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Catering on Rise for Minnesota Restaurants Owners

Restaurant catering accounts for 20 percent of total sales, says Technomic study.


Portland, ME -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2013 -- With over 9,767 locations, Minnesota restaurants are projected to generate $2.9 billion in sales this year, according to the National Restaurant Association. A growing number of Minnesota restaurants are adding drop-off catering to increase profits and diversify operations.

Catering continues to be big business for restaurants. As a group, restaurants account for nearly five times the catering revenue of retailers—$19.3 billion annually versus $4.0 billion, says a recent study by Technomic, a premier food industry research firm. Restaurants that invest dedicated resources towards catering report that it generates 20 percent of their total sales. This figure supports the National Restaurant Association’s claim that if done well a restaurant’s catering operation can be a lucrative revenue stream.

“Most restaurant owners understand that drop-off catering is a great way to increase sales and diversify operations,” says Michael Rosman, CEO of The Corporate Caterer. “However, many struggle with how to launch and grow a successful operation.”

With over 25 years experience in the restaurant and catering industry, Rosman grew a start-up catering division at a Boston suburban restaurant into a $1.8 million a year operation. In January 2013, he and his team of experts launched The Corporate Caterer website. The subscription-based website offers practical information and tools for people who seek to start or grow a drop-off catering operation. “I started The Corporate Caterer to help restaurant owners and caterers achieve maximum success by avoiding pitfalls and time-zapping mistakes,” says Rosman.

The popularity of corporate drop-off catering continues to expand beyond lunch.A recent study, involving 1,200 decision-makers in the business and medical markets, by Technomic found that one in five (19 percent of) surveyed order breakfast catering at least once a week, compared to 13 percent in 2007. The percent of catered dinner orders also increased with 26 percent indicating that they order catered-in dinners at work at least monthly, up from 18 percent four years ago.

Multiple chain restaurants such as Panera Bread, Chipotle, Bennigan’s and Ruby Tuesday are seizing upon the profitability of catering. Bennigan’s recently launched catering services saw immediate returns in sales. The company anticipates that catering might eventually account for 10 to 15 percent of all sales.

“For most Minnesota restaurant owners, drop-off catering offers a viable way to increase revenue, attract new customers and diversify operations. Moreover, increasingly consumers expect their favorite restaurants to offer drop-off catering services. Those that jump on board now will be ahead of the game,” says Rosman.

About the Corporate Caterer
The Corporate Caterer is a resource membership website and consulting company for restaurateurs and caterers who seek to start or grow a profitable corporate drop-off catering operation. For more information visit http://www.TheCorporateCaterer.com

About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 18-21, 2013, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About Technomic
Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of f the food industry.