CEO Frank Paci Shares Why Corner Bakery is Considered a Catering Powerhouse

Having a proven strategy for your catering channel can take your restaurant from just making the margins to expanding your concept. The variables for creating a profitable catering channel are rapidly evolving, so best to learn from the best.

On this episode of The Takeout, Catering and Delivery Show, we sit down with Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery Cafe. Corner Bakery Cafe is known as one of the top performing fast casual operations in the off-premise space with nearly 200 locations in North America. Catering makes up over 25 percent of its business.

We discuss how Paci views the concept’s off-premise business strategy, what his vision for off-premises is moving forward, and how the brand was able to build up its reputation as a catering powerhouse.

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The Catering Marketplace Company ezCater Raises $150 Million in Latest Funding Round

The online catering marketplace and software company ezCater announced this week that it has raised $150 million in a Series D-1 investment round.

ezCater has now raised $320 million in total. The latest raised funds, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and GIC, will be used to expand the company.

“This funding expands our ability to help our catering partners grow in a way that no one else can," said Stefania Mallett, co-founder, and CEO at ezCater in a press release.

ezCater, which claims to be valued at $1.25 billion, was founded 8 years ago. Since then, the company has made a series of strategic acquisitions.

Last year, ezCater acquired GoCater, another online catering platform. But the company recently made another investment to enhance its tools for restaurant operators. In March of this year, the company acquired MonkeySoft Solutions Inc. (MSI), which is a software that offers insights to operators on how to increase off-premises sales and profits.

"ezCater is having a huge impact on the industry by moving catering online and driving substantial profitability for their partners—this is a mission we’re excited to accelerate," said Brad Twohig, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners in a press release.

On the ezCater marketplace, there are over 60,000 local caterers and national chains including Jersey Mike’s Subs and Romano’s Macaroni Grill across the U.S.

Users plug in their zip code, then a list of restaurants in the specific area on the marketplace pops up. Customers can browse a number of restaurants to order catering from, while also seeing ratings from past customers, pricing, delivery fees, and more details.

Want to learn more? Watch the video below where the Foodable team recently spoke with an ezCater sales manager to learn more about how the company is offering a solution that helps operators leverage their catering business.

Packaging is a Key Differentiator to Off-Premise

The wrong packaging can make or break your diner’s experience. With a growing demand for takeout, delivery, and catering, restaurant operators should embrace an increase in packaging costs. Something so little as a higher quality material, or something innovative like an indicator to let consumers know their food may have been tampered with in transit is critical.

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, Valerie and Erle speak with Jennifer Crawford, director of off-premise sales at Fazoli’s System Management, an Italian quick-service restaurant, and Ernie Davis, National Account Manager for Accurate Box, a box manufacturing plant that produces high graphics boxes. The group discusses what is quickly becoming a true differentiator for brands as more and more product is going the way of takeout, catering, and delivery.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next season, and if you have questions for Erle or Valerie, please reach out to us at producer@foodabletv.com!

SHOW NOTES

8:43 - The Challenges of Corrugating to Franchisees

11:39 - The Challenges In The Delivery Channel and Packaging Innovations

16:02 - Fountain Drinks and Sabotaged Delivery

24:14 - Off-Premise 2.0

28:19 - Marketing Tips for Packaging

34:15 - What is Accurate Box?

:50 - Packaging Is Critical to Off-premise

2:36 - Welcoming Ernie Davis, and Jennifer Crawford

2:57 - Fazoli’s Off-premise Over the Years

5:35 - Strategies Regarding Packaging Costs

7:15 - Packaging Continues the Consumer Experience

 

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Synopsis by:

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


VIEW BIO

Your Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Questions Answered

The off-premise paradigm shift continues to force restaurant operators to change their operations or risk being left behind. Erle Dardick, a foodservice takeout, delivery, and catering expert and CEO and Founder of Monkey Group, and Valerie Killifer, editor of Catering Insights both know a thing or two about helping multi-unit restaurant executives create successful off-premise revenue channels and have been sharing their knowledge in The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show podcast. The idea is to provide you, the operator, with strategies and insights that will help you leverage your brand and make your off-premise initiatives smart, fast, and profitable. As a restaurant operator, if you have not listened to The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, then you are missing out on the only podcast that is tackling the many questions and challenges in the off-premise space.

We are nearing the end of the first season, so in this episode, we decided to answer some of your questions. From food safety issues in the delivery channel to social media marketing, we cover the gambit of the most significant problems facing operators today.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next season, and if you have questions for Erle or Valerie, please reach out to us at producer@foodabletv.com!

SHOW NOTES

26:48 - Question 5: What will impact the future of your off-premise business more, automation or AI?

36:35 - Question 6: What is the biggest challenge to growing takeout and delivery sales?

39:06 - Question 7: How does takeout fit into off-premise and how can it best serve the customer?

50:27 - Question 8: Who are my biggest competitors in off-premise?

00:42 - Welcoming Paul Barron, CEO to the show.

01:19 - Question 1: When it comes to delivery, how do you protect your business from a food safety issue?

07:22 - Question 2: Is there a way to reduce the costs of these third-party services.

17:42 - Question 3: Do you trust Facebook or Linkedin as a real catering marketing solution

21:25 - Question 4: Should we incorporate a pick-up counter in our fine dining restaurant? Take out is
exceeding 11% of sales.

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Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad

Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad
  • The off-premise conundrum for operators is similar in the U.S. compared to the U.K. with 3rd-party marketplaces wining when it comes to your customer information.

  • How can operators take control back?

Whether you’re are in the UK or the US, technology is driving innovation.  But where are we all going and are these technological solutions helping our restaurant businesses? In off-premise, delivery services and 3rd-party marketplaces are the disruptors everyone is talking about, at least over the last five years. Restaurant operators think they have little choice except to jump on the delivery brandwagon or be left behind in its wake. On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering show, Valerie, and Erle sit down with Peter Backman, a U.K.-based consultant who specializes in the eating out market overseas. Peter, Valerie, and Erle discuss how the 5 Pillars of Successful Takeout, Delivery & Catering can reposition brands across the world to take the wheel. This discussion includes the onslaught of independent, aggregated, and third-party delivery providers, and the new paradigm of off-premise operations in restaurants at home and abroad. 

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