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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

How Cafes and Restaurants Are Becoming Catering Businesses

The food and beverage industry is one that is powerful in just about every possible way. There is just something incredibly amazing about how a meal can bring people together. It truly is the type of experience that is challenging, if not near impossible, to mirror anywhere else in life. Over the years, the appeal of the experience of sharing a meal or getting together with loved ones for some drinks has well and truly ballooned time and again, taking on a new life with each evolution.

Today, the food and beverage industry is again evolving into one where cafes and restaurants are effectively becoming catering businesses in addition to their usual environments. Now that we live in an era where life as we know it in just about every way you can possibly imagine is becoming more hinged on marvels like digitalisation and technological advancement, it is little surprise that food and beverage companies are taking advantage of these modern marvels and utilising them to their distinct advantage.

At the core of it all is the invention and subsequent consistent surge of the Worldwide Web. When the Internet first came to fruition, it did not take long before the world was addicted to this newfound sense of global inclusivity. It had never been done before; it was entirely fresh and unheard of. And it was changing the game from the onset. The rise of the Internet meant that there were doors and windows opening from all angles that people did not even know where there in the first place. And then ecommerce (i.e. the exchange of goods and services through online avenues) came into the mix and switched it up yet again. In the food and beverage industry, the impact was felt in the form of an entirely new era in food and beverages. This era was – and still is – driven by the awareness that food and beverages were suddenly so much accessible than they had ever been. It would mark the beginning of something fantastic.

From picturesque cafes to up-scale restaurants, and every type of food and beverage institution in between, these institutions are now effectively expanding to become catering businesses on the side of their regular business operations. Attaching a café or restaurant name to a catering system is something that, years ago, would have seemed too challenging to even attempt. Fast forward to today, and not only is this possible, but it is becoming more and more common all the time. Even just considering the impact of food and beverage delivery apps, makes a world of difference.

Essentially, these systems are allowing food venues to offer catering on demand – especially if you order in bulk. And yet that is not the only way that cafes and restaurants are becoming catering businesses. In fact, many cafes and restaurants today are expanding their businesses in this way because it broadens the horizons and revenue line for the company. Moreover, it gives them another way to connect with and impact diners not only locally, but around the globe.

Even now, this is still a relatively fresh practice, and as such it is a practice that is still evolving into what it will eventually equalize out. That is where the opportunity lies. This is, for the most part, a positive shift for cafes and restaurants and the like around the globe, because of the sheer potential and the excitement that is involved in expanding a business that is known for bringing people together into something that does all that and so much more.

Catering is great because if clients love what you have to offer in your establishment, chances are they are going to love what you offer outside of it as well. And that is the power of ecommerce; it has changed the way that we view industries – even (and especially) the food and beverage industry – tenfold. Welcome to the technology era, where modern marvels like digitalisation and technological advancement have more of a distinctive impact on the world around us, than they ever have.

Today, every aspect of life, every immersive industry, has evolved to make room for these modern ideals. Take the influence of technological impacts on the food and beverage industry, for instance. Prior to the rise of the Internet, cafes and restaurants operated within their own business models – and many did it exceptionally well. This has not changed, but what is changing is the way in which these food and beverage are delivered and consumed. They are still exceptional, but they are evolving and expanding to embrace the new opportunity. Today, thanks to the Internet and then ecommerce rising from the ground up, cafes and restaurants have essentially bloomed to become catering businesses as well. This is the start of the new norm in the food and beverage industry, and there is so much more to come. But oh, what a start.

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