Direct mailers will first go to the 535 green businesses on a monthly basis and will be expanded from this number as needed to continue to provide the average 15 event total to meet the strategic goals.
Type: All types of businesses, with 10 or more employees will be targeted as potential customers to this service with the first emphasis being on businesses who have strategic planning around green/sustainable business practices.
Value Drivers: Intentions of practicing sustainable standards in business, seeking mid range catering for meetings and events, seeking alternative to cheaper/less healthy alternative catering offerings, seeking to try something new with a greater level of service and sustainable business practices, a desire to support other local businesses with a similar goal, a desire to improve business climate with only limited resources, a desire to offer vegetarian fare to those who choose it, a desire to offer healthier alternatives to employees at business functions, a moderate to high number of meetings in need of catering or food provision of some sort, an interest by planning staff to seek out better alternatives within a budget for meeting fare.
Decision Process: An interested planner might see advertisements of some nature for the catering service, seek out approval for expenditure, order and then receive the product for distribution to employees at event.
Concentration of customer base for particular products: The customer base for this product is concentrated in the business area, as the company will seek initially to serve business functions and expand when needed to provide similar offerings to private functions.
Market Position: Currently less expensive catering options such as fast food/pizza/sub sandwiches or even fine dining non-catering restaurants have the greatest market position in this niche as they have previously been the only options available, short of larger and more costly catering companies which businesses might not think of for routine business meetings and gatherings. Businesses must then be made aware of a mid range option in the form of this company.
Strengths: Less costly, rapid service with no need to call more than a few hours ahead for planning, readily available with several options. In the area of more costly full catering services they have greater knowledge of the catering process and the infrastructure to offer a great deal of options and services.
Weaknesses: Little or no service comes with the product, employees may need to leave the business to pick up food, not perceived as healthy, rarely easily catering to vegetarians, lower quality fare, none or unknown alignment with natural/organic or local offerings and business practices. For more costly catering options the price point as well as the broad variety of offerings as well as the fact that they are not routinely thought of as an alternative for routine functions and meetings.
Market Share: All competitors total hold 57% market share in this niche, with many such meetings either going without meal service or allowing the individual to bring in his or her choice of limited offerings either from home or from their individual restaurant(s) of choice or to go without.
The retail aspect of suppliers, such as bakeries, produce suppliers and other suppliers will all be considered collaborators in this business as there will be mutual marketing with retail (sauces, spreads and dressings) and marketing offerings from this company being displayed and sold and distributed in retail locations of other local sustainable business partners and this company will market the sources of its products at each and every function.
The initial business venture will have only one proprietor employee limiting liability and cost of doing business. Expansion may need to occur within the first year if events overlap and a second and third employee may need to be staffed. Employees would be offered a competitive wage to a wait staff wage in the area, and the gratuity for each event will be forwarded in addition to wage. The position(s) will be part time and will not offer benefits. Candidates will need to be trained in professional and preferred set up and tear down and present with a clean driving record and a good knowledge of the region for delivery.
Currently the economy is in a recession creating demands on companies to trim expenses. This is both a strength and a weakness for this type of business as it will limit the willingness of some organizations to provide catered meals for events while on the other hand catering events can boost moral and might provide a less costly way to improve the business organization climate while spending only a limited amount of money.
The pull in the economy to sustainable business practices and greener business goals will also provide a greater opportunity for holistic sustainable business practices combined with the desire to support the local economy and other businesses that have sustainable goals in their own markets. The awareness of natural/organic and local food needs of a community is also growing in a broad sense and this will also help the company to build clientele.
The internet page of this company as well as cellular communications will serve as a backbone for the development of new and existing customers as it will serve as the ordering staff as individuals will be able to order options from the menu and provide information about the event and any future events as well as leave feedback. Individuals will also be able to use point of sale technology online to prepay for their order(s). Confirmation will then occur via telephone and any special needs or alterations will be developed personally. Food growth and service technology will also be essential as creating a productive rooftop greenhouse, transporting other raw materials and finally cooking and storing products until the time of delivery will be handled in the most technologically efficient manner possible in the catering kitchen as well as in the cold transport van(s). Internet and cellular technology are well supported in this region. Garden infrastructure may need consultation and research and development. The cooling system on the delivery van will be supported and maintained by the leasing agent. Kitchen technology will be maintained by the proprietor. Marketing fliers, placards and direct mailers will be ordered via a local green printer who will use soy ink on recycled paper.
1. Open market for local/natural/organic prepared foods. (Lengeman, 2007, p. 52)
2. Minimal investment.
3. Supporting and offering other businesses the opportunity to act responsibly and within their own sustainability models.
4. Research knowledge is obtainable on local area catering as well as growing greens hydroponicly, marketing sustainable food, local logistics and marketing partner sources. (Henderson, 1998, p. 112) (Norberg-Hodge, Merrifield & Gorelick, 2002)
4. Investment in research and marketing may be substantial.
5. Limited current knowledge of catering business and local/natural/organic logistics and production.
1. Open market for offerings of local/natural/organic food offerings to businesses with sustainable missions.
2. Desire by many businesses and individuals in them to globalize sustainability goals and missions. (Furniss, 2006, p. 45)
3. Good potential source partners in the area, with like minded local/natural/organic farmers, bakeries and other businesses growing and seeking alternative marketing and increased awareness.
4. Businesses may be seeking to offer benefits that are non-monetary but still improve moral.
5. Fewer people are eating out at work and elsewhere and may choose to eat in if available.
6. Catering option is a stop-gap solution.
1. Existing lower cost catering options.
2. Future similar catering options.
3. Potential for partnership expansion into same niche area.
4. Weak national economy.
5. Fewer people are eating out.
6. Businesses are cutting costs.
IV. Market Segmentation
Description: Businesses with greater than 10 employees, needing mid range routine and special event catering, with a business mission of sustainable practices.
Percent of sales: 95%
What they want: A mid range catering option that is easy to eat and coincides with green/sustainable business mission, improved corporate social climate at a low cost, quality healthy natural/organic/local food presented in a transparent manner delivered in a timely manner and with support services.
How they use product: To meet the food needs of employees and others in a quality and professional setting to improve company moral and in alignment with sustainable local business practices and support of others with similar goals and practices.
Support requirements: Professionalism, timeliness, transparency of health and sourcing functions, high quality service and presentation.
How to reach them: Direct mailers to event coordination staff, call follow up to promote repeat business, word of mouth, web presence.
Price sensitivity: Mid range pricing, significantly lower than traditional catering prices but slightly higher than less healthy low cost alternatives.
Description: Retail sales of dressings, sauces and spreads on location at supplier retail outlets.