Are you opening your own company and do not know how to get the most out of the business without making extra effort? Or are you already the owner of a company who thinks he has used all promotion strategies available? We offer an unusual way to bring a corporation to a new level – attracting a catering partner to work with. What is that, how does catering help businesses and whether to resort to its help – you can find the answers below.
Catering in a few words
What is catering can be easily answered with any general dictionary. The simplest meaning of the word is delivery of provisions. It is right, the original mission of catering is to prepare food and drinks of a customer’s choice and deliver them to a designated address.
But things have changed these days. Now catering enterprises position themselves as full-service event organizers. And quite often various businesses become their clients. In many cases such cooperation becomes a long-term one. Consequently, catering companies are no longer perceived as a service company, but rather as full partners.
Catering is a great replacement for a restaurant. Its distinguishing features are:
- creative task fulfillment;
- creative task fulfillment;
- flexible pricing policy.
Really, why go to a restaurant when it can come to you? Here are catering forms that are essential in business:
- Coffee break.
- Business lunch.
- Cocktail party.
- Standing buffet.
- Gala dinner.
Events differ in a number of people present, the way they are organized, and a format. But is it so important to organize them through catering companies only?
Catering will help you
Why is catering needed for businesses? For the same reason as any other partners are – for development of a company and increase of its profits. Do not underestimate the importance of catering, and do not view the company that does it as a simple “food supplier.” A lot can be done with catering: you can unite your team, increase the level of employees’ satisfaction with your corporation, ensure the loyalty of partners, or attract new customers. The main thing is to determine the objective, and catering will help you to achieve it!
Food is the most powerful and often underestimated tool for team management. If you organize your employees’ meals properly, you can:
- eliminate the possibility of their being late, because employees don’t have to leave the building to eat elsewhere anymore;
- ensure the loyalty of the staff, who will see the employer’s care. Especially if the employer covers partially or in full the cost of the lunches;
- unite the team – meetings in an informal setting promote communication relationship development.
It has been proven that a loyal to the management and close-knit team increases its efficiency many times. As a result – a fast business processes optimization of the enterprise and increase in profit. According to research conducted by the Gallup Institute of Public Opinion, the difference in the performance indicators of organizations with high and low employee engagement has reached 21%. This also affects the total income of a business. Corporations with a high level of in-house personnel satisfaction have increased their net profit within an industry by 6% per year. While companies with low levels of satisfaction lagged behind by 9%. But how does catering help the business, if a typical indoor cafeteria can handle all the cooking?
The key point is that you will have to invest a lot of money to establish your own cafeteria in the company. The Pirelli company estimated that more than $13,000 would be needed to only open it. But there are still wages to be paid to the service staff, constant purchase of products… There is no end to emerging items of expenditure. And no team loyalty will compensate for such costs.
Services from a catering company will cost times cheaper. And the menus are usually more varied than those of stationary food outlets.
From catering to team building
Staff motivation should not be limited to organization of corporate catering only. Team building through corporate events is widely used as a method of ensuring loyalty. Many business people have become convinced of its effectiveness. Yelena Nogotkova, head of the Svyaznoy company group’s public relations department:
We, as top managers, are sure that the success of doing business does not solely depend on how the employees work, but also on how well they rest. The staff of Svyaznoy consists of energetic young people. They have different interests and a lot of hobbies. For that reason, we do not limit corporate culture to banquets on official holidays, but organize other events on other occasions.
Business catering is indispensable when implementing a team-building strategy. It will completely take over the organization of the event, which means the managers will not have to get distracted from their main duties. All they need to do is to agree on the scope of work. And the catering partner will not only provide the necessary dishes, but also decorate the hall and, if necessary, arrange a real show.
Successful negotiations these days are a guarantee of future profits. And the positive impact of eating while discussing business issues is a proven fact. That has been confirmed in a study by Dr. Andrea Sullivan, a psychologist and the president of Brain Strength Systems Corporation.
That’s why meetings with partners should be “diluted.” The ideal option would be a business lunch, or a coffee break at the least. And that is where you’ll need a catering company to help you.
Vitaly Meshcheryakov, a managing partner of Ad Gustum Catering, said:
The main thing when holding meetings at any level is a creative approach and quality.
And he’s absolutely right. The impressions of food and service will definitely influence the mood of the conversation partner and encourage him or her to make the decision necessary for the organizer of the lunch.
