With the American social and economic recovery soaring to new heights, the people crave culture, community, and companionship. Sharing a delicious meal with friends and family delivers on all fronts.
This spells good news for the catering industry as there’s a steady demand for their services as the year ends. People seem to be making up for the lost time on the social front, unfazed by rising fuel, food, and labor costs.
While the catering industry is on the mend, it’s essential that you ready and steady your business for the coming year. Pundits predict a surging demand in consumption in 2022 but also shrinking corporate pool as most people work from home.
Here are some bulletproof ways to streamline operations in a catering business to cope with changing market dynamics.
Automate, Automate, Automate
The need to embrace technology is certainly the biggest takeaway from the current global pandemic. The restaurant industry was hardest hit by the raft of health measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. With the government banning in-house dining, savvy eateries quickly pivoted their operations. They harnessed the power of technology to innovate new solutions to avoid shutting down.
The catering sector is no different and can benefit from innovative technology. Food costing solutions eliminates the dull, tedious manual work associated with food costing and pricing processes. Besides the tedium, manual processes are prone to errors. Food costing apps eliminate the errors while speeding up the process to let you control food costs and maximize your margins.
Food costing solutions gather all your critical data in one central location for quick and easy access. That results in superior inventory management, which is critical when dealing with perishable produce. It also keeps your operations agile to let you adapt quickly to changing markets and situations. A quick swipe is all it takes to estimate how much product you’ll need for the coming month.
Accurate forecasting anticipates how much inventory you need to avoid overstocking and stock runouts. If a customer cancels, your system can automatically update and adjust the inventory amount. It ensures that you never incur huge losses from unforeseen circumstances.
Unrestricted access to past data lets you account for seasonality, monthly trends, and other crucial factors. Unlike manual entries, an automated food pricing and costing process enable you to carry out detailed analytics. You get to generate deep insights into your business, clientele, and local market. Putting these insights into good use will give you an edge over the competition.
Join a GPO
Short for Group Purchasing Organizations, GPOs are an incredible asset when looking to increase your profit margins. Restauranters have been using them for years to score huge discounts on most products.
A GPO consolidates a lot of small and medium-sized operators to leverage their collective buying power. They leverage their now-massive purchasing power to negotiate exceptional prices from vendors and leading suppliers in the food industry.
Members of a reputable GPO enjoy massive discounts and savings, have lower food costs, and never experience stockouts. They’re more successful because their operations are more efficient.
Joining a GPO eliminates the usual supply chain headaches. You no longer need to spend valuable time sourcing and vetting new suppliers. The GPO connects you with a large selection of specialty vendors with excellent pricing points.
It allows you to source superior products quickly while freeing your time to focus on your customers. Superior ingredients build customer satisfaction to let you bolster your reputation and build a roster full of happy customers.
How to Forecast Operations For Your Catering Business in 2022
Besides streamlining daily operations, such solutions skyrocket your ability to forecast sales. Here’s is what you need to plan a catering business forecast in 2022:
- Past data: An automated system gives unrestricted access to past data to let you carry out detailed analytics. You can reference sales data from the previous year and break it down into components such as months or seasons.
- Adjust for recent trends: The demand for catering events varies between months and seasons. It’s prudent that you compare sales numbers against similar periods in the past years. Say, for instance, you’re forecasting sales for the month of June and find that April-May sales were up 7% compared to the previous year. You may follow the same logic and apply a 7% increase when forecasting the sales in the upcoming month.
- Account for external forces. Typically, external forces include events, weather, holidays, and market changes. These forces are likely to have a significant influence on the sales numbers. The current health restrictions are a major extenuating circumstance. Once they’re rolled back, there’s likely going to be a huge spike in demand for caterers and catering services.
- Consider the trends: Various factors may result in a shift in demand and supply, and that may increase or decrease your sales forecast.
- Use granular data: The more detailed your data, the more accurate your sales forecast. Besides the cost of ingredients, caterers must consider delivery charges, disposables, labor costs, and the use of offsite equipment. Be sure to factor in the pricing module – fixed, tiered, and custom pricing – as they have a significant effect on your margins.
- Plan the schedule: Use the projected demand to estimate the staff you need to handle the jobs. Plan out the shifts as well to understand how many hours each employee shall be working.
Bolster Your Forecasting Capabilities in 2022
Chefmod is a business class, cloud-based purchasing, and food costing solution designed for the food sector. It comes with every tool a caterer needs to run an efficient and profitable operation.
Caterers can benefit from a collecting purchasing power of the Order 1-2-3 solution and management perks of the EZRECIPE. Order 1-2-3 is a supply chain solution that eliminates the typical supply chain challenges. The EZRecipe is a recipe management software with food costing capabilities.
The EZRECIPE connects to Order-123 to capture real-time purchasing data and uses it to calculate food costs at the touch of a button. These are the perfect solutions for caterers looking to improve the purchasing process and lower overheads while bolstering their food costing capacity.
With this technology, you can:
- Streamline your supply chain
- Improve your purchasing decisions
- Find profitable strategies to drive sales and profitability
- Refine your forecasting ability and futureproof your business
- Polish your food costing process and recipes
- Identify menu preferences for different target markets and audiences
- Create winning menus and recipes quickly and efficiently
- Track and compare menu costs over time
Contact us today to learn about how food costing and prices should change your catering business processes in 2022.
Find out how ChefMod can help you streamline your restaurant’s purchasing process, lower your food and supplies costs through our online marketplace, and increase your bottom line for good!
Power to the Chef!