2006 Catering Study: Spreading the word

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

Catering can reap substantial rewards for non-commercial operators, especially those pursuing on- and off-premise customers for revenue.

Administrators at a certain large, state-run university in New England demand a lot from their campus dining department’s catering division: top-notch service, high-quality food, customizable menus and an experience befitting the reputation and distinction of their institution.

Oh yes—they also believe catering to be something you “get” just by placing a phone call at the drop of a hat; and they want the whole package at less than competitive pricing.

Sound familiar?

All of this adds up (or subtracts down) to a loss for dining services, says the director (obviously anonymous). Such is the life for many a non-commercial caterer: According to FSD’s 2006 Catering Business-Builder Study, 17% of non-commercial caterers are forced to operate catering at a loss, while another third say they break even—with the remainder, just under a majority, saying they’re allowed to run catering as a profit center.

A good year: For those doing catering in non-commercial facilities, 2006 was a good year. Half say revenue grew, led by colleges (70% of them) and B&I (66%). Why? For hospitals, it’s simple: more catering is being ordered by various departments in the organization.

“Catering is growing but not because we market our services,” says Mary Keysor, MS, RD, director of nutrition services at Maine Medical Center in Portland. “Our educational seminars, recognitions and evening events are increasing, and catering often supports those events.”

Catering at Maine Medical ranges from coffee carts to a party for 2,000, Keysor adds. “It’s not just lunch in the boardroom. Our executive chef sits with customers to tailor the event.”

Pages

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

Sponsored Content
eating mac and cheese

From AFP advanced food products llc

Some iconic food pairings have stood the test of time―peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, just to name a few.

But, classic doesn’t mean boring or on the way out. In fact, there’s been a resurgence of mac and cheese on menus. According to 2018 data from Technomic’s MenuMonitor, mac and cheese menu mentions have grown by the following percentages over the past four years:

On the kids menu: 10.4% As an entree: 7.5% As a side/extra: 8.2%

In addition to increasing menu instances, noncommercial...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code