I shouldn't be getting a tip, and since they didn't pay for service charge this went to transportation etc
I know negotiated with the owner that we were going to charge a 15% delivery fee, but even that was insane to calculate. Why would someone pay 45 dollars on a 300 dollar order?
This week I got a huge break. Only 2 months in I secured a 250 person boxed lunch, different than our regular tray service, an order that was 1800ish with tax. Such an order the owner could only dream of before I came along. I needed to rent a cargo van to transport all these lunches(50 bucks) and needed to individually label them which costed 50 bucks. I tried applying the 15% which came to $253, but she balked at the total and said that she could only afford to pay 2k thus lowering the charge to 170ish. Added to the fact we had to box all the stuff and unpack it at their location. The client didn't even tip.
My owner is now saying he is unable to pay my commission. He states that all this additional costs and extra time spending making different boxed lunch variations made him lose money on this deal. He can only pay me 10% which would be 168 of the original 337.
My questions are:
1. Am I nuts or is he an idiot to expect people to pay 35% on top of their order, because every friend and client I have had has rejected doing so.
2. He says his food costs are 34% which I know are a bit high. Is he telling the truth that he cant afford paying me or is he bullshitting me?
Any additional opinions are welcomed.