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Kudler Fine Foods Adding On A Catering Service

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Kudler Fine Foods adding on a catering service

MBA 502

University of Phoenix Online

Kudler Fine Foods adding on a catering service

Kudler Fine Foods is looking to expand into the catering business. This expansion will take some resources to get this part of the business. The company needs to assess its current position in the market to be able to support the stress on the business as they develop their service. How will they need to understand their marketing mix of product, place, price and promotion? Will the new service of catering need to provide an adequate pricing structure so that it will be able to compete in the market without putting a financial drain on the whole company? The company will also need to market effectively to promote the new service offered. How will the do this and will the target market affect the use of technology? Will there be a market advantage in using local organic growers. The company will need to consider all the factors involved and more as they expand into the catering service.

The assessment of market research

Market research is the gathering, recording and analyzing information regarding the customer, competitor and the market in general. The information acquired is used to help companies to develop a business plan, introduce new products or to fine tune existing product and services or to spread out into new markets(Market research, 2007). The Kudler Company surveyed their customers in 2005 and 2006 to see how the company was performing. The survey results could be divided up into three different areas of performance, the company stores, the product being sold and the service of the employees. Table 1 summarizes the results of the survey. The company's strength lies in their physical facilities. This includes their store's hours and atmosphere. The company's weakest aspects lie in their products or merchandise. The question that especially stands out is the customer's value of the merchandise for the price paid. More than half did not feel that the product value was in line with the price paid. The graph below summarizes the categories of the survey for 2005 and 2006.

The disturbing trend to note is that all the areas have decreased from 2005 to 2006. The Kudler organization needs to:

* Continue to upgrade the stores and find new ways to present the stores. The ability to present the products well is one of the key ingredients for a successful business. Sometimes it may be as simple as rearranging the products or a fresh coat of paint or clever designs on the floor to brighten up the place.

* Satisfy the customers by bring their product prices more inline with the merchandise. This could be accomplished with their direction to use contracted suppliers and being able to lower prices.

* Help the customers to feel the value in merchandise purchased. This will be accomplished as they implement the cooking classes. The instructors may showcase items and help the customers to understand the value of purchasing fine quality foods.

* Help the employees increase their customer service skills. As the employees complete the customer service programs, their skills should increase. It was the company's plan to benchmark the customer service provided by Nordstrom's department stores. From the survey results it appears that there needs to be more effort exerted in this area.

Some of the information that is lacking from the survey is the time of year that the surveys were conducted, indication of the store that the survey referred to and the duration of the survey. Some of these factors would be helpful in creating a specific plan of action to increase overall customer satisfaction.

Another reason to strive to improve the store's customer satisfaction is that the company would be able to use the stores to target market the new catering service. The store and the new catering service may be symbiotic relationship as they benefit each other.

The marketing mix for Kudler's catering service

The marketing mix, products, place, price and promotion, is extremely important for the success of the company in implementing the new catering service. The products need to be inline with the company's mission statement of providing customers aspiring to purchase the finest epicurean delights (Kudler Fine Foods, 2006). The foods need to be of a gourmet quality in order to reflect the stores. The goal is to help the customer discover that the fine foods will more than satisfy their desire to be filled but tantalize their taste buds with the extraordinary experience.

The location of the catering business should be central to customers who they are serving. The location also needs to be inline with the regulatory agencies for food safety compliance. I would start with the Del Mar location because it is central to the stores. The Del Mar store is also near the freeway for easy access to receive products also to send the catered product to many locations. If needed, the other stores could be used as staging areas to keep the food safe and fresh, cold foods cold and hot foods hot (Dusold, 2007).

The price should be slightly higher than the average catering service. The higher price will enable the company to employ high quality chefs that can prepare the succulent morsels to satisfy their customers. The company's prices should not be too high but should be affordable for the mid to high budgets.

Promoting the new service is a must for the success of this program. There are many options available. A successful start would be to advertise in the local newspapers and radio stations. Other creative ideas could include providing the catering service to fund-raising events. Wedding and event planners could be invited to sample the foods available. The important thing to do is to get the word. The best source of advertisement is by word of mouth. The company could also use their "preferred customer" program to provide multichannel marketing. And do not forget marketing on the internet.

The products that Kudler's catering should offer

The first step for the catering business is to formulate a catering business plan. Catering services are used for birthdays, anniversaries, conferences, business parties and of course weddings. Will the business be for receptions, seated dinners, box lunches, picnics, hors d'oeuvres or dessert? The company should focus on a particular area of specialty. Weddings



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