An affordable franchise providing professional office catering to corporate clients Monday through Friday. This is a lifestyle business with a flexible working schedule.
Lance Hood: Hi, this is Lance Hood with ARCFranchising.com and today I want to introduce you to Corporate Caterers. Corporate Caterers is an affordable franchise providing professional office catering to corporate clients Monday through Friday. Our guest speaker is Larry Powell, the VP of franchise sales and development for Corporate Caterers. Larry, thanks for joining us.
Larry Powell: Hey Lance. Thanks. I'm happy to be here.
Lance Hood: What brought you to working with Corporate Caterers.
Larry Powell: So I have a unique backstory. I was the first Franchisee in the Corporate Caterers franchise system back in 2007 when they first began franchising that year. I owned and operated the first three stores in the brand and I've been with Corporate Caterers for over 11 years now. I've sold all of my stores so I can come on board full time with the franchisor a so I can take over franchise sales and helped furthering the brand across the country and trying to find some quality candidates that can get involved in, be successful in this opportunity as I was for 10 years.
Lance Hood: That's quite a success story. I am not familiar with a lot of people who started defining our brand and said, hey, I love this so much, I want to help other people do this. So that's great. From your experience, why then to most people go into franchising?
Larry Powell: Well, franchising is unique because it's a proven system. It's a process by which you can get involved in something without having to reinvent the wheel, you know, most people by the franchise for exactly that reasons. Let me find a product or a service or a system that's successful and profitable and uh, I don't have to reinvent anything. I can just go in and be good at following the plan and following the process and not have to create, you know, Larry's catering company. I can go into corporate caterers and, and hang the shingle of 20 plus years of proven systems and success and credibility and, uh, be able to promote and grow my, my corner of the market in catering. So that's why most people choose our franchises. Hey, it's an alternative to starting a business on their own.
Lance Hood: And I think there is a competence when people know that a business is a franchise, that, that there's other people looking into the business, making sure it's operating in, in a safe and uh, you know, a good way. Like when you go to a one off business, you don't know how clean the kitchen is. You don't necessarily have that confidence that comes with a large chain or a franchise, you know?
Larry Powell: Exactly. Yeah. We're, we're held to certain standards and we have to abide by them and were vetted and licensed and all of the things required to, especially when you're serving food.
Lance Hood: Why should people, the catering industry?
Larry Powell: Well, everybody's got to eat. So certainly there's many choices. You have restaurants, you have different partners out there that, that serve a need. But the type of catering that we do business to business that we see a tremendous demand and there's always a need for, uh, people that, services that are not just delivering takeout meals. So we provide a solution to a problem that a lot of our core customers have. And a need for on premise catering for meetings and staff events, so uh, the catering is, is likely going to continue. We don't get involved in the social catering, but the business to business catering is a, is a model that is going to be constant and it's always evolving.
Lance Hood: It seems nice because if it's a corporate catering, it seems like most of it's going to be during normal working hours. So you're not going to be nights and weekends as much and that you are doing larger orders and repeat orders. Like what's, what's your experience?
Larry Powell: Yeah. And that's exactly it Lance. So we're business to business sole focus Monday through Friday, breakfast and lunch, buffet style, hot and cold lunch, meals. Breakfast and lunch. Meals for meetings of 10 people or more. Our core customers are administrative professionals, pharmaceutical reps, physicians, hospitals. Basically any organization or company that is 10 or more people that has a need to impress or have on premise food, restaurant experience without going out to the restaurant. That's our, our core customer. We only focus on catering. We're not a restaurant. We don't work nights, weekends, holidays. So it's kind of a lifestyle business where you can still earn your money, build your business, but have a life beyond the restaurant, you know, you're not putting in 70, 80 hours a week. So our core customer and the niche that we've carved out in this multibillion dollar catering industry lends itself to being very attractive as a concept in franchising.
Lance Hood: And so when it comes to companies that do catering B2B, what makes Corporate Caterers unique.
Larry Powell: So we're not delivering takeout, we're delivering catering. We will go and set up a buffet style meal to the customer. We're very reliable, very dependable. We have a wide menu of variety of foods that can meet any Palette, but we're basically setting up the customer who is the hero for success. We're, we're acting as a guide. We're acting as a source of solving a problem for that core customer. Operationally were unique because this is all we focus on. We don't have inbound customers to a restaurant. So we're unique in that we just dominate this aspect of the market. We've carved out our model within a certain core customer. And we'll deliver these buffet style meals with a great presentation, a table cloth, black plasticware, hot and cold food, desert basket salads or signature tropical chips. All of these things is part of our presentation and our service. But what sets us apart additionally is that we will actually return after the meal is concluded and we will clean up all of the food. We leave all the leftover food for the customer and then we retrieve our equipment and take it away. So we're providing a, a full restaurant experience, catered meal in an office environment with.
