Have Your Corporate Food Service and Your Corporate Catering Too
There are many ways to boost employee satisfaction and enhance professional relationships with business partners and customers. Corporate catering is one. A growing number of our business customers use it to achieve goals, such as:
- Building loyalty—A professionally catered dinner or luncheon is a public way to show employees, clients or business partners you appreciate their commitment and contributions.
- Building productivity—Providing opportunities for co-workers and business associates to socialize over a meal can lead to more productive, professional relationships.
- Building morale—Employees that are satisfied and feel valued are more likely to work harder and stay with your company longer.
- Building a professional brand—A seamlessly orchestrated, catered banquet with exceptional service and upscale cuisine highlights your professionalism and commitment to excellence.
With all these benefits, it’s not surprising that corporate catering is the biggest area of growth for catering companies surveyed in a 2015 International Caterers Association report.
Eighty percent saw an uptick in business in 2015, and expect the trend to continue this year. A corporate food services company with a full service onsite corporate catering operation, we’ve seen a similar trend at Café Services.
Unlike most in our industry, Café Services offers corporate catering as part of a complete food services program that includes café management, daily breakfast and lunch, and employee wellness support — among other value-added services.
Derek Ryan, general manager at Café 930, a Café Services café in Waltham, Massachusetts, estimates he spends 35-40 percent of his time on corporate catering activities such as custom menu development, purchasing, food prep and staffing.
Ryan has the benefit of working with a full team of hospitality and culinary professionals. Most are on staff — which gives his team the resources and flexibility to cater everything from a 3-person office meeting with sandwiches to a 500-person holiday buffet.
Ryan’s team also has the capabilities to stage upscale plated dinners on a par with what you’d find at a high-end city restaurant.
Having reliable access to an experienced talent pool gives onsite corporate caterers a substantial advantage over offsite catering companies that rely heavily on temporary help. Lack of staff coverage is never a problem. Ryan believes it also shows in the composure and confidence of the service professionals.
“Café Services attracts some remarkably experienced and talented people from the restaurant and catering world who want a more balanced life,” says Ryan. “Even the best and most dedicated get burned out working all the high profile, late night and weekend events. There’s more flexibility in our environment. The catering world’s loss is our customers’ gain.”
Corporate Food Service Partnerships Make A Difference
Logistics and customer satisfaction aren’t the only aspects of corporate catering where a full service food service provider excels. Compared to single-service corporate catering companies, an onsite provider delivers:
- Better food quality — The shorter the distance food travels, the fresher it tastes. Food always looks and tastes better when it’s prepared onsite and hasn’t been sitting for hours in a hotbox.
- Lower costs — There are no delivery fees when your caterer is onsite. When your caterer is also your food service provider, you’re more likely to benefit from volume pricing and the availability of tables, seating and linens —which saves on rentals.
- Service on demand — With an in-house caterer, you don’t have to drop everything to accommodate your CEO’s last-minute request for a lunch meeting with the c-suite. A full-service provider will have the food and equipment available to prepare a menu on short notice.
Choosing A Corporate Catering Provider
Depending on the provider, there are other advantages to using your corporate food service provider for corporate catering.
At Café Services, for example, we’re known for our focus on supporting customers’ employee health and wellness initiatives by offering tasteful, healthy food choices — including in our corporate catering menus. Through partnerships with local farms and food suppliers, we’re also able to meet customers’ preferences for using local ingredients whenever possible.
When evaluating corporate food service companies for your corporate catering needs, it’s important to choose a provider whose offerings align with your culture and business goals.