ezCater’s “Feeding the Workplace” Report Reveals Growing Demand for Business Catering and a Big Opportunity for Restaurants

LAS VEGAS & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ezCater, the most trusted provider of corporate food solutions, today revealed findings from its “Feeding the workplace” report during its Catering Growth Forum at the 2023 Food On Demand Conference. The report combines survey insights from over 600 restaurant operators and more than 600 people who regularly order food for their workplace with over 15 years of proprietary ezCater data. The findings showcase how the role of food in the workplace has evolved in a post-COVID world and how restaurants can capitalize on the growing demand.

“Business catering is back big time. On top of that, employers are using food in so many more ways than they did before COVID”

The demand for business catering was deeply impacted during the early days of the pandemic. Since then, not only has the industry recovered, but it’s also expanded to include additional use cases. ezCater returned to its pre-pandemic run rate in 2021, and, on top of that, bookings grew 87% in 2022 compared to 2021.

Today, employers use food not only for meetings and trainings but also as a way to keep employees happy and motivated to work onsite. Eighty-three percent of survey respondents said that food spend budgets were the same or higher than pre-COVID times.

“Business catering is back big time. On top of that, employers are using food in so many more ways than they did before COVID,” said Mike O’Hanlon, Chief Partnership Officer. “Whether a customer is looking to subsidize employee lunches or replace a closed cafeteria, we connect our network of more than 100,000 restaurants to these customers and provide them with flexible solutions to feed their workplace. This expanded use of food for work represents a huge opportunity for restaurants to grow their business.”

Key findings from the “Feeding the workplace” report include:

  • Food for work is for more than just meetings: When asked what events they typically order for, about three in five business catering orderers cited holiday parties (60%) and appreciation/thanks/workplace perk (58%). Other use cases cited included team meetings (55%), company events (48%), training sessions (43%), and client meetings (32%).
  • Food for work improves productivity: Employers continue investing in food to boost performance and retain employees. Overall, 95% of survey respondents believe that providing food motivates employees to perform well, and 85% say food makes workers more productive. For those working in a hybrid environment, food has become an important incentive to motivate onsite work, too — 86% of respondents say that food gets people to the office.
  • A business orderer is a high-value customer: Business catering customers tend to spend generously per person. According to ezCater’s survey, four in ten (39%) typically order for over 20 people, 64% of them budget more than $14 per person, and 78% order at least once per month. Business catering orders are also large and valuable for restaurants. The average ezCater order is for 25 people and totals more than $350.

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