Now that brands have finally caught wind to how large the restaurant catering opportunity is, several industry suppliers have stepped up and in to ensure sales success. These suppliers will be on hand to address their services, and the ways they can help restaurant catering sales, at the 2016 Restaurant Catering Leadership Workshop, March 9-10 in New Orleans.
Here’s a look at each:
- Founded: 2005
- CEO: David Sawicki
- Headquartered: Portland, Maine
- Primary Service: Centralized call center services
- How long have you been working in the call center industry? For 25 years
What is your view of restaurant catering and the off-premise space? We’ve been involved in that space since late 2011 and I think it’s a wonderful development for restaurants that have several chains and locations. It’s a much better guest experience both for people calling in orders and for people at the restaurant location. The servers don’t have their attention divided between people calling and those in the store. From the call center perspective, our advisors have the focus to be able to have a consultative conversation with each guest to help them order the right meal. It’s a good way to divide and conquer phone orders and inside orders.
How does Voice Teleservices solve for some of the challenges restaurant catering executives have today? We provide focus and specialization. If you route orders through the restaurant location, the person handling those orders may be out sick that day or covering for someone else. We give operators confidence that those high-value catering orders get first priority. We also produce the most value for the guest and restaurant operator by being allowed to focus on engaging with that catering guest and giving them the full attention they deserve. When people call us, they look at us as the voice of someone else’s brand. We take that very seriously and hold ourselves to very high standards.
- Founded: 80+ years ago
- CEO: Matt Cook
- Headquartered: Cicero, Ill.
- Primary Service: Food service packaging innovations
How do you view the opportunity of restaurant catering? We view it as a huge growth opportunity and what we’ve seen over the last several years is that our customers have become more thoughtful about how they execute catering. They look at it as an opportunity to expand their brand and business. How they deliver operationally can be challenging, but chains are recognizing the importance of improving that service because it’s important to them. They are looking at how the package is used on the prep side of things, ease of assembly, the presentation of the brand on the package, how it transports, and then how it presents once it gets to the event. These are all becoming much more important to both leaders in catering and those who are looking at it as an opportunity for growth.
How has your company invested in restaurant catering and why? One of the reasons why we’ve focused so much on the catering segment is because it makes so much sense to what we do every day. Our packaging makes sense to the catering business and we’re aligning with the catering business because it’s an area where we can make the most impact. So, we’ve developed a sales and support organization around truly understanding the needs of people who are in catering. We want to be able to solve problems before operators even realize they have problems.
What role do you think packaging plays in regard to building restaurant catering sales? It of course plays a significant role and because of the fact packaging is an extension of the food. It’s not a take-out package; it’s not something you put your leftovers in to bring home. Some people have that mentality and it’s a mistake. You have to really understand what the needs are. Are there grease considerations? How long will transport be? Is there a green message or an environmental message. Packaging can have an element of social responsibility to it. It’s critical operators make sure they do things thoughtfully and correctly and packaging is an important part of that process.
* Questions answered by Bob Pasquella, national sales executive, and Dorothy Heckle, senior marketing manager
- Founded: 2000
- CEO: Rich Stanbaugh
- Headquartered: Southfield, MI
- Primary Service: Managed Security and Compliance Solutions
How do you view the restaurant catering space? We see restaurant catering as a growth opportunity for the restaurant community creating the 13th month of revenue while maximizing the organizations fixed costs. The growth opportunity also presents risks to restaurant owners that do not integrate the catering operations into the core business processes.
What steps has ANX taken to help the restaurant catering space and why? ANX works with restaurants to deliver the right combination of people, process and technology to minimize the data compromise risk associated with catering-base revenue. Due to the unique process associated with the fulfillment of catering orders, restaurants need trained resources following custom business processes to adequately protect the “card not present” catering transactions.
*Cover photo courtesy of LBP Manufacturing