Catering in 2019

The Catering business in 2019

What are your catering resolutions for 2019? Perhaps you’ve decided to wrestle control of your food costs (rather than them controlling you). You may have decided to incorporate 2019’s ingredient trends into your Summer recipe planning. Will you keep your customers informed through digital menu publishing?

We visit hospitality operators every week. Whether you’re in procure-to-pay, inventory control, or recipe management, these are the top five topics you tell us you’re watching this year.

  1. Food in an instant – We’re not talking pot noodles here! The rise in ‘click- and -collect’ technologies embraced by high street businesses grow in popularity and is expected to continue through 2019. If you’re not using live data to connect with customers (and find new ones), you’re risking the future of your business.
  2. Reducing Food Wastage to Zero – ‘Top to tail’ catering is becoming more mainstream. However, have you discovered the Hydro Protective Process (HPP) yet? This increases shelf-life by up to three times, by dipping a packaged product into very cold water and applying hydrostatic compression. The process is proven in the US and Canada – where it became common as early as 2007. It is being tested by UK companies across lines such as sandwich fillings, juices, and raw meat.
  3. Fermenting produce – Some of the world’s finest restaurants have grown their reputations through dishes that incorporate pickled and fermented ingredients. 2019 is expected to see these techniques appear in further outlets and price levels. Business benefits include reducing waste through increased shelf-life, whilst remaining on-trend for diners seeking delicious meals and good value.
  4. Food Labelling (returns) – A window into your kitchen, manufacturing and suppliers. The industry is bracing itself for a Government response to consumer pressures surrounding the food we consume. As more hospitality outlets share product data from suppliers, the ‘new’ levels of transparency will become the ‘new normal’.
  5. Industry’s Allergen and Intolerance Response – Reported cases are on the rise and the sector has realised digital tools to track allergens is vital. Off the back of FY18’s sales reports, expect further increases in catering for special diets. Once innovative options will find their way onto more main menus. These include cashew ice cream, agave nectar and lentil pate.

The single issue facing the sector in 2019 (with some certainty) is food and ingredient price rises. Operators without procure-to-pay software tell us they continue to query supplier invoices from the busy month of December, as they deal with product price and availability changes that they were unaware of. Forecasted margins have been dented.

With 2019 being the ‘year of uncertainty’, we believe all catering operators need to take control of inventory and profitability, and we are here to help. We’re currently working with your competitors to give them live control of their supply chain, which means accurate reporting and forecasting too. Contact us now to understand the value Caternet will add to your business and how software can identify and respond to ever changing consumer needs.

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