Crafting A Catering Program

Many of today’s catering businesses look different than the traditional spread. But while the recipe may have changed, catering remains the secret sauce of a restaurant’s success — increased revenue with higher profit margins, exposure to new guests, and a new experience for existing guests.

On-Demand, Occasion Based Meals

  • Best For: < 25 guests. 

  • Lead Time: < 2 Hours

  • Order Placed: Directly via restaurant’s website

Occasion based meals are curated packages perfect for groups on the go. Successful examples of this include family meals, to-go picnics, or happy hour packages. 

These items can showcase the restaurant’s brand values and create new dining occasions for their guests. On-demand packages should be designed for small groups and able to be assembled quickly. 

Mexicue Family Meal

Order Ahead Boxed Meals

  • Best For: 25+ guests

  • Lead Time: 24+ Hours

  • Order Placed: Directly via restaurant’s website (or phone for larger orders) 

Boxed meals have become increasingly popular due to a heightened concern for health & safety. As an alternative to traditional catering trays, pre-portioned individual lunches can serve larger groups while eliminating the sharing contact of trays. 

Craft a robust boxed lunch or dinner program by creating ‘combos,’ including a meal, a drink, and a dessert. It is important that the options are simple to operationally execute to be able to support large scale requests. Create a range of options to cover common dietary preferences.

Panera Boxed Lunches

Full Service Events

  • Best For: 50+ people

  • Lead Time: 7+ days 

  • Order Placed: Direct communication with the restaurant, typically via email or a catering request form

Full service event catering is what most people associate with catering. Typical events include weddings, conferences, and corporate lunches. Full service catering usually involves a higher degree of customization and the option of setup service. 

Due to the size and attention to detail required to produce full service events, this style requires ongoing communication between the event planner and the restaurant. This extra effort ensures an elevated dining experience will be brought to life for your guest.