You can do more!
Whether it is for those who have to regularly place orders for hospitality, or those managing budgets wanting control on the who, what, why and how much did it cost?…or if it is the kitchen team processing the orders, Spoonfed is inviting each of them to see that there is a world of solutions at hand. And you can do more! You might say, that owning a Rolls Royce would let you sit in a comfy seat and listen to the radio…well yes, but here there is far more available to you.
Bad News? - deal with it!
Things are getting better across the Catering and Restaurant sector - there is steady return to work for many and that will increase. As we have monitored Spoonfed users over the last year we can see that their order numbers are increasing However it’s not all good news - the cost of food is soaring, staff costs are rising and customers are still watching their spend too. And even the return of the caterer's customer base to the workplace is tempered by hybrid working patterns. It's now as important as ever for catering managers to watch the margins...
Canine or ‘Can do’ Customers
How can you make sure your customers are more like cats than dogs?...Spoonfed may have a whole raft of modules for the catering team to manage every aspect of each order - It’s comprehensive! However, it is vital that all of this is fronted with a best-in-class, customer ordering experience.
Spoonfed Wins Tenders to Support Education Sector
Spoonfed cements a year of growth in the Education sector with preferred supplier awards from APUC and Holroyd Howe. Willie Biggart, EVP commented, “We were delighted to be successful in the APUC tender - it’s testimony to the efforts of the development team over the last couple of years continually introducing new features and business use cases to this sector.” These developments have seen Spoonfed secure a number of Universities and Colleges accounts across the UK and US - some independent operations and many with the largest global contract caterers.
Can Caterers be Confident?
Being confident in things is hardly in vogue at the moment. Too many cul-de-sacs. Too many uncertainties across too many areas of life. However, for catering businesses this is a time to be on the front foot – with the right tools the uncertainties can be managed – tech solutions aren’t magic wands making difficult times disappear - but they give catering teams the ability to work through the real issues being faced:
Lack of Time...killing recovery and resilience!
A recent independent survey of 250 head chefs, general and operations managers in contract catering, has looked at the key challenges impacting their operations - what role does technology have as they seek operational resilience and the ability to recover post Covid? Here is sum which catering managers are doing in their heads each day: What does Lack of Time + Incohesive Teams = ??
Because you're worth it!!
When managing complex catering orders with manual processes it can seem like a dream come true to discover a system which is comprehensive and thorough in the job it does. But is it worth it? Why spend on these solutions – after all, ordering via spreadsheets, emails and phone calls all come for free? Don't they…?
Hybrid doesn’t need to be Hell for Hospitality?
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield thinks hybrid work might just win after all, but commented, “we have 10 percent of the tools we need" when discussing what will be required in the post-pandemic workplace. ‘10% of the tools we need’?! Is this true for catering managers?
Watching the Margins
As the pandemic upset subsides and things become more encouraging there is no doubt that it's still not plain sailing in the Catering world - the cost of food is soaring, staff costs are rising - it's now as important as ever to watch the margins – do you have the tools to do that?
Group Ordering - increasingly popular! Who with and why?
The pandemic Cloud has lifted but the silver lining of the Group Ordering software enhanced remains. It’s all about me! - getting it right for individuals every time and making life easier for those organising catering orders…increase the scores on the feedback. Waste not, want not! - responsible and sensible business practices…increase the revenue! Group Ordering is covering a lot of bases
3 Reasons Why Now Is The Time for Universities & Colleges
Let's cut to the chase - we think the complex catering requirements at Universities and Colleges require specialist software solutions…There has never been a better time to consider what Spoonfed can
Blaming Others or Better Solutions
The continuing story of labour shortages continues to make the headlines with the UK Government receiving criticism for failing to see the shortages in the food and farming sector. Easy targets! Like a lot of things in life there is a danger that we do a lot of hand wringing and finger pointing but fail to step up and make changes to improve the situation.
Digital has become the Default
3 Key Points from recent Catering Research. Katy Moses, Founder and MD of KAM presented some up to the minute industry research at Arena’s recent Face2Face event in London Its results certainly chimed with what we have been hearing on the grapevine (and reacting to!) over the last few months...
‘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?
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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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
Plug and Play??
The ‘just get it out of the box and plug and play’ sales chat just isn’t in the real world. That you can have something complex with virtually no relationship, set-up or hand holding. Well, I’m just not buying it, and IT directors and catering managers shouldn’t either.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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??
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?
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.
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
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?
Picking a Favorite
Which is your favorite? If this is a question about a holiday destination, or an ice cream flavour, you’ll happily get involved. However, if it’s about your kids the question is best avoided - especially if it’s being asked by one of them! With so many options now online in the marketplace how can your business be the ‘golden child’ and avoid being the overlooked, ‘demanding’, ‘tricky’ one?
Money Rich - Time Poor
It was Rob Parsons who used the phrase ‘Don’t settle for being money rich – time poor’ What is striking is that having a moment to stop and reflect on things this year is allowing people to consider how they can stop throwing their time down the drain. Many businesses are time poor because what begun as a ‘put up with it’ became a ‘that’s just how we do it’ solidified into an accepted ‘process’.
"It’s all about Me"
2020 has been the year of Zoom and Team meetings and across the globe we have heard this year’s most used phrase: ‘estas en silencio’, ‘ти німий’ and of course ‘tu es muet’. What else have these virtual meetings taught us about ourselves and how we might view catering in the future?
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!
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?
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
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.
Contactless or Uncontactable
I still smile at the old adage – ‘What’s the difference between Knowledge and Wisdom? Knowledge is understanding a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad’. Try this one: ‘What’s
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.
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.
New Traditions for Thanksgiving
Did you know that more and more families now order in their Thanksgiving meal – about 25%. If the new tradition is for people to use restaurants and caterers to help them with their Thanksgiving meal it makes sense for catering managers to have a new tradition too. It’s time to make sure that your customers can find your menus online and be able to plan their meals.
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
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
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
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
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
'Work smarter, not harder' says CEO of Institute of Hospitality
We recently read a great article on The Caterer website, written by Peter Ducker, Chief Executive at the Institute of Hospitality. The article details the importance of businesses ‘working smarter, not harder’
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
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
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