Should you centralize your food spending? It’s a good question, and one you should consider for your organization. Here is a list of the benefits of centralization, and some things to consider when creating a plan to see if this will create efficiencies for your business.
Benefits of Food Spending Centralization
Food spending remains one of the most difficult expenses to manage. Your spend is likely spread across multiple employees and teams. And it becomes especially challenging if your company has multiple locations. In order to keep things organized, try centralizing the process to one individual. This person (or person per location) handles all food orders and spending. This can potentially give you regional flexibility with the opportunity to better control and reduce your expenses.
Increased compliance is another benefit of a centralized food spend. As BusinessFinancemag.com notes, having a centralized management of food spend helps with consistency. If only one person has to understand compliance measures, versus several people across teams, it becomes a lot easier to enforce your policies. Plus monitoring and matching reported expenses to actual expenses becomes a lot easier, since everything should be in one place.
Food Spending Centralization in Action
When you decide to make the shift to centralized food spending, there are some things to consider. You may need to hire someone new to handle this position. Or, you may need to add this task, along with the related oversight, to an existing team member’s job description. Here are a few things to consider to make the transition easy and effective:
- Developing a Process: Centralizing food spending without developing a process will hurt more than help. Create a process both for those who want to request food orders and the actual ordering. Make sure you develop helpful forms with all pertinent information, like the number of attendees, date, type of event, and location. And don’t forget to establish and enforce a deadline for order requests.
- Maintaining Control: Oversight is still necessary after centralizing, so make sure you have a technology solution that allows for in-depth reporting and analytics so that you can monitor both for ROI and compliance.
- Having a Backup Plan: What if the person you’ve put in charge of your food spend is on vacation, or is suddenly out of the office? Your food spending can’t just grind to a halt while you wait for them to return. Make sure you have a backup plan so the orders can still be submitted even during an absence.
- Setting Parameters for Food Orders: Having a centralized food spending process doesn’t mean you don’t need to establish parameters for expenses. Let everyone know the relevant price per head, caps for events, and tipping limits. This will reduce the back and forth about any one particular order.
Is centralizing your food spending right for your organization? The benefits are there, but it’s worth considering how it could maximize efficiency and savings for you. To see how ezCater can help, click here.