Training Sales Employees For The Modern Catering Landscape

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our podcast hosts, Valerie Killifer and Erle Dardick, sit down with Tracy Avolio, Vice President of The Catering Institute.

Avolio has been with The Catering Institute for eight years and with her, she brought her restaurant industry experience of 25 years to help multi-unit restaurant concepts develop, implement and grow their catering channels. The Catering Institute, which was founded by our show host, Erle Dardick, focuses on the Five Pillars of Successful Restaurant Catering: leadership, centralized services, sales and marketing, operations, and delivery.

On this episode, we will discuss how to train sales employees for the modern catering landscape, but the conversation will touch on how the five pillars are necessary for ultimate success.

“One thing I would add about leadership... the catering is really a business onto itself. It’s different than the retail part of the business...the consumers are sometimes different, their needs and expectations are different, menu is different, packaging is different, delivery is different, you name it,” says Tracy Avolio. “So, it really warrants having somebody that is leading that division and that part of the concept…”

Listen to the episode above to take a deep dive into catering sales and what’s necessary for success!

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita


Fast Casual Executives Share How Their Brands are Adapting to Stay Successful in Today's Market

The fast casual segment looks much different today than it did 10 years ago. The concepts in this sector continue to disrupt the foodservice space, but they have to find new ways to do this.

Fast casual concepts are often the pioneers or the first adapters when it comes to new trends.

On the IOChangeMakers live stream, we sat down with Donna Josephson, SVP and CMO at Corner Bakery Cafe and André Verner, Partner and co-founder of Dog Haus to see how these brands continue to pivot in today's market to stay successful.

According to Foodable Labs, over 30 percent of the U.S. Restaurant industry is using some form of on-demand third-party ordering solution. But to handle the influx of these orders presents a new challenge. So this is influencing established chains to jump on the virtual restaurant bandwagon.

Both of these restaurant brands see potential in ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens due to the recent third-party delivery surge.

"We see that as an opportunity for us. We have a big physical plant right now and we may not always need that," says Josephson. "And instead of shunning it and pushing away third-party delivery, let's get in fast and put our arms around it and bring it in close."

Dog Haus announced earlier this month that the restaurants are starting to utilize ghost kitchens. By prepping some of these delivery orders off-site, it allows in-store kitchens to focus on in-store orders.

"We are committed with our Kitchen United relationship. It's something new for franchisees as well. To get a brick-and-mortar, at least for our size, it's about $600,000 to build a store, then you have to sign a 10-year lease and hire 40 new employees right away. You're committed," says Verner. "On a Kitchen United location, you sign a one-year deal. All the kitchen equipment is there. They do everything, they do all the equipment maintenance. They do everything except for staffing the three people in the kitchen."

So there are are less overhead costs involved in these virtual concepts.

Want to learn more about what these successful brands are doing to compete in today's market? Check out the video above or the full interview is also now exclusively available on Foodable On-Demand here.

Why Having An Advanced On-Demand Restaurant Strategy Can Set Your Brand Apart

Ever wondered how a great on-demand strategy can differentiate your concept from the rest?

On this episode of Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, our host Valerie Killifer sits down with Mark Toth, Founder and CEO of Urban Wok, founded in 2018 in Minneapolis, to figure out just that.

Urban Wok focuses technology to make the customer experience as efficient, seamless and enjoyable as possible.

One example of that is the fact that Urban Wok is completely cashless.

“The main advantage which I did not think of when I opened up Urban Wok is the ability for our employees, and our managers and myself to interact with customers, since we’re not operating with a transaction having to punch and order in or give cash back or change or things like that,” says Mark Toth.  

“We actually can make a meal, talk to the customer, talk about sauces, talk about clean ingredients, help them through the computer system if they need help, although it happens very rarely. So the ability to interact with customers has been nothing but a great thing without having cash to deal with.”

Urban Wok has become a favorite amongst Millennials and Gen Z patrons because of their modern approach to foodservice. Learn more by listening to the podcast above!

Produced by:

Nathan Mikita


Bite Squad First Rolled Out Unlimited Delivery, Now the Tech Company Goes Greener with a Tesla Test

Bite Squad First Rolled Out Unlimited Delivery, Now the Tech Company Goes Greener with a Tesla Test
  • One of UberEats' biggest competitors, Bite Squad announces a Tesla test.

  • If the test goes well, the company will switch it's fleet from Prius cars to Tesla cars. 

The food delivery company Bite Squad announced earlier this month that it would be test driving the Tesla Model 3 as a potential delivery vehicle to introduce to its fleet.

This is just the latest move to promote eco-friendly practices by the tech company, which currently has a fleet of hybrid-electric cars all painted in the brand’s signature green color. 

“On an average day, we have delivery drivers navigating thousands of food deliveries through the streets of 30 metropolitan markets across the country,” said Kian Salehi, Bite Squad co-founder and CEO in a press release. “Our existing hybrid cars significantly cut emissions, but an all-electric fleet would be completely emissions-free. This is where we want to be.”  

The current fleet consists of hybrid-electric Toyota Prius cars, but the company is planning to stay ahead of the curve to make even less of a negative environmental impact.

“We’re always looking for ways to implement advancing technologies in our company,” said Salehi. “When we launched in 2012, the goal was to reduce the environmental impact of our fleet by using as many hybrid vehicles as we could. The goal is the same today, but the technology has changed. We now have an opportunity to further reduce our impact with an affordable battery-powered car.” 

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The Challenging Future of On-demand Food Delivery: Will Amazon Conquer this Segment too?

The Challenging Future of On-demand Food Delivery: Will Amazon Conquer this Segment too?

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The initial rapid success of on-demand food delivery platforms influenced hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors to gravitate to this segment. Many of these food tech start-ups started off well-funded, but quickly the market became crowded with so many options for consumers to choose from. With the fierce competition in today’s digitally-driven market, these food tech companies are having trouble surviving.

Ultimately, this challenging time will either make or break the biggest food delivery services in the industry. There are some major players left in the game, but which one will emerge as the “Uber” of on-demand food delivery? Will it be PostMates, DoorDash, GrubHub, Caviar or Amazon?

The Beginning

In 2003, on-demand services were seen as revolutionary. Apple was at the forefront of this service when it launched the iTunes Store. Netflix launched its on-demand movie and TV show platform in 2007. Amazon cornered the e-book on-demand market starting in 2008 and Uber launched in 2009 with on-demand transportation services.

The restaurant industry was late in the game. PostMates launched in 2011, but the focus was on local goods, not restaurant delivery. Then GrubHub and Seamless merged to offer food delivery services in 2013.

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