by Willie Biggart

To catering managers across the land - ‘Happy New Year?’

Apologies that, *‘Happy New Year?’* for the moment at least, is a question rather than being a genuine wish. Perhaps, if you are a catering manager, you can understand more than most why the question mark is required. The list of things being still worked through at the end of 2021 is never far from our minds...

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by Martin Boyd

‘Stick or Twist’ in the Bounceback?

Stick or twist?’ What happens when you remove those tech solutions which told customers you were Open for Business?

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by Martin Boyd

Customer Service - Core or Bolt-on?

SaaS - the clue is in the name! When we do a sales pitch with Spoonfed we don’t hold back on telling potential customers how much our customer service is appreciated. We’re convinced that customer service is not a little bonus or a nice touch if possible? Don’t be fooled into that sort of thinking.

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by Martin Boyd

Gaps In Your Thinking?

With the workforce returning, the catering industry has naturally had to fill the gaps in their teams, to bring back colleagues and look for new staff. There are gaps - but let’s think about how some of these can be filled with some innovation...

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by Martin Boyd

Traditional Thanksgiving Meals – but is how they are ordered stuck in the past?

It may seem slightly jarring to bring ‘tech solutions’ into the conversation about traditional Thanksgiving meals, with family and friends eating together. However, it was moving away from the traditional into the innovative which brought a much welcomed silver lining at that stage...and 2021 will be no different.

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by Willie Biggart

4 (or is it 6?) Reasons Universities and Colleges are knocking on our door

Some silver linings are easier to pick out than others…the interest from catering teams in Universities and Colleges across UK, Ireland and USA is certainly one which stands out for us at the moment. It’s been incredibly encouraging for us all...but what has led them to our door?

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by Willie Biggart

Staffing Stress needs a Solution

The issue of staff shortages was something which had been raised as a concern during the Brexit debates. There seems no doubt that the reality of these concerns have now been exacerbated by the pandemic with reports of 9 out of 10 contract caterers facing shortages this year.

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by Martin Boyd

Name Dropping

Let me casually drop into conversation then, that in the last few months Spoonfed has seen the caterers in 3 of the World’s Top 10 universities* choosing to onboard our catering software system. A shocking piece of name dropping - or is it good news all round?

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by Martin Boyd

What’s next? Have your Cake and Eat it too?

In the last 18 months many caterers have taken hefty blows to their businesses. Many have only survived because they were able and willing to innovate in order to reach their (new?) customer base. But what is next? It’s great to see the excitement on social media as events start up again, staff come back from furlough and customers arrive to be wined and dined. Will your business go back to what it knew best? Why not have both? Having your cake and eating is possible - with the right tools!

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by Martin Boyd

People First

Now that there is a desire to see ‘our people’ back in the office, there is a drive to make sure this is viewed as a ‘People First’ initiative. Perhaps this explains why there has been a certain shift in responsibility when it comes to taking the lead in how hospitality and catering orders are ordered and processed in businesses. Whereas it was often the facilities manager who might drive this, this is now being championed by those concerned with ‘client experience’ in the workplace.

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by Willie Biggart

Are You Ready!

If I could give you the clearest of snapshots into the turbulent year Spoonfed has been through it would be summed up by comparing June 2020 with May 2021. Our implementation team is now powering through their busiest period to onboard these new clients. What happened?

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by Martin Boyd

Back to School!

Are there key factors to the catering managers choosing Spoonfed? Lots - too many to lay out here. Their environment is pressurised with high expectations to deliver an exceptional culinary experience and to do all that with small teams and inadequate systems full of unnecessary admin. The long and the short of it is they want life to be easier - for everyone!

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by Martin Boyd

Don't Face The Battles Alone

There are a number of areas where the Pandemic has accelerated change in society - digital solutions in hospitality is one such. In the midst of the real and substantial challenges being faced catering managers can find that the pressure is relieved when technology is allowed to speak into the areas of how staff time is used hour by hour.

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by Martin Boyd

Reopen Right - Webinar

In a recent Arena webinar there were no crystal balls to be seen...and no hand-wringing either. Just a really open and helpful conversation by sector leaders.

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by Willie Biggart

I Tip My Hat

In recent weeks we have engaged in a number of 1:1 meetings with users with the aim of sharing with them our current roadmap and to hear from them - we wanted to understand not only their ‘joys’ but also be aware of the things that frustrated them - we all need to be appraised and to listen carefully to our customers. And what a refreshing initiative it has been.

