As the surge of in-person celebrations continues to bolster in the wake of the pandemic, holiday seasons have become a fantastic opportunity for grocery retailers to serve their communities and grow their prepared foods revenue.
According to FMI’s Power of Foodservice in Retail, 2022 report, foodservice and prepared foods grew +9.3% from 2021 to 2022, and +19.2% from 2019, equating to $31.3B. Capitalizing on holiday meals and catering opportunities can help grocers differentiate their brand from competitors, build customer loyalty and grow revenue, as seen from the segment's growth the last several years. Developing a holiday catering offering isn’t as difficult as it seems, especially with the support of the right partners and technology. Continue reading to learn how.
Retailers can find a wealth of ideas by looking at what cultures and demographics make up the local communities around their store locations. By understanding their customers and what celebrations they value, they can tailor their holiday catering offerings. For example, American grocers can bet that offering Thanksgiving catering would be well received. Or if there is a large Jewish community, offering Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah catering could be a hit.
If creating a full blown holiday menu is too overwhelming or a retailer’s operations aren’t quite ready for that full service line, starting with key holiday items could be a great way to still capture some of the holiday catering demand. Offering key items such as Thanksgiving turkeys or pies, Hanukkah briskets or Christmas hams cuts down the logistical preparedness side and creates a huge opportunity to grow revenue.
By understanding a retailer’s uniqueness, holiday catering ideas could be plentiful. For example, if a retailer is a specialty Italian market, creating an Italian-themed holiday menu should be easy. Or if a retailer is all about fresh, organic foods, creating a seasonal menu using healthy, local produce could be a big win.
By simply offering online ordering for holiday catering, retailers open up a huge opportunity for sales growth. Many consumers prefer to do research online for holiday catering options, so missing this extremely important discovery channel can reduce the chance for sales. Partnering with FoodStorm provides retailers a built-for-grocery catering ordering platform that is intuitive to use, allows for instant menu editing and publishing, and provides end customers with a frictionless ordering experience.
Selling holiday catering is only half of the equation. Order fulfillment is the other half that needs to be considered. FoodStorm has recently launched functionality that helps create a more efficient, frictionless in-store fulfillment process for team members and pickup customers. These tools allow retailers to easily manage order status, look up orders with barcode scanners and tick off all items to ensure proper fulfillment.
Jumping into the holiday catering deep end with larger holidays like Thanksgiving may prove difficult. But starting small, such as with a smaller Thanksgiving offering, or even Valentine’s Day, Easter or July 4th, a retailer can understand how their operations and teams best work during these peak periods and then scale up when ready. By using an order management system like FoodStorm, a retailer can feel confident that as they grow, FoodStorm can support them every step of the way.
With over 15 years of research and development in the food service software industry, FoodStorm is the market’s leading order management system for grocers. Holiday catering is a massive opportunity for grocers and getting started is easy with the right technology partner.