5 Ways the Right Catering Software Can Help your Business Thrive

March 27th, 2018

All types of businesses are being revolutionised by the use of software to improve the efficiency of processes and management of tasks, and your catering business could be another. Dedicated catering software that ensures proper execution from order to delivery could be just what you need to boost sales and improve your bottom line.

Implementing catering software can help you work faster, more efficiently, find more customers, and take the quality of your service to the next level. Here are some of the ways that catering software can improve your business and ultimately, your bottom line.

1. Get better online ordering

There is a proliferation of online ordering solutions that are entering the market, but for your catering business, you should be looking for one that is built with the specific needs of a catering business in mind.

Catering is different to other businesses in that there will often be specific customisations, such as allowing customers to select delivery times and providing kitchen instructions – features that you won’t find on many other online eCommerce solutions. Catering businesses can operate out of multiple locations and have a range of different menus, so allowing customers to select the right location and view multiple menus simultaneously is another benefit of an eCommerce platform designed for catering.

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Customers also expect to be able to pay via different methods; credit card, debit and PayPal are all common, but you might require advanced catering software that allows for custom payment methods like Cost Centres, Purchase Orders or Smart Card systems.

Dedicated catering software can also be customised to match your website’s branding to give customers a seamless experience. To the customer, it won’t seem like they are taken to a third party platform to order through your catering service, but rather the checkout will look like it’s built into your website.

2. Collect orders together in the one place

Forget about trying to manage a manual calendar and paper-based ordering system. A good, tailored-for-catering software platform will boost your entire organisation’s management and operations by putting all your orders into the one location, and then manage your workflow to enhance your efficiency.

Using a cloud-based software platform means that anyone in the organisation can log in from anywhere to check on upcoming orders, customer details, order specifics and so on. This helps make the business more efficient. A good software platform will also make use of automation to send out order confirmations, quotes and invoices, saving you time normally spent doing these tasks manually.

3. Get a better oversight of your business

As a catering business grows, it can be difficult to maintain oversight into all of its components. This is especially true when there are multiple facilities producing a high volume of food. This is one area where tailored software, designed specifically for catering, is essential. You want something that will track production logs for each day, track key and repeat customers, analyse the performance of each product, establish driver schedules and generate packing slips.

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Doing all of this through manual processes can be near impossible once a business expands, but if you want to continue to see your business grow, it’s critical that you have the reports and analytics that tell you exactly what is going on with your business. These data-driven insights are able to assist with business decisions moving forward and show you where to optimise and improve.

4. Bring all of your software together

Most businesses use software in a wide range of ways: they’ll have accounting software to handle tax and payments; they’ll use an online payments platform to securely handle the money coming in; they’ll have email software to help manage customer relationships by creating mailing lists. If you choose the right catering software, you’ll be able to integrate it with your preferred software, meaning that your catering software becomes a “hub” for all your business applications.

This helps in a number of ways. Integrations allow for greater streamlining of your business, with information from orders being automatically fed to your accounting software, or with your employee time management software being integrated with your ordering platform to generate schedules for each employee. The more you can bring your software together, the greater the efficiency the total solution will drive for your business.

FoodStorm’s catering software offers integrations with a plethora of different systems, including Xero, MYOB, PayPal, Google Maps and many more, meaning you can get your systems to work in conjunction, reducing manual labour and improving accuracy.

5. Handle payments securely

Customers won’t use a checkout they can’t trust, so it’s critical that your payment platform is a highly secured one. What you’re looking for is systems that can help with “PCI compliance,” which is a standard of security that helps protect each credit card transaction made with your business online. It can be incredibly expensive and time consuming to try and build an online payment platform that is also certified PCI compliant, so one of the greatest benefits from getting a dedicated catering software is the level of security that it can offer online payments.

Good catering software should also automatically generate and send invoices, saving you time and further enhancing the positive response that customers have to your business through the fast and professional interactions they have with you.

Improve overall efficiency with catering software

In other ways, good catering software will help your business address the same challenges that every other business faces; tracking expenses, managing inventory, and providing a better overview of your business in general. The calendaring, ordering, and planning tools that are present in good catering software will help improve the quality of your work and services by ensuring that each major project is sufficiently planned for, and there aren’t clashes or mishaps.

FoodStorm, as a catering-specific software application, has been specifically designed to address the key challenges that growing and established catering businesses face with efficiency, payments management, and customer relationships. It’s a cloud-based platform, meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, and it provides all the data analytics and management features that are of specific interest to catering businesses. For more information on FoodStorm, contact our friendly team online or get a free demonstration.

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