4 ways hybrid catering technology can improve your restaurant business


Businesses across the country continue to lure employees back into the office with free breakfasts and lunches. For gastronomy this means: catering wedding.

Catering orders are back to pre-pandemic levels Offices and other workplaces, according to the ordering platform ezCater, which has over 100,000 restaurant partners nationwide. The global catering and food service contract market is expected to be reached $477.3 billion by 2031which will grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2022 to 2031.

If you are not yet optimizing your catering, now is the right time to do so. The infrastructure and approach are ready and available in the form of hybrid catering. Technology allows restaurants to manage high-value catering orders in-house and outsource the rest to third-party fleets. There are four key benefits for restaurant brands that combine with catering.

  1. Increase revenue, orders and tips

Catering services represent a profitable opportunity for restaurants as they allow them to tap unused resources during down times and reach new customers. Establishing quality catering as a well-known service can increase brand awareness and overall business stability by diversifying a restaurant’s offering. In our current macroeconomic climate, it’s a smart move — and at a time when consumers are abandoning a brand that offers poor customer service and overall value.

Consumers like to reward convenience and experience. Providing fast, seamless catering delivery is one way to increase order value and loyalty. By implementing hybrid technology along with an online ordering platform for its catering businessness, fast food restaurant group Illegal Pete’s saw order volume increase 50%, average order value by 11%, and average tip by a whopping 930%—all in just three months. The cashless tip embedded in hybrid catering technology makes it easy to split tips between employees and more easily attract catering drivers with promises of larger amounts of money. You can even use larger, fairly distributed tips as both an employee retention and recruiting strategy.

  1. increase efficiency

The hybrid technology integrates both online and offline ordering systems, making it easier for restaurants to manage their catering services and streamline their operations. With a hybrid model powered by machine learning, you can automatically route smaller or less critical jobs to third-party fleets and manage the most important ones in-house in near real-time.

You can also optimize delivery times by comparing estimated pickup times between internal and external drivers and then choosing the fastest option. Plus, with hybrid driving, you can train employees and drivers to ensure they understand routes, individual customer preferences when entering an apartment or building, parking, and more nuances.

  1. Cultivate a better customer experience

A lot depends on a host or event manager responsible for catering for a party, conference or large meeting. Every detail has to be right, the food has to be served at the right time and the food has to be at the right temperature and consistency. A lot can go wrong there. In other words: the customer’s success is your success. When an order arrives wrong, or is delivered or displayed incorrectly, it not only impacts the person running the event and the group starving for lunch, but also your Revenue.

Catering customers are likely to be your VIP customers with more significant and recurring orders. You have to give them the service with white gloves. Internal drivers know your menu—and your setup instructions—much better than a gig driver unfamiliar with your offerings. Hybrid catering lets you assign certain priority orders for self-delivery and then outsource the rest to third-party providers at peak times when you don’t have in-house drivers.

By rewarding high-value repeat customers with the fastest, most convenient deliveries, you can increase customer loyalty and retention while reducing rising outsourcing costs. Hybrid catering technology also provides an easy-to-use platform for booking your restaurant’s services online, providing greater convenience and a more personalized experience.

  1. increase brand awareness

Restaurant operators gain convenience when using third-party delivery services. But relying mostly on outsourced partners comes with risks like unpredictable reliability and lack of control over the brand experience.

Hybrid technology can offer branded driver tracking links to make the delivery experience feel more personal and consistent. You can also use tracking to promote special offers that increase sales and repeat orders by introducing customers to your business. By tailoring delivery to match brand perception, your restaurant can differentiate itself from the competition as your catering becomes a quality service with an excellent reputation.

Hosting an increasingly demanding customer requires diversifying your restaurant’s offering to include catering. By using a hybrid approach, you create a buffer against rising costs, an unreliable workforce, and inefficiency, so you keep both your numbers and your customers happy.


Alex-Vasilkin-Cartwheel.gifAlex Vasilkin, Co-Founder and CEO

As an executive and entrepreneur with over a decade of delivery experience, Alex Vasilkin has a passion for transformative technology that drives business success. Vasilkin is co-founder and CEO of wagon wheel, the leading technology provider powering the delivery operations of top restaurants such as Portillo’s, PF Chang’s and Potbelly, where he is responsible for the strategic vision and day-to-day operations driving Cartwheel’s impressive growth. Prior to founding Cartwheel, Vasilkin opened a restaurant with celebrity chef Govind Armstrong (which quickly became the top delivery restaurant on GrubHub in LA) and founded Gourmet Runner (serving hundreds of Los Angeles restaurants).

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