Breakfast and Dinner Catering on Rise

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CHICAGO — While lunchtime catering orders for business and medical offices have slipped during the U.S. economic downturn of the past three years, breakfast and dinner catering is up significantly since 2007, according to the Chicago-based research firm Technomic’s updated study of more than 1,200 decision-makers entitled, “Large Orders Off-Premise.”

Breakfast catering at least once a week increased to 19 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2007, while dinner usage also increased, with 26 per cent of those surveyed saying they order catered-in dinners at work at least monthly, up from 18 per cent.

The average order size for business and medical catering orders has remained steady at 19 to 20 people, but the average per-person expenditures fell since 2007. Technomic principal, Melissa Wilson, points out that more catered breakfast and dinner occasions spells new opportunities for some restaurant chains to step into office and medical catering, segments that used to be the nearly exclusive domain of lunch-time meal providers.

Wilson adds that retailers, including warehouse clubs, are competing strongly against restaurants for business and medical catering occasions. One in five survey respondents reported using a warehouse club in the past 60 days for a business catering occasion.

For more details on the catering report, visit technomic.com.

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