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by Martin Boyd

Confidence with Credibility

Smaller catering teams, menu management issues, continuation of Covid secure service, changed workforce deployment, increased individualism in ordering and an expectation of a first rate user experience - all of these have become pressure points in the last 12 months. And each could be reasons for nervousness, depression and even defeatism. But we began determined to be confident and we certainly can be. But it needs to be credible confidence, not just confident for the sake of it. And it can be, with the knowledge that reading the signs and onboarding the correct tools, restaurants and caterers can begin to thrive again.

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by Martin Boyd

Patience for Tomorrow's World

For those of a certain age, the phrase ‘Tomorrow’s World’ may conjure up a 1970s TV programme, showcasing the next ‘new thing’: Electric cars, Mobile Phones, Compact Discs, touchscreens, HD (but it

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by Willie Biggart

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and PREPARING

Maybe I've just always been a ‘cup half full’ person but working with a growing team and acting now to be ready for things growing again is where I want to be...what about you? We’re not pretending it isn’t hard, but we’re not giving in either and are keen to talk with those who aren't just wishing, hoping and thinking about better days but are preparing for them.

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by Martin Boyd

Flexing into a Brighter Future

Studies have shown that flexible working and the control and choice therein brings with it a wide range of positive health outcomes. Being able to add catering into this mix of control and choice is now in the hands of office managers for everyone’s benefit.

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by Willie Biggart

Times are a-Changin'

The times they are a-changin’!Bob Dylan’s iconic lyrics move effortlessly across the years. Perhaps there are just some moments in time more than others when Dylan’s lyrics just seem to cut through

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by Martin Boyd

Changing Landscape of Catering

A recent Spectator article referred to this future of the office as ‘a theatre of work, where you’ll be on the receiving end of a massive hit of social interaction and corporate effort to make the best of you’. Are we really going back to the same corporate catering experience as before? To wait and see may not be an option - the truth is that where there is flexibility to adapt there will be a pay off.

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by Martin Boyd

Did People Really Do That?

Someone once said the only lessons from history are that we don’t pay attention to the lessons from history. Well, maybe, but we can all do a simple thing like looking back and realising that we can do much better than before. By all means, give yourself a hard time for having been so slow to have seen what was staring you in the face for so long...and then move on, there’s work to be done…

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by Martin Boyd

Co-Working Communities are Hungry

We can have a think about why the word *‘community’* is often used in the context of coworking spaces, we can consider the ideology behind these spaces and we can look at the future flexibility for the workforce - but if someone doesn’t order lunch what’s the point anymore??

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by Martin Boyd

Who had the last laugh in 2020?

There’s not been much to smile about recently - even those whose businesses have been on the ‘winning side’ during the pandemic have done so in a climate of anxiety and uncertainty. What about the Hospitality sector? After the struggles of recent months do you think we will go back to our tried and trusted ways?

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by Martin Boyd

Tis the Season to be Vegan

For the caterer (especially in days of online ordering, but also looking ahead to things returning to face to face gatherings) making sure that your clientele know you take their vegan needs - temporary or otherwise - seriously is vital. The demand for vegan menu options means some caterers will be overlooked if they don’t step up properly.

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by Martin Boyd

2021 Vision?

2020 Vision or just 2020 Hindsight! What about 2021 Vision? What's your view of the months to come? Can you see something in your mind’s eye you want to bring to fruition. Do you have a view of what you believe can be achieved and have the imagination to set about working towards that goal. January is always a good time to take stock and to see how things can be improved

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by Martin Boyd

Bah Humbug?

This year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if many in the Hospitality sector said, ‘Bah Humbug’ to any who might begin to talk about green shoots or even profitability. Are they right?

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by Martin Boyd

Style and Substance

Spoonfed are delighted to add Freedom Pay to their range of payment gateway partners which customers can integrate with. Such a significant piece in the catering jigsaw.

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by Martin Boyd

What do you put up with? And Why?

Many businesses are time poor because what began as ‘put up with it just now’ became a ‘that’s just how we do it’, solidified into an accepted ‘process’.

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by Martin Boyd

Our Black Friday 'Foodie' Five

For this year’s Black Friday frenzy Spoonfed have saved you the trouble of scouring the web pages to get the best deals. Here are our top 5! Things you didn’t know you needed and items you could easily live without - we’ve found them!

