Just 3 months ago, I wrote a post outlining our vision for GoCater. We are restructuring how the corporate catering industry works. I explained that there are 4 very challenging themes we must work on: user experience, centralisation of diversity, automation and data. I also explained that the success of this vision would depend on our capacity to get the entire catering community involved and convinced by a common goal.
Achieving this vision requires solving complex challenges. It was designed on a long term scale. But since December, we’ve identified surprising signals telling us that it all could happen faster than we thought…
We still have a long road ahead, but the speed at which the industry is adhering to our vision is outstanding. A shift is in motion and some may be left behind. Here’s what is happening. 🚀
Catering Supply is adapting to a new generation
GoCater is now running online ordering for 100+ suppliers. Although we’re really proud about that number, the “variety” of the supply is what’s impressive here.
Of course, historical corporate caterers are joining GoCater very quickly. They operate in the segment and we are a new business channel for them. But they are not alone. Three other signals of change are huge:
- Huge flagship catering brands, that we thought wouldn’t notice GoCater for a while, are joining. We’re incredibly proud of this and can’t wait to help them build their entire digital distribution.
- Restaurants, supermarket brands, bakery brands, farmers, etc… are entering the corporate catering space. These suppliers, which didn’t do catering historically, are now using GoCater to easily kick start an entire new activity.
- Consumer “takeaway” suppliers (think takeout restaurants and other online players — Deliveroo, PopChef, Munchery etc…) are going corporate. Today, these suppliers deliver meals to company employees for their lunch. They are now building B2B service lines. This is still work in progress. As we tweak our product, we will welcome these great partners and their fantastic products as soon as possible.
These signals have huge consequences. The face of “corporate catering” is changing. Very soon, every single type of food supplier will be running a “corporate catering” offer, and GoCater will enable them to operate smoothly.
We believe it is critical for all historic players in the corporate catering industry to adhere to this change. They need to go online, become more agile and understand that clients will get used to an increasing variety of choice. Our data will enable suppliers to position their products correctly, to grow their catering business. If they don’t, they’ll soon realise that new players, that are not even on their competitors list, have captured massive shares of the corporate catering market.
Clients want to be crowned again
“The Customer is king”. Too often and for too long, this has not been the case in the corporate catering industry.
Many companies have been locked into contracts with catering suppliers. Some of these suppliers are doing awesome jobs, innovating and growing. However, for most companies, a contract gets them good prices, but also lack of choice, flexibility and ultimately, poor service.
The number of unsatisfied corporate clients is crazy. Our team interviews every single new client, to map their catering spending. Many have catering suppliers handling their regular needs, few are happy. Obviously, we’ve also identified that this is rarely the intention of the supplier. The suppliers simply have too much to deal with to optimise their client experience.
We’ve confirmed there is a natural interest in GoCater for Companies. On one platform, with one account and one invoice, they can access hundreds of suppliers. This will force all suppliers to crown the Customer again as king. If they don’t, another supplier will.
- Companies want to order instantly online
- Companies will no longer accept contracts that reduce their choice
- Companies expect perfect account management
Companies should now be treated like consumers, that’s a fact the industry is learning the hard way. They want to work with customer-centered partners. With the SaaS-boom, they are now used to awesome digital services and support. The shift is in motion. And it’s happening faster than anyone can realise.
The water is heating up
To sum up, we are in an exciting time when an entire industry is changing. We are really excited to take part to the digital transformation of an entire industry. We believe that GoCater’s job now is to move forward, hand in hand with suppliers, to allow this change quickly but smoothly.
A story comes to mind. Researchers found that when they put a frog in cold water in a pan and put the water to boil over time, the frog just boiled to death. The hypothesis is that it didn’t notice the gradual change in temperature. On the other hand, they found that when they put a frog in a pan of boiling water, the frog just quickly jumped out.
The water is definitely heating up in the corporate catering industry. GoCater is a catalyst for this change, but also warning all historic players to wake up and jump out of the pan to keep selling. Don’t wait too long and enjoy the ride.