Our main strategy is the growth of catering customers. A large customer base provides revenue and further both goals of operating a self-sustaining business and providing even more part-time employment for at-risk youth. This also positions Catering For Kids as the caterer of choice for every nonprofit in Eugene/Springfield.
The tactics to grow the customer base are:
Programs to support these tactics are:
Although Catering For Kids will offer high-quality food at competitive prices, the real benefit of using our service is knowing that the money a nonprofit is spending is being used not to improve our bottom line but to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the Eugene/Springfield area. Youth from the Chambers School benefit each time a customer books a catering event with Catering For Kids. Youth involved in the program get valuable work experience and a chance to learn real life skills that will help them make a successful transition from school to work, overcoming the exceptional challenges that disenfranchised young people face.
Catering For Kids is committed to balancing its operating budget and operating on a solid financial foundation. These efforts are based on a mixture of revenues from catering events, fundraising, partnerships with local businesses and charitable gifting. Just as revenues are tracked, internal expenses will be closely monitored.
Catering For Kids is intentionally emphasizing the need to reduce reliance on donation-based revenues and looks toward revenues from catering customers to support the program. Indeed, our goal is to become self-sustaining, involving our students in the process of maintaining a profitable and competitive entrepreneurial venture that benefits our community. This is a considerable challenge, due to the number of local catering competitors, the small size of the program and the unpredictable costs in areas such as food.
Sales for year one are based on internal Bright Future clients only. We plan to double this number in year two as we expand our business to serving external customers, especially other nonprofits. Finally, in year three, we plan to expand to serving the community at large, including retail customers.
Funding resources primarily come from school district revenues for teaching. A part-time instructor teaching for three hours a day, four days a week in an afternoon class shift of five to eight students would provide revenues of approximately $600/month. In January of 2003, we plan to receive funding from various grants that we are in the process of applying for now. We have been successful in applying for grants in the past and are very optimistic about receiving this type of funding in the future. Revenues brought in for our current daytime culinary arts curriculum instruction are not included in this calculation as they will continue to be taught with or without the launch of Catering For Kids.
Catering For Kids strives to be the premier provider of healthy, homemade catered corporate lunches for nonprofit organizations.
The marketing strategy attempts to successfully communicate the unique value the program offers to customers. This strategy builds on the focus of high-quality lunches for catered meetings to the benefits that at-risk youth student workers gain from involvement in the program. The marketing strategy will continue to identify the needs of the corporate market and to communicate with this audience in the most effective and positive manner possible.
Ongoing efforts continually attempt to understand how Catering For Kids can maintain the quality and integrity of the program within the finite financial resources of customers and the costs of supplies and labor. This challenge is increasing. As costs continue to increase in a number of areas, the demands and expectations of the customers do as well. Catering For Kids will constantly work to better our service through improvement and changes in its structure and implementation. Quality and efficiency are just two goals of these changes. The business manager, culinary arts instructor and Chambers School director play key roles in ensuring that the Catering For Kids continues to grow and succeed.
The growth strategy is based on continued attention to the quality of the customer's experience in conjunction with identifying opportunities to expand the student participation in the program. Future changes in key areas, such as the facilities used for food preparation as our customer base grows will present considerable challenges for all aspects of the program.
The distribution strategy for Catering For Kids is:
Our most important marketing program is preparation of the meals itself, along with thoughtful presentation that consistently exceeds our customers' expectations. The business manager will be responsible for ensuring that these objectives are met, with a milestone date of the 15th of October, 2003. This program is intended to cultivate and grow our customer base as well as give student workers an opportunity to see the inner workings of an entrepreneurial venture. Achievement should be measured by the slow but steady growth of our customer base and the ability to break even in the second year of operation.
Catering For Kids offers a unique opportunity for nonprofit corporate customers to support at-risk youth in their community by purchasing products and services that they already purchase regularly. In this way, Catering for Kids' customers' needs are met for catered events and meetings and Eugene/Springfield's disadvantaged youth are given the opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain entrepreneurial work experience before they have even graduated from high school.
Because of the competitive local catering market, we walk a fine line in pricing our meals. They cannot be so expensive that we are competing with high-end caterers who have professional chefs planning their menus, but at the same time we must cover our operating expenses, overhead and pay for our small staff. Our ready pool of trained student workers, who will be reimbursed primarily through school district stipends, will help keep our prices lower than our competitors.
Our boxed lunches will be competitively priced with the middle-range priced caterers in town with each box priced at approximately $6.50, including a beverage. Our buffet style lunches will be priced at approximately $6.50 per person including a beverage. We will charge a small delivery fee for parties smaller than eight people. Deliveries will be made by one paid staff person, accompanied by a rotating student worker in a complete chef's uniform.
Catering For Kids has the ability to provide internal and external customers with high-quality catered business lunches year round at competitive pricing while providing a valuable service to the community. We are able to provide this value because we have a pre-trained workforce - students of the Bright Future Chambers School and Safe & Sound Youth Project. These students are enrolled in the culinary arts program and have training in commercial food preparation and have food handler's cards. This work experience will provide students with transferable skills that help facilitate their transition from school to work and provide an excellent public relations position for Catering For Kids. The instructor of the culinary arts program is an experienced restaurateur who will bring practical business management know-how to the business and serves as a role model to the students in the program.
As our organization is a school, which experiences a constant flow of students through its classes, the workforce of Catering For Kids will be constantly changing as well. This presents a challenge to the permanent staff to maintain the same high levels of customer service and quality that our customers demand, despite having an entirely new staff every nine weeks. However, we are confident that our teachers and staff members are committed to the success of this project. In addition, each class of students is quite small, which allows adequate supervision and quality control over the products created.
We would not exist without the Safe & Sound Youth Project and other organizations, which were instrumental in the planning of this endeavor. Catering For Kids has alliances with the following businesses and organizations that have provided volunteer hours to assist in the launch of this project:
In the future, these organizations will continue to contribute to the success of this endeavor by providing ongoing consulting and possible product discounts to Catering For Kids.
The accompanying table lists important program milestones, with dates and managers in charge, and budgets for each. The milestone schedule indicates our emphasis on planning for implementation.
What the table doesn't show is the commitment behind it. Our business plan includes complete provisions for plan-vs.-actual analysis, and we will be holding follow-up meetings every month to discuss the variance and course corrections.