When you host a business meeting or event, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to provide food for attendees.
That’s exactly the situation in which ezCater aims to help. The company focuses its efforts specifically on business customers. Read more about ezCater’s offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Connects businesses with caterers.
CMO David Meiselman told Small Busienss Trends, “The company’s online marketplace connects businesspeople with restaurants and caterers across the country that can deliver food for any business meeting or event.”
Nationwide reach and a focus on business customers.
Meiselman says, “While tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Uber are just getting their feet wet in the food and restaurant delivery space – joining smaller players that only focus on limited local markets – ezCater already has a nationwide footprint through relationships with more than 44,000 caterers and restaurants. Through this network, it can reach nearly every city and town in the U.S. – that’s 23,000 and counting.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of a need for the service.
Meiselman explains, “Prior to founding ezCater, Stefania Mallett served as CEO at PreferredTime Inc., a company that helped pharmaceutical sales representatives take the hassle out of scheduling meetings with doctors. While the company succeeded in alleviating this need, Stefania noticed an ongoing trend in follow up from sales reps. After they secured a meeting with a physician, they would continually ask for help with the next step: getting food delivered to the meeting. Stefania never forgot that all-too-common request and knew there was a sizable business challenge that needed to be solved.”
Landing their first national account.
Mallett says, “The relationship began at a tradeshow, and involves a company with 85 offices nationwide. Those 85 offices represented the first real-world yardstick against which we had to measure the strength of our nationwide coverage. To our delight, we stacked up pretty well. It gave us a boost of confidence, and the comfort that the system we were building had really reached scale.”
Take some risks.
Mallett says, “Looking back, I think we were too frugal for too long. We probably could have moved faster by being less cautious about raising money and taking big expansion steps. Today we have a lot of success under our belts, but maybe we could have had more…”
Delivering to interesting places.
Meiselman explains, “While ezCater is focused solely on business catering, that doesn’t always mean that customers want food delivered to an office. The company has helped arrange catering for unusual settings like construction sites, which actually happens quite frequently. One of the most unusual sites that ezCater has ever delivered to was the middle of a field in the Midwest farmlands.”
Using the service for their own lunches.
Meiselman says, “ezCater works with so many good restaurants and caterers that it’s hard to choose. But the company regularly uses its own service to order-in food for its staff. Every week a staff member gets to select a new restaurant and order food for their colleagues – and the same restaurant has never been used twice! In addition to giving everyone the opportunity to try new food from ezCater’s partners, this weekly ritual allows everyone at the company to experience the ezCater marketplace and get a first-hand experience with how it works for their customers.”
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Images: ezCater. First image (from left to right): Anne Mello, Image Curator (not fully visible); Matthew Davey, Caterer Sales; Victoria Brady, Director, Caterer Care & Partnerships; Stefania Mallett, CEO; Third image (from left to right): Briscoe Rodgers, CTO; Ben Jackson, Software Engineer; Mike Borsare, Consultant