Food Prep and Setup Tips for Your Franchise Restaurant’s Catering Service

Food Prep and Setup Tips for Your Franchise Restaurant’s Catering Service

Regardless of whether you’re new to the catering business or you’re an old pro, there’s always room for improvement. Since your catering services often have an impact on brand recognition and reputation, you always want to put your best foot forward when catering special events.

Here are some food prep and setup tips to help your franchise restaurant make the most of your catering program.

List All Ingredients

In this day and age, you can’t be too careful when it comes to food sensitivities. While we often hear about nut allergies and gluten intolerance, people can also harbor severe allergies to very specific ingredients found in salad dressings or condiments. That’s why we we recommend listing the specific ingredients on cards that you include with your order.

Most chain restaurants list food ingredients openly on their websites (for instance, check out this printable guide from Subway), so you should have no trouble identifying food items and simply including a printout of the ingredients in each dish along with the order.

Separate Vegetarian Items

Because it’s so easy for vegetarian items to get lost within an order of meat-filled items, we recommend preparing vegetarian items separately. We suggest restaurants prep with clean utensils that have not been used with meat, and then ensuring these items are wrapped in separate packaging. This makes it very easy for event hosts to separate out vegetarian items, particularly in situations where the meat options look similar to the vegetarian options, as is often the case with sandwiches and sides like chilli. Make this even easier for servers by clearly labeling which items are vegetarian and which are not.

To that point, if your restaurant is not known for having many vegetarian offerings, you may wish to expand your catering menu to include hearty options for vegetarians so they have more options than simply a side salad. Of course, this is all within the parameters of what your franchise allows, so be sure to stick within the rules.

Focus on Packaging

 When it comes to franchise restaurant catering, packaging is something restaurants often get wrong. All too often, we find that restaurants simply dump food into standard styrofoam containers or wrap items in foil. This leads to a number of problems, most of which are entirely avoidable.

In trying to determine how to best pack your foods, be very careful to consider what you’re serving: Will items will become soggy if placed in foil? Will cheese will stick to the top of the container you’re using? Taking care to tape containers of soup to ensure they don’t spill and packaging your salad dressings in the same unit as the salads are easy ways to score points with your customers.

Sure, it may take a little more time. But your customers will be thankful and will think of you when choosing a catering service in the future.

 Focus on Appealing Visual Presentation

This is also an area where many franchise restaurants miss the mark. With catering, your food will typically be on display, often presented in the exact same packaging it was in when it arrived at the location. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure you use quality materials so catering clients won’t have to scramble to find their own serving platters.

But, the emphasis on visual representation also extends to the food itself. No one wants to eat squashed sandwiches, chips that have broken into tiny pieces, or barbeque that looks like it was haphazardly thrown together. Ensure your food looks appetizing by taking the time to plate the items prior to delivery, or offer your customers serving tips as needed.

If you’re ready to upgrade your franchise restaurant’s catering services, Catering Brand is here to help you design the best program for your business. We help franchise restaurants automate their catering order process and take care of all tasks related to delivery. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you grow your franchise restaurant’s catering business.

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