Are you wondering how you can bring this century-old business of catering up to date with the twenty-first century? Well, if there is one thing that characterises our day and age is the digitalisation of interactions. Thus, what you need is a online catering management software. Read on, learn more about it and take the leap confidently following our tips.
Welcome to the future
The year is 2020, and everything now is done with a computer. Long gone are the days in which face to face interactions with your customers made the business grow. If you want to buy something now, you just go online. Wait! What? Don´t you have a catering management software for your clients to order online? Let´s take a look at some of the advantages it can provide for your business.
The advantages of catering management software
Taking orders from customers is a resource waster. You need to dedicate personnel (knowledgeable, of course), time, and money to install a process that works perfectly from consumers to cook. What if you could make a single investment with a minimal maintenance fee and solve the order-taking issue for good? Yes, you´re right; it will allow you to grow. You´ll have more resources focused on blowing your customers' minds with your products than doing something as basic as taking orders.
No back and forth
Are you speaking of time-wasters? What about back-and-forth email communication with your customers? That takes a lot of time, energy, and knowledge to pull it off correctly. Sometimes you´ll end up having a dozen Excel sheets with requirements filled with little notes to change from red to pink because it´s her favorite color. What if you could automate all options available and lower that traffic to the indispensable? Yes, you´re right again; more time to create mesmerisingly good products or offering out-of-this-world customer service with outbound follows up calls on big clients.
Multiple projects, one software
Do you run a single company, or did you branch out to corporate events, ethnic food, and kids, for example? What about having different branches in different countries with different menus? All of that is possible with catering management software. It is usually as simple as choosing the color palette and motifs that best suit the idea and tailoring menus to offer different services and dishes. In most cases, you can even centralise all payments saving time and money.
Data, data, data
Another great thing about the computer era is the ability to collect data and use it to improve your service. For example, if metrics say that one of the options in the menu hasn´t been requested in the last month, you can simply change it. Or if an add-on was requested 80% of the time, you can advertise it as part of the standard and make customers choose you over the competition. Furthermore, you can learn the demographics of your audience and narrow down your advertising efforts. The 21st century is about data, and catering management software can deliver that effortlessly.
Speaking of data, what if you could link the software you use for catering management with the one you use for accounting? Imagine populating the fields automatically as you are filling the orders; how much time, money, and resources will that spare your company? It can be done if you choose wisely.
What you should look for in catering management software
Speaking about choosing wisely, it is time to address a very common question: “How do I know if it´s the right catering software for my company?” Since the answer can´t be just one because it multiplies by the number of catering companies in the world, here´s a little guide you can follow in order to pick the right one.
This is the main topic that you should never overlook: ask for credentials upfront. What are the credentials? Well, who they worked with in the past and which were the results. For example, some companies will give you a portfolio with several websites you can look at to see finished models. A cool pro tip to apply is to do some mystery shopping and go through the menus, call customer care, and make a little fuss. This way, without taking too much time from the company you´re doing it with, you´ll have a better idea of what you want and don´t want for your version of it.
Reliability and security
Data nowadays is one of the biggest businesses in the world. Advertising companies buy and sell data all the time, and you must be able to protect it for the sake of your customers. Furthermore, if your software will handle payments, you need to ensure your customers that they can work with you safe from any risks. Also, you should inquire which payment methods the software can process and make sure that it is incorruptible.
Last but definitely not least, the website needs to be smooth and fast. There is a no bigger invitation for a customer to run to the competition than having a slow, buggy website. In this digital era, a common gift humans had known as patience evaporated. Your website needs to be able to cope with the most demanding, fast, multitasking individual wanting everything done by yesterday. Test try it to its limits before you put your signature in any papers; don´t overlook speed or you´ll invest in giving your company a bad image.
With technology creating an ongoing revolution, you can´t be left behind. In the world we live today, that means that you need to have a strong, useful presence online. I´m not just talking about social media or advertising, but the entire service should be available for hire online. Those who do it before the competition can grow faster thanks to that competitive advantage against the rest. The time to make the change is now before it is too late. Follow the tips above, make a wise choice, and have endless happy customers coming back for more!