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by Martin Boyd

Adding to the Team - Getting the Basics Right

Spoonfed are adding to their team - again! What’s behind this move in the middle of these difficult times for the Hospitality sector?

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by Martin Boyd

Be a Hospitality Hero

Many businesses are going to find themselves in a quandary this year? There’s no opportunity for their usual end of year party and all the treats that go with that. Boo!!However, a creative caterer

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by Martin Boyd

Solidarity. Empathy. Patience.

So many in the hospitality sector have needed a helping hand - they couldn’t stand up without depending on others in a whole host of different ways. Everyone will have their own story about contracts being re-worked, suppliers being understanding, customers being prepared to adapt. ‘Self sufficiency’ was not part of this story - solidarity, empathy and patience were the foundations for pushing through the challenges.

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by Martin Boyd

5 Alive and Kicking

Let's think about the current lay of the land. Here are the 5 things forward thinking Food Providers are finding as they seek to keep their operations alive and kicking.

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by Martin Boyd

Team Building

Don't look back in Anger - we could go over all the issues, hassles, false starts and misery of 2020 but we need to lift our heads and see what's possible. Spoonfed has strengthened its team in order to do just that. We are delighted to welcome John to the team.

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by Martin Boyd

No Mr Bond, I expect you to dine

Full marks if you noticed that this blog title was (almost) taken from the 1964 Bond movie, ‘Goldfinger’. I once visited a movie company whose catering manager promotes new menu items to celebrate

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by Martin Boyd

Diary of a Post-Furlougher

7.45am Life used to be simpler. Wallet – check. Mobile – check. Keys… ‘Who’s moved my ke.. got them - Bye!’. But not any longer. Now, I’ve got to remember ‘Mask’. That’s a 25% increase (or is it a 33.3%...never sure) in the list of things to get right in order to get my working day up and running. And getting back after being on furlough is hard enough. It’s a shock to the system y’know.

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by Martin Boyd

Are you Choosy?

Are you choosy?Maybe it depends on what we mean by ‘Choosy’? Are we talking just being sophisticatedly selective or are you just downright ‘persnickety’? (Apologies for the language).It’s not your

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by Willie Biggart

Daily Bread Delivered with a bit of help from Spoonfed!

Adapting post Covid-19 with SpoonfedPettigrew Bakeries is a new and truly independent bakery in the beautiful Victoria Park area of Cardiff. Their iconic shop front was known by locals for 83 years as

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by Willie Biggart

One way caterers can prepare for the UK's new immigration laws

The UK government has announced that so called “low-skilled” workers will not get visas from 2021 onwards, under post-Brexit immigration plans. Waiting tables and certain hospitality-related jobs will fall short of the ‘points-based’ requirements for skill level, so the industry can expect staff shortages

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by Alistair Coats

Shortlisted for a PEA and recent wins

We got some exciting news recently from The Caterer that Spoonfed has been shortlisted for a Product Excellence Award (PEA) in the technology category. The PEAs recognise excellence and innovation in food, drink and equipment products within the hospitality sector

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by Willie Biggart

Delivery rescues the dining sector

Recent UK dining industry data collected by Cardlytics has shown that spend on delivery rose by 19% in 2018, when the overall industry saw just a 3% increase. A close look at the figures reveals just how powerful food delivery can be

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by Alistair Coats

The Huge Impact of Data in Catering

A colleague has pointed out a mistake in the article I have had published in Sandwich & Food To Go News this month. In the third paragraph, concerning Brexit, I wrongly predicted that by the time the magazine was printed and sent out, some kind of progress would have been made

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by Alistair Coats

Spoonfed customers averaged 27% revenue growth in 2018

On average, caterers using Spoonfed in 2017 and 2018 saw their revenues grow by 27% last year. Another excellent 12 months of helping caterers scale their business and handle more orders with less

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by Willie Biggart

Keeping a calm kitchen through the political storm

The UK is split almost down the middle right now when it comes to Brexit. About half of us are watching in stunned silence as the mess continues to spread, while the other half are fed up with the whole thing

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by Alistair Coats

How caterers avoid waste by giving customers what they want

Food waste statistics never fail to amaze. Around one in every six meals ordered away from home is thrown away in the UK. The average person in the US generates about four pounds of waste every day.

