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Selecting a Contract Food Service

When deciding to hire a food service provider for your organization's needs, be sure and do your homework on the caterers being considered to ensure that they not only provide you with the services needed at a great price but also with the flexibility needed to form a truly successful long term relationship.

  • Are they willing and capable of handling all of your primary needs?
    • Employee Food Service (menu variety, service, and pricing)
    • Catering Needs (extensive menus,  service, and operating hours)
    • Special Events (holiday parties and meals, company picnics, etc.)
  • Are you getting a great value, which translates into getting high quality food, reasonable portions and fair pricing?
  • Is there is a daily service component (i.e. providing a daily lunch service for employees)? If so, is there enough consistent volume for the provider to be profitable?
    • Many employers offer their associates a lunch subsidy that covers part of their lunch purchases. (This is almost always a key benefit offered by employers who are regularly listed on the "Best Companies to Work For List" compiled by the Dallas Business Journal.)
    • Payroll deductions for the lunch service will add convenience and a consistent volume of business for the provider.
    • Encourage department heads to award employees free lunch certificates to jobs well done.
    •  Get lunch from the provider for small meetings instead of going out (better productivity.)
  • Is there a reasonable amount of flexibility in the agreement? It is a fair expectation of the preferred caterer/food service provider getting most of the catering. Options to use some other providers for pizza, ethnic foods and specialty catering that may fall outside of the contracted provider's primary services are reasonable.
  • When putting together a food service provider agreement, keep in mind that the provider will commit numerous resources to the effort. Hiring employees, purchasing new equipment and potentially turning away other business opportunities. There needs to be contract termination terms that are fair to both parties.

The selection of a quality foodservice provider is an important one and with a bit of due diligence should result in a long term mutually beneficial relationship that will provide a wonderful benefit for employees looking for a convenient lunch option as well as a needed service for those responsible for planning meetings on site.


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