Lance Hood: With pickup. So that's Kinda Nice. And I could see like when you guys show up, everybody's happy. Who's not happy when there's a ton of food delivered,
Larry Powell: The food always makes the meetings better.
Lance Hood: Yeah. How big is the need for this?
Larry Powell: Yeah. So this need is, is huge. We see this multibillion dollar catering market just increasing and we've managed to carve out our piece.
Lance Hood: What type of person is ideal for this opportunity?
Larry Powell: So we don't necessarily require you to have culinary skills. Again, I was the first Franchisee in the system with with zero culinary skills. I mean I could boil a boil an egg. I can flip a burger, I can grill a steak, but that's it, so you don't need to be an executive chef or a culinarily trained, you know, Foodie. You just need to have a passion for building your business, for being an entrepreneur, for being able to follow a system. Some sales and marketing background would be great, although not necessary because we believe in hiring the aces in the right spots to to handle the business requirements. But essentially we're looking for people that are, you know, entrepreneurial and motivated. They're leaders, go getters. They're able to follow a plan and don't necessarily require a day one paycheck.
Lance Hood: What support do you provide?
Larry Powell: We're very involved in our success of all of our franchisees. From walking them through the process of becoming a Franchisee to training for two weeks in our Miami flagship location to pre opening training in the Franchisee store, post opening training to make sure they're executing everything correctly and then the ongoing support so that ongoing support is going to consist of monthly owners meetings, monthly sales and marketing webinars, peer to peer exchange of information for best practices, cost savings, revenue generating ideas. This goes on monthly, so once you become a Franchisee and you've been open for a few months, you're not out on an island just executing your business without the support of the franchisor. We're small enough where we're very invested in the success of our franchisees.
Lance Hood: Yeah. Like if you were to start your own business, that's the big thing is you don't have the training and support. You're just kind of doing your best. And this way you actually have all that training support, not just from corporate but other franchisees. That's nice.
Larry Powell: Well, we have a wealth of experience in our brand of various backgrounds, various levels of education, various success stories. So we tap into that and we're very transparent with our franchisees and sharing information and disclosing how we're doing things successfully.
Lance Hood: Nice. What exactly is a Franchisee responsible for? What are their roles?
Larry Powell: So we want owner operators that are going to be active. We're really not looking for semi-absent owners or passive ownership. The owner's going to be involved in the day to day operations to include assisting with customer service, hiring and managing staff. Sometimes they're going to assist with taking deliveries. Sometimes they'll even make some sandwiches or help make salad. You know the first year you're, you're extremely active in the business with a hands on approach and hands on attitude to make sure your staff is sharing your vision in your operation every single day. Putting out fires, dealing with challenges, issues. Helping customers, so it's a very hands on day to day business requirement, at least for the first year.
Lance Hood: What are some typical questions potential franchisees have about your company?
Larry Powell: Well, clearly want to know how we are opening a new market, some of our branding strategies, how do they get customers? What kind of support are new franchisees or potential franchisee's going to get. Can they be successful at this? How large are the territories that we award? and we typically award larger territories of a million in population and greater. We want our franchisees to be able to grow into their markets. So we're very open to awarding larger territories in size so that there's sufficient infrastructure, demographics, population to support their growth into the markets in which they're opening up their store. So typically those, those are the main questions is, hey, how do I do this? Can I be successful at doing this? And where the customer is gonna come from?
Lance Hood: And then what are the various ways that franchisees make money as a corporate caterer?
Larry Powell: So again, because we're solely focused on that corporate avenue for generating revenue, our franchisees are dealing with, you know, different salespeople in terms of, of pharmaceutical sales reps, medical sales reps. We do a live business with corporations. Um, you know, it's our daily repetitive buffet breakfast and lunch meals that are being delivered to this corporate environment. That's our core repeat customer. Um, that's how we earn our dollars and our, and our revenue. So it's basically that is our revenue source and our stream for generating top line sales and um, you know, we're not having, we don't have a restaurant, you're not dealing with inbound customers, you're not serving customers in the store. So our revenue stream is from that corporate market.
Lance Hood: About what amount of people or percent of people are reoccurring customers versus people that just a use you like one time or every once in a while when they need something.
Larry Powell: Yeah, certainly we do have the one and done customer that are exploring new opportunities. Uh, but what is great about our concept is once our customer learns about who we are and what we do and they actually experience our service and our product, we have a very high retention rate of our customer base because they get to know how we service their needs. We're very reliable. This is our sole focus. We have very easy ordering practices for our customer. They can do it by phone, they can do it by Internet, they can do it by phone app. Um, we have a specialized portal, they can repeat orders. So we're relying on technology meeting with our experience to provide them a conduit to place orders with us and, you know, we answered the phone. The customer calls, we answer the phone. So it's rare to have that often with other competitors that, that uh, you know, you're calling and you're getting a voicemail. So we're very active in retaining our customer database and keeping customers based on how we execute.
Lance Hood: So what is the typical ramp up and break even time?
