At Don’s Johns we always say, “Our People Make the Difference.” Kim Brawn, Special Events Sales Manager, makes a difference for our customers and her colleagues. We recently spoke with Kim to get her take on portable restroom reservations and working at Don’s Johns.
What is your role at Don’s Johns and how long have you worked here?
I have been the Special Events Sales Manager at Don’s Johns for two years, although in total I’ve worked here for six years. I’m responsible for handling our high-end clients such as the Redskins, Preakness and Quicken Loans National. I’m mostly involved with the larger events that need hundreds of restroom units, rather than smaller scale events.
Can you walk us through the reservation process?
First there is initial contact with the customer – either they reach out to us or we reach out to them. The goal is to make their event successful so we try to obtain important information such as length of the event, how many units are required, where units can be set up, etc. right from the beginning. We try to give some guidance based on our experience when needed and will use that experience to make sure that all of the details are covered. For example, with larger events, the suggestion of a VIP area with high end products may be something the planner would like to offer the customer and that is a detail that may not have occurred to the planner.
Once we have all the event information and finalize the number of restroom units, a contract is prepared and sent to the customer. After the sale has been processed, a project manager (something that is unique to Don’s Johns) will coordinate the event and plan exactly what the customer needs. This includes conducting walk throughs, supervising load ins and being on site to staff the event. Large special events are usually staffed by at least 2 employees, the project manager and myself.
How early before an event should portable restrooms be reserved?
It depends on the size of the event. For large special events, customers should reach out 3-6 months beforehand. For events requiring less than 25 units, a couple of weeks before the event is okay. However, reservations that take place during our busy season should happen as soon as possible! We are extremely busy from April 1 to October 31, so customers need to take that into consideration when planning their event to ensure that the specialty products they desire are available.
What are some common frequently asked questions?
We get a lot of questions about timing of delivery. For example, some events only have a one-day permit, so the units need to be delivered and picked up on the same day. While we can accommodate these short delivery/pickup windows, we would prefer to have a larger window. I think most people don’t realize there’s a lot of team work between us and the customers, so giving us as all the information about the event is very important!
What’s the deal with getting a permit?
A lot of people also call and ask about permits. We do not handle any type of permitting, so customers need to get the permits from the specific venues, county, etc. The reason we stay out of the permit discussion is because there are a variety of permits required by different counties, so we ask that the customer determine what permits are required by their county. Sometimes the contract between Don’s Johns and the customer is required to get the permit, so in that case we help them by providing that.
Are there questions customers ask too late?
Customers make last minute changes all the time and assume we can accommodate them. We do our best to work with the customer to make sure they are satisfied, but it is better for both parties to be prepared ahead of time. For example, unit placement at venues is a huge issue that needs to be addressed beforehand because it’s something that isn’t easy to change. Determining unit location beforehand makes the delivery process much smoother and will cause less stress for the event planner who normally has multiple vendors to work with on load in day.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Don’s Johns?
It’s twofold — working with customers is enjoyable and it’s very satisfying to see events, especially brand new events, pulled off from start to finish. Also, the Dons’ Johns’ team is a great team and I appreciate working with them every day. From operations to every aspect of the process, we all have to work together and everyone is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.
Can we give you a call if we have any additional questions?
For more information about special event reservations or to personally ask Kim a question, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.