The Secret to Growing Restaurant Catering Sales

By Nick Tubis Chief Marketing Officer

Off-premise catering is a growing portion of restaurant sales, reflecting on the consumers’ desire to eat restaurant food outside the four walls. Quick Service and Fast Casual operators are tapping into this market that serve both consumer and business customers. Restaurant operators can increase their success – and average ticket size– by serving this market segment with an off-premise catering support center.

To successfully grow the catering segment, operators face challenges in staffing and training to provide a high level of service and product knowledge. Receiving and scheduling catering orders requires deep familiarity with each location’s menu, planning prep and production to ensure a great customer experience. Competing in the catering marketplace requires a strong commitment as catering orders can run into the tens of thousands of dollars for large corporate events.

Catering orders are complex and typically people schedule orders in advance, expecting strict pick up or delivery times driven by event schedules. Making the CEO’s luncheon late or forcing the event planner to find a back up breakfast can lead to upset customers and potentially ruining a long-term relationship with a large customer.

Phone Orders Rule

For catering and most to-go orders, phone calls are still the favored channel. According to a CEO of a fast growing casual dining chain, people make phone orders for catering and to-go orders four times as often as ordering online.

While online ordering has it place, it does not have the depth and flexibility to up-sell and create customized packages. To make catering a successful channel, it requires a seamless integration into POS and KDS systems. We have built out several integrations to streamline order taking and maximize order accuracy.

Training For Success

Our catering solution eliminates the need for you to hire catering employees internally and can allow your on-premise employees to focus on providing a great guest experience to your customers inside your restaurant. Catering orders require an empathetic phone presence and can require a negotiating of price, or value delivered at a give price. To ensure world-class service, we provide a portal for our clients to hear the quality of our reps and give them a way to rank each call from 1- 5 stars, similar to how you rank an Uber driver.

We build out teams of trained reps that have restaurant experience and are ready to handle a catering order as soon as the phone rings. The success of a big order doesn’t depend on the experience level of whoever happens to answer the phone. We eliminate full-time labor costs and streamline your order taking to provide a better guest experience.

Our solution is more cost effective than hiring internally because it’s purely on-demand based so pay only per transaction time. Through our strategic up-selling techniques, we have consistently increased the average order size by over 15% on average.

Get started with a 30-day risk free trial so that you can test the system and measure the potential cost savings and increase in order size. Contact me at nick.tubis@tsdglobal.com to learn more

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