The white-hot, tech-fueled delivery market may be grabbing headlines and consumer attention, but catering, a decidedly less flashy segment of off-premise business can have big payoff, too. According to 2018 Technomic data, catering is a $61.5 billion industry, with some restaurants seeing nearly a quarter of their revenue from catering orders.
In fact, it’s a valuable enough segment that EzCater’s strategy is to digitize restaurants’ current catering operations, not necessarily drum up new business. “We go to restaurants that we know are catering. Or we are approached by restaurants that are getting into catering and want us to be their marketing arm. We don’t attempt to convince someone who’s not already catering to get into it,” Mallett said.
The company currently works with 60,000 restaurants and caterers from small independent operations to large-scale restaurant companies like Schlotzsky’s. Both order volume and dollars spent is a near 50-50 split of chain and independent restaurants, according to Mallett.