Optimizing Down Time in Catering Going Corporate

by Bobby Hill

The avoidance of ‘down-time’ is a perennial concern for caterers. Periods of little or no business and the impact these have on cash flow has long been part and parcel of the industry. However, a silver lining comes by way of an opportunity to branch out from the traditional client base and provide corporate catering services. In addition to balancing demand, this allows caterers not just to supplement their event business, but to also venture into a sector that for many, provides regular repeat orders and becomes their core segment.

Pressure to perform

The corporate catering sector is saturated though, and in order to survive, caterers need to offer a unique selling point. In most cases, this is either based on experience and contacts, price, menu or delivery time. However, to grow quickly, a combination of all these factors will be required, as well as a reputation for high standards.

Caterers are entrusted with representing their client, whether it be in boardrooms, offices or outside the workplace, and pressure to perform is thus high. While a caterer that impresses its corporate customers is likely to win regular repeat business, with so many catering companies to choose from, margin for error is slim.

Letting a client down with late delivery for example, is likely to mean the loss of a contract.

For your firm to succeed in corporate catering, trust must be maintained with the client, relying on timely deliveries, high quality food and attention to detail.

A helping hand

Bigger orders mean higher margins, and the possibility of repeat business is music to any caterer’s ears, but such a large opportunity presents a major organizational challenge. In order to satisfy increased demand, many caterers are now seeking to automate operations.

For caterers with small, changeable and irregular orders, paper and spreadsheets can be seen as sufficient, but soon become impractical as demand grows, and those relying on traditional record-keeping and delivery methods are left at a competitive disadvantage. Moving to an automated system allows caterers to swap hours of paperwork for focused business development and improving menus, for example.

With customer inputs going directly into the system, this reduces the financial and opportunity cost of human error.

This improved efficiency streamlines business processes while improving the reliability of orders, invoices and delivery instructions, allowing your company to get it right every time.

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