The world around us is evolving at an unprecedented pace. And of course, the most significant difference over the past decade has been the speed with which the internet has transformed the world we live in.
For businesses, it’s no different. Caterers looking to remain relevant in today’s industry need only look around them to see how rapidly things have changed.
More and more, customers expect an easy, smooth transaction – that’s often just the click of a button away. To maintain a competitive edge, it’s important to embrace the potential of digital technology.
Staying in control
Online, caterers need to remain in control of Menu content, Order lead times, available Delivery times, and geographical restrictions on Delivery so the software they employ to manage online orders must be tailored to their market. Once these parameters are put in place, caterers can have the confidence that they will be able to fulfil all customer requests.
It’s true that there could be a little resistance at first. People often shy away from change – and hard-working, under-pressure staff can be reluctant to learn a new skill on top of an already demanding role. But with a digital ordering system, companies will help remove the strain from the staff – and instead give more responsibility to the customer.
By empowering customers to order online, catering companies can finally shake off the tricky, difficult-to-manage paper trail of orders and invoices which can leave them vulnerable to error and delayed payment. Furthermore, allowing the amendment and cancellation of orders online, within the caterers pre-set parameters, along with the ability to search order history, puts customers in charge of their destiny with the caterer – and avoids the uncertainty and frustrations of unanswered calls or delayed email response.
With comprehensive back of house systems both online and non-online (paper, email or phone call), order streams can be consolidated into a single view, allowing caterers to make more informed planning decisions around food stock and resource, maximise efficiency and to invest more time in the training and development of their staff.
A simpler customer experience
Smoothing the operations process – from order to food preparation, delivery to billing – companies will reap the benefits of clearer, more cohesive communications. This will lessen the likelihood of incorrect or missing orders, whilst online billing systems will ensure that chasing up late payment becomes a thing of the past.
Customers can also set up repeat orders and declare food allergies or preferences, to help further minimise risk. In a fiercely competitive catering world, these assurances will help to improve company reputations and enhance that all-important customer satisfaction.