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Catering for conference season

By Matt White, Chair of TUCO and Director of Catering, Hotel and Conference Services at The University of Reading

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | June 02, 2017 | Catering & hospitality

The summer months can often be some of the busiest for university catering departments due to the commercial opportunities available from external events such as conferences, summer schools, banquets, weddings and community events. Marketing these facilities to non-university groups not only has a sizeable profit potential but it also offers the chance to raise the profile of the institution to a wider audience. 

The shift in focus from catering for students to often more formal occasions requires a great deal of planning and a change in purchasing habits. To help ease the pressures for catering leads during this transition period, specialist procurement technology, such as TUCO Online, can make the world of difference when it comes to time efficiency, cost savings and easing admin-based tasks.

For example, TUCO Online is linked to live supplier price files and allergen information, helping to reduce administration and streamline the recipe and menu management process. It also effectively manages supplier contracts through an online contract management diary. This can be a real-time saver when ordering for multiple event requests and different numbers of people during the summer months.

The shift in focus from catering for students to often more formal occasions requires a great deal of planning and a change in purchasing habits

Through using digital procurement technology caterers can also have electronic purchase orders, delivery notes, invoices, prices and products all in one place, giving complete control of expenditure and supplier relationships. Valuable KPI information and quick, effective and simple food stock control is also available in a fraction of the time, as well as automated price and product comparisons between multiple suppliers. This can help to further drive the profit potential during the term break. 

Digitalisation of the procurement process is enabling caterers to streamline their records and keep them all in one place. This one-stop shop, so to speak, means they can do everything from costing recipes online to managing stock levels and adding local supplier information.

To find out more about TUCO Online, visit www.tuco.ac.uk or contact info@tuco.ac.uk 

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