Managing a catering business has evolved over the years. Not too long ago, it was a matter of buying ingredients from your supplier, like tomatoes and onions, cooking food from scratch, and delivering trays of food. As time went on, things got complicated. As people use mobile phones more and more for everything in their lives, that behavioral shift changes how people “dine out” and order catering. Today, a different scene is playing out for caterers.
The sheer nightmare of demands on today’s caterers is not something that operators of yore would have imagined. These days caterers are expected to build a website, integrate expensive technology and delivery apps into their operations, be more like the giant Amazon, bring in salespeople and marketers to lasso new customers, and get over the head-trip of having to grow business beyond their restaurants’ physical walls. A majority of caterers would rather be focused on prepping ingredients in the kitchen. What’s an exhausted caterer to do?
ezCater is now simplifying the demands of running a catering operation with two new products, ezManage and ezOrdering, forming a suite of software and services that will allow operators to storm into and thrive in the crowded, cutthroat space of catering. The ezCater suite integrates the ezCater Marketplace, the company’s long-standing nationwide catering marketplace, ezManage, a no-cost catering management platform, and ezOrdering, a low-cost service that allows restaurants to accept online catering orders on their own websites. Inherent in ezCater’s product suite is a solution that addresses the full lifecycle of fulfilling catering orders, from reaching customers to gathering post-order feedback and insights.
They may not do it consciously, but a number of caterers still admittedly lean on old systems—ledgers or busy Excel sheets—to track sales and keep notes about their customers. But ezCater is offering a catering management platform that provides sophisticated records and data. The platform offers an easy-access overview of sales, accounting, scheduling, and catering orders in one location. Called “ezManage” the platform is robust enough to handle volume and simple enough for even those made uneasy by the thought of using technology.
At the most basic level, ezManage is used to manage catering orders. But the platform has a number of sophisticated features that caterers have long dreamed of obtaining. ezManage delivers real-time reports on sales and performance. It allows businesses to share their menus on social media and track orders funneled from social-media posts, giving caterers the ability to identify their best marketing channels.
ezCater’s second product, ezOrdering, enables caterers to fulfill online catering orders on their own websites. The product directs catering traffic to a digital menu and shopping cart to complete the checkout process. The technology built around the “ordering” is invisible—it’s tucked out of sight, and the guest-facing side of the website is scrubbed clean of ezCater branding, so that customers only experience an elevated shopping experience—catering, easy and fast. Additionally, all customer profiles, sales reports, and other data obtained from those transactions, are funneled back to the operator’s ezManage portal. Caterers pay no set-up or maintenance fees for ezOrdering, and transaction fees are considerably lower than those of the ezCater marketplace.
An enduring hurdle of many caterers is the nightmare of unlocking Big Data. Another is marketing (hiring big groups of marketers to trumpet a song for business is not cheap, nor is it easy). A third is technology, expensive for most operators. These issues are just some of the headaches troubling caterers, who are beginning to find that the economics of making their businesses work, in these times, is far from easy. Now ezCater is offering caterers a robust product suite to guide their business expansion with easy solutions.
With ezCater’s new products, the life of a caterer can be different, and less stressful. Just as the Excel workbook, in replacing the ledger, made it easier to track food sales, ezCater can become a tool to brace catering operations, making it easy, peasy.
Want easy, peasy solutions for your catering business?