Everyone in the restaurant and food processing industry knows that young people hardly ever cook, and busy families rely on ordering food in, or take out, or buy convenience foods to re-thermalize, or finish cooking.
Catering services are preferred for parties, and events too big to organize by the host.
Take out food services can be a sideline to an existing business, or a business unit in a commercial plaza, which can also do delivery.
The initial investment for a limited menu take out facility is relatively low, and everyone with a little business acumen can start it. The most important aspect for such a business is a feasibility study to determine what type of food to offer and the proximity of a viable market. In a restaurant or hotel operation, take out, delivery, and catering would expand business with a limited investment, and some organizational restructuring for it to function satisfactorily.
The catering industry in major North American cities can be very lucrative especially for specialized service providers i.e kosher, halal, vegetarian, or ethnic.
Caterers are equipped to cook in banquet halls, churches with banquet rooms with fully equipped kitchens or at least a large enough space to in which to cook, and serve, or in remote locations, for movie sets.
If you are in a meeting in your office and running behind the scheduled time, to clinch the “deal” or contract, a catering service or ordering foods in can save the day.
The same is true when unexpected guests arrive and you have not time to prepare a meal. It is true that you can always run to a grocery store and but frozen prepared and micro vawable food, but this would be less desirable for honoured guests in your hoe, and quality and safety of the food are never guaranteed.
According to surveys, a little less than 50 per cent of all dinners are completely home cooked in large North American cities, and some 30 per cent of meals served at home consist of frozen or prepared food. The market for take out, ordered in, or catered food is huge and growing.
This is true not only in big cities of all developed countries but also in developing countries.
In Hong Kong, pizza delivery on motorbikes is very popular and profitable, in Manila food is delivered on motorbike, or bicycles, in Bangkok you can order Thai food and it will be delivered promptly on a motorcycle with a uniformed and polite male.
The menu must be practical, appealing, fast to cook, or which can be kept hot for a long time without falling apart, and feasible to package well to keep relatively warm.
Packaging must be well thought out and easy top keep hot. Some pizza delivery people use insulated pouches, others use `hot boxes`which continues cooking the food, therefore not recommended.
Shrimps are very delicate and turn rubbery once cooked and kept hot for any length of time. The same true for boned and skinned chicken breast cut into small pieces.
Regardless of anything in the food delivery business, never promise a specific time limit for delivery (i.e 30 minutes within a defined areas or it is free). Food delivery people become reckless and dangerous driers causing accidents. Occasionally, people do not open their doors until after the specified time has lapsed.
Airlines usually sign contracts with catering companies located within airport buildings, but some airlines that pride themselves in outstanding food and service prefer t buy their meals from hotels to ensure quality and consistency.
These days many North American airlines sell unappetizing or dried out sandwiches. Savvy hotel managers can increase business by offering packaged cold meals or even sign contracts with an airline to deliver it on a pre order basis.
Take out food, and catered meals have existed for a long time. Successfully restaurateurséhoteleirs need to compile enticing menus and advertise well. This will increase sales and also encourage people to become regular guests to your restaurant or hotel.