Technology and digitization have changed economic and market trends. Every business segment whether it is related to the food industry, transportation, entertainment etc. have moved all together to online medium to facilitate and capture the wide needs and necessities of various consumers. In the sophisticated industry of hospitality, success is all about the experience a business delivers to its guests. And the catering business is no exception.
The world of catering has witnessed a drastic paradigm shift over the past few decades. The modern catering service is as meticulous as the brush-strokes of a skillful painter. Talking about the current market scenario, every individual is completely dependent on their smartphones to accomplish various tasks. To get any piece of information the first thing that comes in the mind is to browse the internet. Having a mobile-friendly website is not just enough for the businesses in the present arena. Various investments are being made for the development of user interactive mobile applications so as to cut-throat competition.
A mobile application is one of the first core mediums from which guests like to interact with respective catering service providers. Therefore, the unprecedented experience starts with the mobile application itself. Consequently, the standards of experience a catering establishment delivers to its customers is raising the expectations. With this blog, you will get to know the reason why the catering mobile app development should be available and how they can be useful for the successful running of the business.
Understanding the Nature of a Catering Business
A company that prepares and provides food for different types of events. The primary objective is to provide you with the food that not only tastes delicious but should also smell and looks mouth-watering too. Also, the services are dependent on the person and the proposal of the same includes the cost of the decorations, service staff, crockery, cutlery, glassware, rental staff time etc.
Ideally, a caterer works with you to develop a customized menu which will suit the occasion that you are celebrating. You will have the option to select whether to go for a buffet arrangement or require on-site cooking and serving for the guests.
Types of Catering Services:
There are six different types of catering services:
● Corporate Catering
● Wedding Catering
● Social Event Catering
● Concession Catering
● Food Truck Catering
● Restaurant Catering
Catering Services – Market View
As the standard of living is getting higher so as the needs of socialization is also increasing. Due to which many events like meetings, parties, luncheons, trade shows etc. are organized which surely requires professional caterers for food service needs.
Catering is the provision of food services at hotels or event venues. As of May 2017, over 13 million people were employed in foodservice occupations in the United States, including all those related to food preparation and serving.
Food and drink sales of the restaurant industry in the United States were forecasted to exceed 780 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. The sales generated by caterers in the U.S. look moderate within this comparatively large industry – food and drink sales of social caterers were expected to reach approximately 8.12 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, and sales of mobile caterers just 914.9 million. Independent catering companies and restaurant private dining caterers ranked second and third out of all catering services categories in terms of revenue in 2016.
The largest catering company in the world is the UK-based Compass Group. In 2016, Compass Group’s revenue amounted to 19.88 billion GBP (approximately 24.7 billion U.S. dollars as of November 2016), with the majority of this coming from business in North America.
As per the recent industry analysis conducted by Azoth Analytics, the global contract catering market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% from 2016-2021. The market includes a wide variety of sectors such as various aviation and transportation businesses, hospitals, military institutions, athletic facilities and many more. The opportunities may vary as per the regions. Thus the significant growth is expected from Indian and Japanese Markets.
Moreover, to cover such a wide market, it is very important to be available on a platform where the users from various regions can explore the offerings and services. The on-demand Catering Application provides the users with a provision of food services that are available online at a single tap. Such applications are the new future for Catering services.
Challenges and Solutions for the Catering Companies:
There are many problems that a catering business owner experiences. To name a few are:
Competition: The market is completely saturated with a lot of companies, it becomes really difficult to hold a firm place in the market. You may get the business available at the online platforms with the help of websites and applications.
Finance: Investment plays a vital role in the catering business. For procuring various appliances, training staff and establishing the business various costs are involved. To maintain the smooth running of the business it is important to note down the complete plan and arrange adequate funds.
Scarcity of Orders: In the catering business orders are not available every time. It’s a business that is directly related to events or parties. The peak season of all caterers is the wedding season. Moreover, by expanding the service portfolio smooth running of the business can be managed.
Management: The success of every business is completely dependent on how the entire flow and activities are managed. In the catering business context, management of the staff plays a vital role. While serving the food proper hygiene needs to be maintained. No one can make any compromise with the quality of food being served.
Training: Proper training of the staff is really crucial in the catering industry. If the employees are well trained then they can deliver the best services to the customer.
Planning: There can be a situation where the number of guests may increase or vice versa. Proper planning needs to be prepared for such situations in order to avoid any chaos.
