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.

This episode brought to you by:


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.

How to Enhance Your Catering Program

The holidays are just around the corner, so there is no better time than now to revamp your catering and takeout menus.

Rich’s Savory Eggspedites™ |   Rich Products

Rich’s Savory Eggspedites™ | Rich Products

The season of giving can offer significant gifts for your restaurant’s revenue by tapping into the potential of the off-premise sector.

While the options for diners in the food market may have increased as meal-kits, grocery to-go items, and food delivery become more readily available, this also presents a significant opportunity.

By 2020, the National Restaurant Association estimates that 70 percent of customers will be ordering food off a restaurant’s premises.

To capitalize on this trend, restaurant operators, have to be especially strategic about the food offerings on their catering menu.

When it comes to large catering orders, there are a lot of moving parts.

First, you have to develop a menu that your team can realistically fulfill large quantities of within a certain time frame. Speed of service is a customer expectation that you must deliver to when it comes to catering orders.

Then, of course, there’s the taste.

A common complaint by diners is that catering orders aren’t always the same quality of a restaurant’s dine-in dishes. If a customer who dines in often at a restaurant is disappointed by a catering order then you may risk losing that customer altogether.

So with all of this in mind, it’s crucial to invest in products to ensure that your catering dishes consist of high-quality ingredients, are quick to prep, and can also be used for traditional dine-in menus items.

Products to Streamline Your Prep for Catering Orders

Rich Products Corporation, a foodservice supplier dedicated to their customers’ catering needs, has an array of solutions to enhance your catering and takeout programs.

Plant Based Cooking Creme |   Rich Products

Plant Based Cooking Creme | Rich Products

Rich’s Culinary Solutions™ help operators save time by streamlining and simplifying speed scratch production. We understand that operators are challenged for labor, and these products can help them save on steps while providing consistent flavor and texture, without sacrificing taste," said Sam Bugaj, Associate Marketing Manager at Rich Products. "And since the products are highly versatile, they can be used across the menu and customized by infusing seasonal and on-trend flavors – allowing operators to also save on space and food cost!”

Jump on the Plant-Based Bandwagon

Catering to vegan eaters is essential in today's market. According to our Foodable Labs data, 78.4 percent of the top foodie influencers that we indexed mentioned vegan menus in 2017, which was a 309% increase from the year before. In the same year, concepts in the health halo sector increased their vegan menu offerings by 211 percent.

Since the population of vegan eaters continues to grow, companies and event planners are seeking out these options on catering menus to meet their guests' dietary needs

For restaurants looking to offer more plant-based dishes, Rich’s has a line of plant-based products making it easy to cater to vegan eaters.

“Our newest addition to the Culinary Solutions™ line is Plant Based Cooking Creme, which is a complete liquid dairy alternative that’s perfect for making soups, sauces, dressings, and more. What’s great about this item is that it’s vegan and does not contain the 8 major allergens, all while performing at par or better than dairy. This allows operators to make one version of the same dish that everyone will love!” said Bugaj.

On Top® Whipped Topping  |  Rich Products

On Top® Whipped Topping | Rich Products

Besides Plant Based Cooking Creme in Rich’s Culinary Solutions™ line, there are others with multiple applications.

This line, in particular, was developed to help operators not only save time and labor costs but also so they can add their own culinary twist to their delicious creations.

On Top® Whipped Topping   | Foodable Network

On Top® Whipped Topping | Foodable Network

With the Rich’s Savory Eggspedites™, an operator can quickly make a quiche, strata, frittata, egg sandwiches, and more! To elevate your catering menu's dessert section, the Premium Custard Base is perfect for pies, crème brûlée, custards and more. The Sweet Eggspedites™ can be used for French toast, bread pudding and sweet casseroles.

Finally, to top off your culinary creations On Top® Whipped Topping is available in multiple colors and is perfect for grab-and-go desserts, shakes, pancakes, cakes, and pies.It holds its shape for hours, making it great for catering items.

Need some inspiration for your catering and takeout offerings? Check out some recipes here!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post.

Rich's Versatile Product Can Help Caterers Extend Hold Times for Tasty Treats

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, our guest host Chef Dave Mack, Director of Culinary Operations & Development at Tastebuds Catering, will discuss the role of desserts in catering and the challenges caterers have when it comes to hold times and upkeeping visual appeal. He will be creating two sweet treats using Rich’s On Top® Whipped Topping.

“So what’s great about this product is that it takes on flavor so well,” says Chef Mack. “...But the best part about [it] is you can be able to pipe something ahead of time and it will still hold for when you need them.”

The two desserts he covers in this episode are a Tropical Trifle with fresh fruits and a Boston Creme Puff with a chocolate ganache.

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 5.02.53 PM.png

Tropical Trifle


  • Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping

  • Strawberries

  • Mango

  • Kiwi

  • Blueberry

  • Blackberry

  • Balsamic glaze

  • Mint


Cook down fruits with sugar to make individual compotes. Mix each fruit with the whipped topping to make colored fillings. Layer in rainbow order, top with plain topping.

Screen Shot 2018-09-07 at 5.03.19 PM.png

Boston Creme Puffs


  • Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping

  • Rich's Premium Custard Base

  • Dark Chocolate Bars

  • Heavy Cream

  • Green and White Sprinkles

  • Cream Puff Shells




Chocolate Ganache

  • Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler and combine with Rich's On Top® Whipped Topping.

Cream Puffs

  • Mix Rich's Premium Custard Base into the On Top® Whipped Topping mixture. Pipe into creampuff shell. Top with chocolate ganache.