Catering today has surpassed traditional buffets and dancing. With jobs coming from all different types of clients, caters have to conform to the changes in the food industry. Today, those changes stem mainly from the convenience of the Internet. Businesses and individuals alike are looking for fast and efficient methods to placing and receiving catering orders. The most important note is to decide how you will make yourself available to all of the potential customers in your area. With the creation of online catering systems, customers and caterers are brought together through interfaces that simplify the ordering process, similar to ordering take-out. The true question is which sites will give you the most “bang-for-your-buck” and will actually increase your sales. This article will give you a snapshot of the top 4 online catering websites.

  1. EZCater
    Unfortunately, EZCater does not offer the exclusivity and overwhelms customers with options, but it will allow you to reach clients in your surrounding area. Paying customers enter their respective city and are given a list of companies that will cater to these areas. So even if you are located outside of the San Francisco Bay area or New York City, you can still benefit from online catering. The downside is that this list includes franchises that deliver, so the competition may be overpowering for small-business owners.
  2. Fooda
    This new online ordering website, based out of Chicago, takes a different approach to catering. Customers input their preferences and are matched with your restaurant or catering business. Like ZeroCater, Fooda will test your cuisine and add you to their pool of restaurant candidates. Rather than the customer choosing your location to cater your event, Fooda will choose your location for them. They claim that the benefits for your restaurant include: increased revenue, brand advertisements, and new customers. While the site is still flying under the radar, jumping on the bandwagon now may get your foot in the door before the site takes off.
  3. ZeroCater
    Strictly serving the San Francisco Bay area and New York City, ZeroCater brings restaurants and catering companies to local businesses. Their business model is based on finding the best local food and delivering it to offices in these areas. By tasting different dishes from prospective caterers, ZeroCater has created exclusivity, recommending your food to paying customers. You have to be invited to be part of this limited pool, but once in it will make you one of the top caterers in your cuisine. ZeroCater has strick standards for being on time as their reputation is at stake.
  4. Seamless Catering
    Seamless Catering has taken off after the creating of Seamless food ordering was created. Unlike the other sites, Seamless requires a referral letter to become a part of their system, as well as many hoops to jump through. But once they have you on their site, you will find consistent business in your area including many corporate accounts. These include big name companies including: American Cancer Society, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Twitter.

Overall, while online catering is still in the introductory phases, getting your restaurant on these websites may provide a high rate of return, especially as many companies are looking for quick and simple methods to catering. But many of the new online catering networks vet caters so you have to build connections and meet their standards to have access to their customers.