Everyone will know about you
Business simply cannot exist without advertising. But if your advertising is not different from marketing moves of competitors, it is nothing less but your suicide. Catering is truly a gold mine for advertising. Partners specializing in organizing banquets and standing buffets will help pave the way to your clients literally “through their stomachs.” But few understand that.
Catering partners are especially indispensable for those companies whose business area is connected with direct food production. An excellent advertising move is to organize an exhibition, and to arrange a standing buffet in the course of it. And to prepare all dishes served to the guests from the products manufactured by the organizer of the exhibition. This will certainly convince visitors of the quality of the products offered. The main thing is not to forget to inform the guests that the products of the advertised brand were used in preparation of the snacks.
And what if a company is not engaged in manufacturing of food products, should it mean then that there is no need for any catering? It’s a fundamentally wrong point of view! Remember that off-premise catering includes something more than a possibility of preparing dishes from their standard menu, which is not different from what a regular restaurant does. This is primarily an original cuisine, which is based on the wishes and needs of a client. And if a customer wants to turn an ordinary banquet into an advertising campaign, Food Marketing can be easily organized with the help of a catering partner.
The essence of Food Marketing is creation of advertising images and art objects from food, in other words it is a presentation of the company or its products by means of Food graphics or Food design.
Here is a simple example: a cake made in the form of a corporate logo will surely be more memorable than a standard one. And this is just one of many ideas to promote a business through Food Marketing your catering partner can help you to implement.
The latter’s participation is especially important, as Olesya Mukhametova, the founder of the Russian catering company FoodArtProduction, says:
Everything about food design is really very complicated projects, but they are the future.
A businessman will not be able to make such a difficult marketing move on his own. Cooperation with a catering company is the only possible way to turn an ordinary banquet into a well-thought-out advertising campaign.
Another popular marketing move is an invitation to a standing buffet or a food function rather than to an exhibition or a presentation. A proven fact: people are really more willing to go to places where they’re fed. It is possible to combine something pleasant for the guests – like a standing buffet, with something that benefits the company – an advertising campaign. And a catering partner will assist you with that.
The advertising becomes unobtrusive if you invite visitors to a standing buffet rather than to an exhibition. At the same time, such an event increases brand awareness and helps to introduce products to potential consumers and win them over.
The presented strategies are the minimum of advertising campaigns that can be organized with the help of a catering partner. But you need to cooperate with an experienced and reliable company to make it work.
Choosing catering as a business task
What to pay attention to when selecting a catering partner? Each of the companies using catering services has its own approach. For example, Olesya Andreyevskaya, an event organization manager at Mary Kay Corporation, recommends:
Three things must be taken into account when selecting a catering service:
Creative approach to fulfilling a task set by a client.
The balance of the declared price and the quality of services.
And Kirill Pogodin, a CateringConsulting project manager, stresses the importance of having an accreditation:
An outside expert’s evaluation tells a lot more about a company than its manager or director.
It is also worth developing a business plan for catering in advance. It will help you decide which segment company is more profitable to cooperate with – economy, medium, or premium.
A great way to find a partner is to hold a tender for catering services. For this purpose, Internet sites that conduct tenders in various areas will be of use. But it is better to create a tender on specialized portals that address the needs of that sector exclusively. Owners of the latter type of websites are more careful in issuing permits to companies that become listed for bidding. They conduct accreditation, maintain customer feedback that helps to identify unreliable companies. Consequently, the chance of finding a good catering partner for your business increases.
Types of cooperation: consistency or diversity?
According to statistics collected by the “Life and Taste” catering company in its five years of operation, 80% of first-time customers become loyal ones. And this is for a reason because there are a number of advantages to long-term cooperation:
- a catering partner knows exactly what a certain customer’s preferences are;
- discount offers and bonuses are available to regular customers;
- time saving, because the customer does not need to hold a new tender every time and look for the right company.
Therefore, if a found provider has shown itself very well, there is no need to look for a replacement. Long-term cooperation is a guarantee that an event planned by a customer will be successful.
Business with or without catering?
It’s up to you only. But the prospects for the “business + catering” symbiosis are numerous. Such a partner is indispensable when conducting advertising campaigns; with its help you can achieve the loyalty of customers and employees. It will help those who have just come across the concept of catering and are deciding where to start their business. It will also be helpful to those who have already exhausted their ideas on how to increase profits without expansion of production or increase of their capacity.
Just see for yourself. After all, it’s better to try something today than to regret missed opportunities tomorrow!