Catering for the masses: Customer experience and allergen inclusivity

14 October 2021

From the outside looking in, the catering industry may appear to focus solely on food production, but as any good catering company knows, what makes the difference between a good caterer and a bad one is the customer experience.

After all, what good is a catering company without customers? No matter the food quality, if the customers’ experience is poor, a great deal of effort has gone to waste. One element that shouldn’t require masses of time and effort is your allergen information, yet it’s something that’s often neglected and overlooked.

Catering for your customer’s experiences

Ensuring your customers are satisfied, comfortable and having a good time is a delicate balance and one you might need to tweak as you go along. While there are plenty of excellent examples of customer service, there’s no one “fix-all” solution that guarantees happy customers all the time.

Learning where your company excels and what needs work may take time, fine-tuning doesn’t come quickly, but by taking advantage of every opportunity to learn, you can keep your catering company evolving and updated.

Some of the best lessons can come directly from the customers themselves. By listening to your customers’ needs, you can anticipate problems and complications in your service; after all, the more you listen, the more you’ll learn how your catering is received. By understanding the customer’s requirements, you can introduce measures to alleviate any pain points and reduce complications along every step of the way.

How allergies can affect your customers

A common cause of complications are allergies; statistically, over 2 million people in the UK suffer from a food allergy, with a whopping 20% of all UK adults suffering from allergies in general. The past 20 years have seen a sharp rise in allergy sufferers, and the food industry has to change to keep up.

An unfortunate wake up call for many companies were the tragic events of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, a teenager who unknowingly consumed a baguette containing sesame seeds, causing a severe allergic reaction that ultimately led to her death. Natasha’s death could have been prevented if her food had been labelled as containing sesame.

Obviously, this is an extreme example but one that could worryingly happen again through improper or neglectful labelling. Fortunately for those with food allergies, a campaign backed by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse has led the UK government to pass a law in 2019 that requires all pre-packed for direct sale food to feature labels that list all the allergens contained within.

How Marka can help

As contract caterers, the introduction of the legislation known as “Natasha’s Law” may first appear as a daunting task that requires a complete overhaul of your processes and routines. Fortunately, Marka has devised a product that takes away all the problems that come with producing accurate food labels.

An affordable system designed to print ingredient list labels without any fuss or complications, it automatically marks allergens in bold. It allows for updates with minimal work, making it the ideal way to prevent any allergen complications.

It can be a struggle for staff to recite the ingredient list of a given dish at the drop of a hat, but with Marka, customers can see for themselves what they’re eating, creating a smoother, more straightforward and, more importantly, safer dining experience.

If anything should change or meals have to be adapted, Marka’s system can match you on flexibility. With an easy to use display that requires no in-depth training to use, you can effectively adjust ingredient lists at the drop of a hat and implement the changes across all printers that are a part of your system.

With Marka, there’s no need to sacrifice speed and effort for the sake of safety, helping you to work as efficiently as you can while keeping the customers safe and informed.

If Marka feels like something that would remove some of the stresses in your day to day as a contract caterer, contact us here for more information on how we can help.