Mobile applications propelling Food and Beverages Industry
Smartphones, internet and mobile applications have proved to be a game-changing progression for various industries in order to offer better customer assistance and engagement.
With the increase in the number of smartphone users, the companies are more focused on providing the easiest and the quickest mode of communication to the consumers. This has also increased the mobile application development over various platforms like Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry to facilitate all the customer base. These easy to use applications have helped various food and beverages businesses in attracting various customers in a recent couple of years.
Gone are the days when an individual has to search various vendors available in the market by physical visits. Today there are many options available from which the users can make a choice, compare and finalize the vendors as per the reviews and ratings. Mobile computing along with the internet has made living better and convenient.
How do Catering Apps Function?
Catering services app often partners with various vendors and restaurants that offer catering services for both indoor and outdoor events. The user gets a wide variety of vendors available as per their location. As per the needs and requirements the user selects the cuisine type, time & date to get the real-time availability of the vendors or restaurants from the respective country. Also, the selection can be made from the reviews and ratings.
The details related to the specified vendor are available so that the user may get in touch with the vendor directly and may discuss the requirements to get the best quotations.
The application will comprise all the following details:
Detailed information about the catering vendors registered on the application such as services & offerings, catering menus, charges including all taxes and the relevant offers if available.
- Contact and location information.
- Social media integration
- User-friendly UI which is easy to use and understand.
- Optimal Navigation.
- Builds customer loyalty and is user-oriented.
- Includes regular updation, advanced search and filters to get better-refined results.
Features Of Catering Mobile App
|Customer Panel||Caterer Panel||Admin Panel|
Widely used monetization strategies are as follows:
In-App Advertising: With the application paid advertisements can be flashes. Any vendor registered on the application can promote its brand or services.
In-App Purchases: The application may offer some extra benefits like Gift cards, premium services etc. which can be purchased easily within the application.
Mobile Commerce: By adding the m-commerce functionality in the application user engagement can be increased. You may provide extra services such as party decor items, Bartender and DJ services etc.
Tips to Create a Catering App
Identify the needs:
It is very important to identify the customer base to whom you are targeting and identify the problems that they are facing so as to provide the best solution to it.
Diversify the services:
After identifying the customers’ needs the next step is to identify the ways by which the customer’s life can be made easier and convenient. An on-demand catering application will help the people who are engaged in their working schedules to organize good parties or meetings as and when required.
It is really important to provide the application users with the complete details such as a menu, supply rentals and the labor charges for various prices for different catering services. Irrespective of which catering service you want to proceed, whether it is event catering, mobile catering or food catering.
Include General and Advanced Features:
- Browse Services
- Set Preferred Service Delivery Time Slot
- Multiple Payment Options
- Book Now or Schedule Services
- Real-time Tracking
- Push Notifications
- Get Delivery Information
How On-Demand Catering Apps can Help Business Growth?
Catering is a highly competitive business segment. Many local vendors are available in the market and in order to be unique in terms of offerings one needs to step aside from the conventional business strategies. In the era of digitization where smartphones are the best source to reach out to all users effectively, various entrepreneurs are interested in catering app development which helps in boosting the business operations. Also gives the advantage to stay ahead of the competitors.
In order to get the best catering services, people make a lot of research over the web and app store. If you don’t have any web presence for your business than there is a possibility that you may lose your potential customers.
- The on-demand catering application helps in increasing customer engagement. Also, you may include features such as featured listings, promotions, banners etc. by which monetization can be done.
- By providing transparent business policies the customer loyalty will be improved also will help in gaining the customers trust.
- By the application, the customers will be connected with the brand. Also, the notifications regarding the special offers and discounts can be rolled out easily.
Required Development Team
Every successful project requires a talented pool of professionals who helps in transforming thoughts into reality. So, let’s take a look at the team structure you will need for your app.
- Business Analysis Team
- Project Manager
- Android and iOS Developers
- Front-End Developers (UI/UX Developers, AngularJS Developers)
- Backend Developers (PHP Developers, .Net Developers, NodeJs Developer)
- QA Professionals
Cost of Developing an On-Demand Catering Application
The cost of developing an On-Demand Catering Application is completely dependent on functionality, features or attributes within the application. Some of the factors that help in deciding the cost of the application are:
- The platforms on which the application is being developed.
- Front and back-end development.
- UI/UX development.
- Third-party API integration.
- Application complexity.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.