Without a spring event and catering season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many catering companies are turning to alternative revenue streams by providing their services directly to consumers. These catering companies have had to quickly pivot their business models to stay afloat.

Some caterers are selling prepared meals directly to consumers while others are selling groceries. Others are even using their resources to make meals for those working on the front line.

Catering companies usually do business with third parties to plan large scale events. In the current climate, caterers have changed their business models to directly speak to consumers. Many are creating new websites that are user friendly for guests to order premade meals.

Caters have also been adjusting their menus to stay away from fancy bite-sized foods into large portions of comfort foods. Menus are focusing more on soups, braised meats, meatloaf, rotisserie chickens, and lasagna.  These items are all better-suited to being reheated at home and enjoyed on the couch in PJs. People want approachable food at a more affordable price point. It is important for catering companies to realize this and adjust their business accordingly.

Caterers have also turned to selling groceries and dry goods directly to consumers. There is a huge need for grocery delivery right now. We can see it with the rise in services like Instacart and Amazon Fresh. Caterers can help fill this need by delivering fresh produce and other necessities.

Other catering companies have turned their kitchens into facilities to make many meals for those working on the frontline. With industrial kitchens and access to large food supplies, catering businesses have the ability to pump out hundreds of meals a day for those in need.  Some caterers have made deals with FEMA.

As the world continues to social distance, catering companies need to adjust to the needs of consumers. Whether it includes selling prepared meals, groceries or making meals for the community, drastic changes in the way a catering business operates need to be made. We recommend using this time to try to expand your catering business into new sectors. Be creative and think outside the box for solutions. What do people need in a time like this and how are you going to get it to them safely?