Lunch is the most commonly ordered meal for corporate drop-off caterers. Sandwiches are the most frequently requested item. If your restaurant delivers, you are in the catering business.
Oftentimes the owner of a pizzeria will say, “We deliver pizza and salads to offices but we don’t cater.” Guess what? Yes, you do! Whether you are running a deli, a pizza shop, an ethnic restaurant or a diner, your food, if properly marketed, will be viable option for companies that order, “catered lunches.”
The most commonly sold items on a corporate catering menu are sandwiches. Consequently, you may already be catering sandwiches or plan to add some to your menu. Given this, we want to offer some thoughts about the almighty sandwich.
The first step, before deciding what goes in your sandwiches, is to look at what holds them together...BREAD. Bread is important. Don’t cut corners or go with the least expensive. Kudos if you bake or par bake some or all of your own.
Evaluate your suppliers
This is a good time to evaluate your current supplier, unless you are 100% satisfied. Perhaps they could provide you with some samples of other sandwich breads they carry. Or, is it time to look around for a new vendor?
“If the artisan baker down the street gets ingredients from the organic farm up the road, their bread may be fresher, healthier, and have a lower environmental cost than alternatives.”
When looking for ways to cut your food costs, weigh your decisions carefully. For example, is it better to use cheap generic bread or more expensive fresh bread from the artisan bakery down the street?
If the artisan baker down the street gets ingredients from the organic farm up the road, their bread may be fresher, healthier, and have a lower environmental cost than alternatives. Also, consider all the potential customers who are partial to the local bakery and the possible reciprocal referrals between your businesses. Finally, advertising local patronage may yield additional marketing benefits. Consequently, even though the artisan bread costs more, it might be the more profitable option.
Differentiate your sandwiches
There are endless creative sandwich options. Experiment and try to find ways to differentiate your sandwiches from the competitors. One operation may offer as few as five types, but they are known for having the best pastrami and the daily lines to prove it, while another may be renowned for their fresh-out-the-oven breads.