It’s lunch time! What are you having? That’s a question we know the answer to. In our second “Merchants to follow” article you will find out how you can order a meal to your workplace with Cateringoo, the first platform developed on the polish market that links food suppliers with business customers. In addition, we investigated how has the pandemic affected the online on-demand food delivery services market and what did the Cateringoo team do when, due to the lockdown, the number of orders almost dropped to zero? See below.
How to make complex really simple?
The founder of Cateringoo, Natalia Myszkowska, knows how time-consuming the process of ordering food to the office is. Arranging food for employees for business meetings or lunch is often a really big challenge for companies. It's an extremely time-consuming process requiring too many calls. In addition, despite the availability of many food-delivery providers, the domestic market was lacking a business-orientated solution. Natalia looked for a way to manage this area. She knew there must be a way to make it simple and time-efficient. That’s how the business idea was born.
Creating Cateringoo – a one of a kind one-stop-shop for companies – turned out to be a hit. It’s a marketplace the polish market hasn’t seen before, as it combines catering providers with business clients. In less than two years of being active on the market, Cateringoo fed 35 thousand guests in 150 different companies and handles from several dozen to several hundred orders per month.
“We have more than 50 suppliers in Warsaw and nearly 100 in Poland. We are focusing our energy mostly on the capital city while additional cities are developing more organically. This year, we started operations in Wrocław and Kraków. At Cateringoo, we set the bar high and work only with suppliers who use eco-friendly packaging.” says Natalia.
Since the very beginning Straal supports Cateringoo with managing the payment process. Due to the features offered by the system, finalizing orders is extremely fast, convenient and transparent for both partners of the transaction and – what’s most important – risk-free.
A clever twist on the benefit system
Cateringoo’s target group depends on the product. The “Catering Search Engine” or “Tailored Catering” targets office coordinators, receptionists and the people responsible for events and ordering meals to the workplace. Their latest product “Virtual Canteen” is addressed directly to employers, business owners and decision-makers in HR departments who manage the implementation of additional services across the organization.
It’s worth mentioning that the “Virtual Canteen” has been designed as a modern benefit for employees and is getting more and more popular. One company orders about twenty orders per month and the average order value is 2000 PLN. Moreover, 60% of their customers are corporations, the remaining 40% consists of small and medium-size enterprises.
What does “the new normal” look like for the catering industry?
The pandemic has significantly influenced the development of the business. Despite ambitious forecasts and plans, they suddenly found themselves in a very difficult situation. As a result of the constantly changing needs of their customers, they had to test new solutions such as home deliveries.
Right after the implementation of strict sanitary regulations, they had to implement new standards: create a safe and convenient mechanism that would replace the ways of ordering meals to work before COVID-19.
“And so, the Virtual Canteen was created” – says Cateringoo founder – “a platform that allows to manage the process of ordering and delivering lunches to companies with the highest safety standards. However, the pandemic situation caused the acceleration of work in this area and as a result we managed to launch a new service, fully adapted to current needs in just a few days!”.
The Virtual Canteen makes ordering food easy – it takes less than a minute to choose a meal based on the menu from the nearest restaurants. Every single one of them has been previously verified in terms of quality and safety procedure. Finally, the delivery itself is free and contactless.
Employers pay the full price or can use a co-payment system and share it with the employee. Regardless of the solution, the company is entitled to a ZUS relief for financing lunches (even 462 PLN per year for each employee).
The entire catering industry, both in Poland and abroad, is currently facing a huge challenge to adapt to the new realities. This also applies to business catering which is still recording large losses.
“Due to the fact that many companies continue to work remotely or in shifts I expect the situation to improve only in 1-2 quarters and to return to normal in mid-2021. So, it is difficult to make far-reaching plans, because the key at this point is to adapt to the current market needs and to be still up to date” summarises Natalia.
At Straal, we are very proud to be a part of the success story of Cateringoo.
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