Larry Powell: Uh, you know, the answer to that is it's always, well, it depends, it depends on the market. It depends on how aggressive you're following our sales and marketing training, sales and marketing plan. Um, you know, on average it's about six to nine months of operations to get to break even. And know that dollar threshold can range from about six to $7,000 per week in sales, um, Monday through Friday to get to that break even point based on our starting staff and overhead. So again, it's year one is your growing in foundation year. This business really starts to become lucrative and profitable beyond year one in year two.
Lance Hood: Well, it really seems like you guys stand out as having a large repeat orders and letting people still have a lifestyle. Like they are able to go home at night, enjoy their evenings. Uh, when I think of a lot of catering and a lot of food opportunities, I think of all the weekends and evenings that you end up giving up with your family and your spouse and whatnot so that you are working on this business because that's when a lot of people want this. But because you're doing daytime corporate catering, it just seems like you don't lose that quality of life by working in food and doing what you love.
Larry Powell: That's exactly. And that's the hook for us is if you talk to people that have a food background or they're interested in restaurant opportunities, we showed them a better way. Here's the alternative. Hey, how would you like to still be able to make and build a business, make money, provide employment for people, but still have a life beyond a 80 hour, seven day a week restaurant experience.
So here's an opportunity where it's Monday through Friday with a breakfast and lunch focus where we're not working the nights, no weekends, no holidays, no social catering, you know, solely focusing on that B2B corporate need, but still being able to be with your family on the weekends, have a life beyond your business, your business isn't owning you. You're owning your business. And at the same time being able to build a lucrative business.
Lance Hood: Can you share some stories of people who have opened a corporate catering franchise?
Larry Powell: Well, certainly other than myself having done this in three separate locations over a 10 year period. Um, you know, I, I definitely can speak to practical application of our model and our brand rather than just theoretical. But we have lots of success stories. We have lots of husband and wife teams. They get involved in both avenues.
We have, uh, you know, single people that are doing this. We have some accountants backgrounds, we have some sales and marketing people with a background and experience. We have some culinarily trained people that are, that are franchisees. So, um, you know, we have a lot of different diverse backgrounds and skillsets in our franchise brand and we're seeing our success rate grow year over year growth in top line sales across the brand. So those successful franchisees that are following our model and following the process or are furthering their growth in top line and ultimately in bottom line because they're doing things the right way.
Lance Hood: Sounds good. I just want to let everybody know that if you're interested in learning more about, um, Corporate Caterers or seeing if this is the right fit, if this would work for you and you're genuinely committed to getting a franchise, let's have a conversation. I want to make sure that you get the right one and that we help you figure out everything you need to do. There's no charge for my services and you can reach me at 888-627-2776, or schedule time to speak with me at SpeakWithLance.com.
Larry Powell: Hey, Lance. Let me just add something. Um, we see that the franchise market is constantly changing and we understand and value that you as a franchise prospect needs somebody on the inside. It's going to help you through the process and teach you what you don't know. We specifically work with franchise brokers and consultants because we value the input that you guys bring in the franchise vetting process for your candidates. So even if you, as a prospective Franchisee, think you have thought of everything, I would recommend that you reach out to Lance Hood today.
Lance Hood: Thank you, Larry. Opening a franchise can be incredible. It can give you a better quality of life and become one of the best investments you'll ever make, but just like any other investment, you don't want to go into a guessing. Not all franchises are successful. My name's Lance Hood. My services are free. Let me help you find a better franchise.
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Affordable, very proven concept providing office catering Monday through Friday.
We are a unique brand that always remains at the top of our game, cleverly branded using modern technology, menus and service/delivery system to edge out our competition. We reward large territories that franchisees can grow for many years to come without opening more units.
This is a life style business with flexible working schedule. Extensive training from a qualified experienced franchisor with a happy family of franchisees to reach out to for additional community support.
Although this is a food business, it operates with a “What makes sense” attitude limiting services to a certain segment of a multi billion dollar industry. More attractive to metropolitan markets small and large. You will receive plenty of help finding an affordable commercial kitchen and the use of a very active marketing program, and powerful website complete with online ordering ready to do business.
We understand that every business demands commitment, reliability and confidence in always getting the job done. We serve great food, on time and a great catered presentation all on an affordable budget. This is the future and Corporate Caterers is already there!
Points of Interest Candidates
- Plenty of training and support.
- Five day work week.
- No need for Prime Expensive Lease space.
- More affordable startup using pre-existing or second generation restaurant space with no build-out expenses.
- Attractive company branded perfectly for the marketplace.
- Complete (in house) software operating system ready to use. This software manages all aspects of the business including ordering, kitchen production, developing menus, billing/collecting and communicating with your clients.
- Easy to hire staff from many sides of the food-service industry. Perfect for owners who excel at running the business and communicating to professional clientele -or- perfect for owners who loves to cook, create and serve professional clientele.
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