Offering easy and seamless online ordering for drop-off catering orders

After 39 years in business and a robust reputation in and around Chicago, Blue Plate Catering felt the need to embrace technology as workers started to slowly return to the office. Seeking the perfect solution to remain competitive and launch online ordering for its corporate catering drop-off services, the renowned caterer found in GoTab the ideal partner to build further growth and modernize its operations.

An Attentive, Dedicated Customer service Team

As the pandemic had inevitably diminished the in-house team at Blue Plate Catering, GoTab’s onboarding and customer service team stepped up to the plate and quickly established itself as an extension of the team. From rapidly completing a much-needed integration with Blue Plate Catering’s existing system to quickly answering the team’s needs and creating custom functionalities tailored to their operations, GoTab set up the eminent caterer with all the tools needed to find success through a modernized ordering process. Even today, the team continues to offer a dedicated and custom onboarding process for new employees at Blue Plate Catering.

“At some point, our administrative team was a team of one, and, knowing that I could rely on my dedicated GoTab representatives for any online ordering needs, it felt like they were part of my team and I had constant support from them”.

Teryl Thurman, Director of Delivery Sales for Blue Plate Catering

Innovative Menu Features, Custom Functionalities

With GoTab’s help, Blue Plate Catering set up online ordering on its website, as well as for its large contracted accounts, instantly benefitting from the innovative menu features provided by the cloud-based solution. While the Blue Plate Catering general menu was available for online ordering directly on the caterer’s website, custom menus were created for each contracted account. With GoTab, the team has the tools to seamlessly and easily update all menus, add imagery and set up custom pricing for each customer. Tailored functionalities were created to adjust GoTab’s capabilities to better serve Blue Plate Catering: the team built in order minimums, set up a cut-off time for next day orders, and even leveraged the existing zone features to create various delivery zones with corresponding delivery fees. GoTab’s two-way text communications came in handy to update customers on delivery issues or delays, while online ordering virtually eliminated ordering mistakes, delivery snafus or invoicing challenges.

Alleviating Admin Tasks And Bringing Cost Efficiency

With online ordering via GoTab fully set up, the team is spending considerably less time on the phone to take or discuss orders with customers, freeing up their time to ensure customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, many customers have fully embraced online ordering of catering orders, appreciating GoTab’s flexible, easy-to-navigate interface and convenient features such as easy reordering. The Blue Plate Catering team also noticed that many online orders come through after 5pm (outside office hours for the administrative team), which means that GoTab allows them to capture that business and avoid missing out on these catering order opportunities. With GoTab’s reporting features, they are able to streamline menus,  better forecast their needs and optimize inventory.

“With GoTab, we have a macro perspective on what sells well and what menu offerings need to be adjusted. We are able to forecast better, be cost-efficient, and ultimately switch our menus to feature kitchen-driven selections instead of customer-driven selections”.

Teryl Thurman

GoTab also makes invoicing and marketing easier and less time-consuming: the team can create and disseminate discounts faster, update monthly specials and holiday-themed offerings, and communicate with guests directly through some of the built-in marketing tools within the GoTab platform. 

Expanding The Use Of GoTab Beyond Corporate Catering

Beyond its corporate catering drop-off services, Blue Plate frequently gets asked by corporate clients to provide food and beverage offerings at large events, such as the annual Shamrock Shuffle or summer sailing races. The team is able to utilize GoTab’s technology to take orders via handheld tablets directly at events or set up online pre-ordering options for F&B pick-up for race participants. They are working closely with GoTab on new, enhanced features that will launch in the coming months, which will allow Blue Plate Catering to continue to compete with large corporate catering providers and, ultimately, further expand revenue.

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