When it comes to generating leads, do you consider yourself to be a farmer or a hunter? It actually pays to be a bit of both!
While overall catering orders for business and medical offices have slipped during the economic downturn, breakfast and dinner catering usage has actually increased, according to a recently-updated study by Technomic. One in five surveyed business and medical users ordered breakfast catering at least once a week and 26% ordered catered-in dinners at work at least monthly. More catered breakfast and dinner occasions mean new opportunities for some restaurant chains to step into office and medical catering.
Restaurants have long offered take-out service. And consumers have made that option popular as they have sought ways to keep down their restaurant tabs during the recession. As the economy recovers, more restaurants are looking for new revenue streams. Many quick-serve and fast-casual operators are exploring catering and tweaking their marketing campaigns to reach a new segment of the population looking for the next level of convenience in food service.
After experiencing declines during the recession, the catering foodservice industry is poised for growth due to aggressive expansion into the catering space by limited–service establishments, the return of business event–driven spending, higher wedding spending, and a moderately healthier consumer, according to "Catering Trends in U.S. Foodservice," by market research publisher Packaged Facts. Sales are expected to increase 9% and 7% in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Limited–service establishments are expected to lead catering sales growth through 2012 due to the segment’s ability to leverage moderate menu pricing structures, provide portable fare, and offer in-house operations capabilities. Recovery will also spur consumers to entertain with more catered affairs. Meanwhile, consumers seeking healthier options have caused a significant change in catering, offering an advantage to companies that highlight the health benefits of their products.