When you read a short article in a Catering magazine peppered with the words like ‘Confidence’ ‘Growth’, ‘Increase’ and ‘Re-open’ it wouldn’t be unreasonable to start talking of things having turned a corner. In this week’s The Caterer* it was great to read of those in the F&B sector talking in exactly those terms:
Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller's, said, "We saw sales rise steadily in the City after previous lockdowns, and recent trading patterns suggest that there is a strong desire among many workers to return to office working”.
Road to Recovery
The change of guidelines has led to a fairly swift return to the workplace for many - even if just for part of the week. The same article went on to note that footfall is 150% up on this time last year. Yes, around 20% less than 2019 but going in the right direction and incredibly encouraging for those who have clung on in the last 2 years.
Events too, are being planned - Paul Jackson, managing director at Searcys, told The Caterer "It is also heartening to see growing confidence of corporate event organisers, who have started to plan face-to-face events for 2022.”. He added that there had been a 40% increase in event enquiries since the first two weeks of January.
Ready for Recovery
Now the question becomes for those who want to offer B2B catering…“Are your doors open too?” There is little doubt that as meetings are being organised again there will be a clear social aspect. The thought that “We’re not up to the production levels we had pre-Covid” will still be in many managers' minds, and, of course, the effects of uncertainty of the last 2 years shouldn’t be downplayed. However, there is reasonable room for being on the front foot. Giving your customers the opportunity to find out just how easy it is to order from your competitors is not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in.
The Reality of Recovery
Yes, production may well be lower, at least for a while, as things progressively move back to (a new) normal. However, it’s easy to forget that Pre-Covid the stats were always clear: when corporate catering was available for ordering online, order numbers increased, and catering revenues recorded increases of 20%+ year on year. And now, the future is even brighter as online ordering is more popular than ever before.
Spoonfed are already working with those who have found that even a few orders coming in is creating silly amounts of unnecessary admin for catering teams, often under-resourced, who really can’t afford to be doing anything other than focussing on great service. They’re looking for an online ordering system to ease the strain and free up valuable time. Time to talk?
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