2006 Catering Study: Spreading the word

Half say catering revenue grew in 2006, led by colleges (70% of them) and B&I (66%).

Yearly reminder: “One of the biggest challenges we face is people will look at our Web site and think that is all we do,” he says. “So we do a Taste of Catering once a year—we invite customers and university decision-makers to a food fair that highlights new menu ideas and reintroduces us to our customer base.”

One of the goals of these efforts is to convince customers that Brigham Young University Dining “can create any type of meal to go with their event,” Wright continues. For example, a recent Scottish dinner staged by the English department honoring the poet Robert Burns featured smoked salmon chowder, beet greens salad, potato scones, herb-crusted lamb with root vegetables.”

Breakfast is mostly a drop-off business, the study shows. Sixty-two percent of breakfast revenue among all operators that cater breakfast comes from drop-off events, compared to 38% for full service. Logically, the opposite is true for dinner: three-quarters of revenue is full-service, one-quarter is drop-off. For lunch, the business splits nearly evenly at 45%/55%.

Catering menu expansion often helps operators broaden business in individual day parts, operators suggest. “New catering menu items include low-carb breakfast wraps, yogurt parfaits and make-your-own granola bar,” says Emil Grosso, president of Sebastians Café and Catering, which manages foodservice at a multi-tenant site (One Beacon Street) in Boston.

New family-style light entrees include grilled salmon salad and cumin-lime crusted chicken salad. “We have also brought a taste of our retail cafés to our catering menu with an expanded custom salad bar section and signature sandwich selections,” Grosso adds. New dessert themes include an ‘Espresso Pick Me Up’ featuring cappuccino and mini cheesecakes.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources