Pre-Game: State of the Industry
Reflecting on the Present and the Future
The catering industry has proven that new-age approaches hold much of the responsibility for the massive growth we've seen in recent years. Corporate catering makes up 33 percent of that massive growth, averaging over 22 billion dollars a year. With the creation of new forms of marketing and the expansion of social media, industry revenue has spiked. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube have changed the game completely, and if you can't keep up, you will most certainly drown in this business. Your social media pages should be present and active, creating brand awareness and loyalty...and whatever you do, never ignore your followers! If they reach out to you by way of asking a question, commenting or liking a picture, etc. engage them. If you don't, you will surely lose followers, many of whom are clients.
In many cases, Millennials are at the helm, and in addition to already knowing all this social media stuff, they are also hard at work introducing new menu items, ensuring that pricing policies are appropriate, providing a more extensive range of services to satisfy the increasing requirements of today's client, accessing niche markets, coming up with edgy new concepts, and reaching those diverse markets that have been off the map for far too many years.
The corporate drop-off catering industry is a labor-intensive market where timing and logistical planning can (and will) be the difference between a client choosing you or deciding to go with another caterer. Since we are preparing food off-site and delivering to a location off premises, timing is everything. In fact late deliveries will most likely be a deal-breaker.
In a recent survey of 1000 corporate clients, when asked what they think the most important thing is in a caterer, given the options;
a) taste of food
c) on-time delivery
...Overwhelmingly c) on-time delivery was THE most important with
- d) presentation coming in 2nd, followed by a) taste of food and b) price.
This information gives us a good idea of where to steer the ship, so there’s absolutely no reason to fall short in this area; be on time and thrive or be late and struggle to survive.