Why a Skeptic of Catering Frozen Treats Changed His Mind: A Video with Orange Leaf’s Kendall Ware
- 3 Min Read
At ezCater, we’re dedicated to helping restaurants grow a successful catering business. That’s why we’re excited to share this video series featuring insights and lessons from industry experts behind thriving catering programs.
At the end of the day, catering customers want the ability to order any food they crave, be it box lunches for meetings or ice cream sandwiches for workplace celebrations. What this means for restaurants is that the $61.5 billion catering market offers growth opportunities beyond the traditional lunch and dinner dayparts. In fact, treat brands like frozen yogurt company Orange Leaf are finding that catering is a great way to increase profits and reach new customers. So we asked Kendall Ware, President and Chief Operating Officer of Orange Leaf, to share his advice on how treat brands can take advantage of the catering market.
In this video, we’ll show you ways to expand your brand presence and grow your business with catering. Watch our video with Kendall and learn how your treat business can benefit from the catering opportunity.
Kendall Ware is President and Chief Operating Officer of Orange Leaf, where he oversees strategic development, operational execution, and brand growth. He has over a decade of franchise leadership experience and formerly served as Director of Training and Development for Cicis (formerly CiCi’s Pizza).
Learn how ezCater can help you grow your catering business.
ezCater: How can off-premises business help brands in the treat category?
Kendall Ware: It provides the avenue to finally start to bring your product to guests who may not be aware of you and/or don’t have the access to a location nearby. And so especially for us being a frozen treat product, people don’t necessarily think about a product like that for catering or for something to be brought to them. And so for us, it’s really opened up that door to finally start to communicate to other guests that we may not have had access to in the past.
ezCater: How has off-premises business helped your sales?
Kendall Ware: It’s definitely opened up the other revenue channels. For so long, we focused solely on the in-store operations and as things evolved, we noticed that times have changed, and there are so many people involved with mobile delivery and/or the catering aspect that we had to get on board with that. And again, it didn’t make much sense if you really thought about it for a frozen treat product because of what happens to it from point A to point B. We focus so much on providing memorable treat experiences in-store that that was always the priority. So now we had to figure out a way to maintain that same experience as it gets delivered. But I was shocked. Within just a couple of weeks of launching services like this, sales have started to climb and started to grow and grow and grow and the next thing you know, we had many locations jumping on it and then we made it a system-wide mandate because of the value that it was providing.
ezCater: How do you decide if catering is right for a brand that sells treats?
Kendall Ware: Catering is the right thing to do because guests are demanding it. Guests are expecting any product from any brand to be delivered to them and/or brought to them by somebody somehow.
ezCater: How can catering expand your brand presence?
Kendall Ware: We perceive catering as a marketing platform as well. By being available on the catering platform and just having that exposure, that really starts to bring more people in regardless. But by having people coming in the door and getting exposed to the products we have available and also knowing you do cater, that really creates more traffic and more visibility for your brand. And also knowing that for most treat brands, there is a daypart challenge. And so catering opens up that door to balance out dayparts but so do other products that could be ordered and/or delivered to anybody at any time of the day.
ezCater: What advice do you have for operators who just started catering?
Kendall Ware: As a leader, you have to start thinking about what’s next. You have to always be thinking ahead. So what’s going to happen next year, in two years, three years, five years, etc.? You have to know how the business is evolving. You have to understand what guests truly want. I was the first one to be against catering and against mobile delivery when it came to frozen treats because it did not make sense to me. And I was proven wrong very quickly. Now I am a huge promoter for it and I think it is the next avenue of revenue for any treat brand. And a lot of emphasis and investment is going to have to take place in order to keep evolving and growing our businesses.