What is guest management for contract catering, and how is it different from F&B loyalty?
The contract catering industry has a way to go in digitalization compared to the food and beverage industry as a whole. When handling subsidies, discounts and other employee benefits, there is little room to be flexible or scalable due to outdated solutions and old ways of working. That’s where guest management, a system designed explicitly for contract catering, comes in.
Let’s begin by defining what it’s not
A guest management platform for contract catering is not a loyalty or rewards program like Starbucks Rewards. To clarify what guest management is, it makes sense to describe how it relates to, and differs from solutions in other food and beverage segments. They mainly differ regarding their technology, guests, and how to satisfy those guests.
The general F&B segment
The guest – A restaurant guest is a private person who benefits from returning. For example, if the data shows a person is purchasing a lot of desserts, this person can be enticed to come back by receiving a discount on dessert in an app.
Guest satisfaction – Happy guests are partly achieved through loyalty programs with various membership levels and discounts linked to each level, for instance.
The guest – Guests are employees to specific companies or even company departments and follow the rules and discounts set up for them by that company. There can be any set of rules. They can get a 10% discount on lunch (subsidized by the employer). Or get a 15% discount from the restaurant if they purchase lunch at a minimum of three 3 times a week.
Guest satisfaction – Here, we talk about guest management instead of loyalty programs, with established agreements between the contract caterer/restaurant operator and the company in the building where the restaurant is located. Guests receive benefits and perks in the canteen from the employer, who often is driven by the initiative to increase employee satisfaction.
The solution for contract catering: a guest management system
A guest management platform is a SaaS solution customized to the conditions of contract catering operators and their clients. It is built to handle employees or students and not private consumers.
With a guest management system, clients of contract caterers add their employees to the guest management solution and decide what benefits they want to provide them with and when. The rule engine used when benefits and perks are added is highly sophisticated and built to enable creativity and flexibility without losing its ease of use.
The benefits are then transferred to a personalized, digital employee wallet that works as the identifier when a purchase is made at the canteen checkout, self-service kiosk, app, web or IOT device such as vending machines or connected fridges.
The employees identify themselves when purchasing their food, and an invoice is later sent to the company. Post payment and invoicing are seamlessly integrated into the digital ecosystem the caterer and their clients are using.
3 main advantages for contract catering to use a guest management solution
As we have established the differences between F&B as a whole, and contract catering, let’s evolve around a guest management system and how it can prove beneficial.
1. Simple administration means saving time and money
Do you as a contract caterer spend several days a month on invoicing and other administrative tasks related to the canteen? In a guest management platform, the internal processes can be automated, and the system can be integrated with accounting programs, cash register systems, and more. With automation, you reduce the manual time spent on administration, and go from days to hours, maybe even minutes!
Also, in a guest management system, the customer can add and edit employee information and change their groupings and roles. Removing even more administrative burden from the actual operations of the cantine while adding flexibility to the client.
2. Help clients boost employee satisfaction
Having a well-thought-out employer branding strategy to increase employee satisfaction and attract new colleagues is a top priority for today’s employers.
A modern food concept joint with top-tier canteen benefits from the employer should be so appealing that a person visiting a company for an interview views the offering of that office restaurant as such an intriguing perk they are more inclined to take the job.
With guest management software your customers actively work with the offers in the canteen and transform those to set up great benefits and perks for their employees. Your client will grow fond of the platform and their employees will revisit the canteen over and over again.
3. Bring back guests to the canteen and increase loyalty
In this post-pandemic world hybrid work is the new normal. With a guest management solution, you give the client the tool to use your canteen as a means to bring back people to the office and the canteen. The client will in a sense do the canteen marketing for you.
The technology can also be connected to IOT devices such as smart fridges, vending machines, and small convenience stores outside the restaurant. The canteen offer can therefore be expanded above and beyond the canteen walls and more people will be able to utilize the offers.
A guest management solution for contract catering is so much more than loyalty software because it is tailored to suit contract catering, simply put. A guest management tool is a way forward for your contract catering business if you are looking to digitize your business, streamline and centralize administration and attract people back to the office and the canteen. You will see instant improvements in how guests and clients utilize the canteen offers.
We’d love to show you what our guest management solution can do for your business – contact us to arrange a demonstration.