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by Alistair Coats

Spoonfed users growing by 20% per annum

In the first half of 2018 average hospitality revenues for Spoonfed customers were 20% higher than in same period of 2017. Yet more evidence of the powerful impact that Spoonfed’s catering management system can have on corporate catering sales

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by Alistair Coats

Allergens and special requests - catering to the individual

Whether it’s as part of the latest dietary fad or the doctor’s orders, the number of people looking to avoid certain ingredients in their work lunch continues to rise rapidly. More than 50 million people in the US suffer from at least one food allergy

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by Alistair Coats

Social Enterprises and Spoonfed - the system for sustainable catering growth

Social Enterprises across the world are using Spoonfed software to manage corporate catering services and increase their revenues, helping them give more to good causes while employing people in need

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by Alistair Coats

2018 Catering challenges and the best way to meet them

Rising food costs, high business rates and wage increases are among the many threats to caterers in 2018. With economic and industry challenges piling up in 2018, it’s a good time to look at what caterers can do to not only survive, but thrive

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by Alistair Coats

Your app needs updating - Could the future be mobile websites?

A recent article on QSR magazine’s website weighed up apps against mobile websites and found in favour of apps. At Spoonfed we have put a lot of thought into the pros and cons of each option

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by Alistair Coats

Spoonfed caterers saw a 54% increase in their web order values in 2017

Caterers using Spoonfed to take orders online saw a huge 54% increase in revenues from online ordering in November 2017 compared to the previous year. If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution

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by Alistair Coats

Hard times ahead in catering

As we near the year’s end, unwelcome predictions about the state of the catering industry in 2018 make this a great time to ask... could your business be more efficient

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by Alistair Coats

Allergens - it’s time to get a good reaction from your customers

Allergens are becoming an increasingly important part of catering. Being able to show clearly which menus contain certain ingredients, and to guarantee that they won’t sneak into an order

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by Alistair Coats

Top 3 Tips for Independent Restaurants

It’s day one of Restaurant Tech Live, where we are exhibiting Spoonfed and seeing the latest ideas that will be shaping the future of the restaurant industry. Today, our co-founder and MD Willie Biggart spoke at RTL

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by Willie Biggart

Wake up to the revenues you’re missing

Britain’s coffee chains and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are eating into each other’s primary revenue streams, looking to reduce downtime while increasing profits. As the market for meeting room food grows

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by Alistair Coats

Spoonfeeder becomes a dad!

A quick update to say that I am a dad! My baby boy was born one month ago and mum, dad and baby Pete are all well. Well, mum and dad are pretty tired, and in our dozy confusion over the last few

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by Alistair Coats

Vivatech - Back to the Future

If you follow us on Twitter you might have seen that we recently went to Vivatech, the technology exhibition in Paris. It’s a great event that brings together innovative companies of all sorts

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by Willie Biggart

Catering with technology and competing for customers

There are a lot of unknowns right now in the catering industry. Economically and politically it’s hard to predict what the rest of 2017 will have in store, but a recent report from the British Hospitality Association sheds some light on the state of the industry

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by Alistair Coats

B2B and Faster Food

Standing in line at McDonalds last week, I was struck by how quickly things have changed in the QSR industry in a short time. McDonalds now offers table service for smartphone orders; large, touchscreen ordering screens; and they accept job applications by Snapchat

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by Willie Biggart

Cloud Technology Transforming Businesses

Daniel Newman of Broadsuite Media Group poses the question, “Is it time to stop talking about cloud technology and start talking cloud business?” He went further, “What are the problems that can be solved by the cloud? What’s the bottom-line impact

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by Willie Biggart

Spoonfed Double Nominee At This Year's Scottish Business Awards

On Friday we received some superb news; we have been nominated for two awards at the Scottish Business Awards, with this year’s event being hosted by none other than George Clooney!Spoonfed has been

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by Willie Biggart

The Rise and Rise of Vegetarian Restaurants

With the announcement that sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to open a pop-up vegetarian only restaurant in Soho next month, it has to be asked what will wash in next on the tide of vegetarian restaurants

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by Willie Biggart

Zalmi Duchman Article Shows Catering Tech Takeover

In a recent article for Forbes magazine, food and tech reporter Zalmi Duchman has shown us how in the world of corporate lunches, online ordering is overtaking the more traditional phone order

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