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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Fressen Catering is a start-up company.  Marketing is critical to its success and future profitability.  Fressen offers creative, gourmet kosher catering for a wide range of events. 

The basic market need is a high quality, creative kosher catering company servicing the Philadelphia Jewish population.  Fressen will meet this demand with an ever expanding innovative repertoire of kosher meals.

Market Summary

Fressen possesses good information about the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of our most prized and loyal customers.  Fressen will leverage this information to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Fressen can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
  20012002200320042005 
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Middle class kosher customers9%120,547131,396143,222156,112170,1629.00%
Upper class kosher customers8%80,45786,89493,846101,354109,4628.00%
Other0%000000.00%
Total8.60%201,004218,290237,068257,466279,6248.60%

Market Needs

Fressen is providing its customers with a progressive menu offering of kosher catering.  Typically kosher foods are bland, traditional, and far from innovative.  Fressen is meeting the market need of a wider menu offering for events that require kosher catering.  Fressen seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Selection: A wide selection of kosher menu items.
  • Accessibility: Fressen prepares all of the meals in their certified kosher kitchen and can cater events within the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.
  • Customer Service: Customers will be impressed with the level of attention that they receive.
  • Competitive Pricing: All of the offerings will be competitive relative to the true competitors found in NYC.

The market trend for kosher catering is headed toward a more discriminating customer.  The catering patron today is more sophisticated in a number of different ways:

  • Food quality: The preference for higher-quality ingredients is increasing as customers are being subjected to better kosher food.
  • Innovative creations: More innovative items are being demanded as people recognize that food does not have to be dull just because it is kosher.

The reason for this trend is that within the last few years there have been progressive caterers and restauranteurs in larger cities that have begun to apply their culinary skill to kosher offerings, recognizing that market demand could be developed.  Now that people are trying this fare, they are recognizing there is no need to be complacent with the status quo.

Market Growth

In 1999, the kosher catering industry reached $16 million in sales nationally.  As more options begin to be offered, market growth is forecasted to increase.  This is because people are demanding more choices now that they recognize choice is a feasible option.  For years, people that practiced kosher were duped into the belief that kosher food was stagnant, boring, and unflavorful.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures key strengths and weaknesses within the company and describes the threats facing Fressen.

Strengths

  • Strong relationships with many different congregations.
  • Excellent staff who are highly trained and very customer attentive.
  • Superior service offerings.
  • High customer loyalty.

Weaknesses

  • The struggle to build brand equity.
  • A limited marketing budget to develop brand awareness.
  • The difficulty finding someone with enough culinary skill to support Susan.

Opportunities

  • Growing market with a significant percentage of the target market still not aware that Fressen exists.
  • The steep learning curve that kosher food can be creative.
  • The ability to develop many long-term customers because of a close-knit Jewish community.

Threats

  • Competition from similar service providers in NYC.
  • Local, established competitors that wake up and realize that there is a huge market in Philadelphia.
  • The inherent high cost of kosher food production.
  • A slump in the economy that will decrease customer's budgets for parties.

Competition

There are four other kosher caterers that serve the low to middle end of the market.  These caterers compete to some degree on price (due to budget constraints of some clients), more so on service.  The quality of the food and the serving of the food are the main areas of service that the caterers compete on. 

There is one high-end caterer who will compete with Fressen.  This caterer, while serving the upper-end market, often does not offer an upper-end service.  Their business has been declining over the last few years.  People with knowledge of the industry recognize that this company is not a strong competitor because of their overpriced service offerings relative to the service provided.

Lastly, one competitor for the high-end market is kosher caterers from New York City.  When cost is no object, there are many people that are willing to pay the additional cost of bringing in the caterer from NYC.

Service Offering

Fressen Catering will provide Philadelphia with high-quality kosher catering.  The catering service will be for weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and other assorted parties.

Kosher or kashruth is a specific, ritual/set of rules that applies to certain sects of Judaism in regards to food/drink preparation and consumption.  A kitchen or catering service must be specially set up to provide kosher meals.  The explanation below regarding the prohibition of dairy and meat served together, or made in the same kitchen by the same pots and utensils, is the reason that Fressen Catering will require two sets of everything, including two stove top ranges and ovens.

The Hebrew word kosher means fit or proper as it relates to dietary (kosher) laws. It means that a given product is permitted and acceptable. The sources for the laws of kashruth are of Biblical origin and expounded in Rabbinic legislation.  These laws are codified in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law).  Though a hygienic benefit has been attributed to the observance of kashruth, the ultimate purpose and rationale is simply to conform to the Divine Will as expressed in the Torah.

Kosher and non-kosher meat, poultry and fish:

  • The Torah (Leviticus Chapter 11) lists the characteristics of permitted mammals and fish, and indicates the forbidden fowl. The only mammals permitted are those which chew their cud and are cloven hoofed.
  • The Torah does not list specific characteristics to distinguish permitted from forbidden birds. Instead, it details 24 forbidden species of fowl.
  • The Torah establishes two criteria in determining kosher fish. They must have fins and scales. All shellfish are prohibited. One, however, should not eat fish with meat.

Another element of kosher meat consumption applies to the way in which the meat is slaughtered.  There are several different methods:

  • Shechita: Only a trained kosher slaughterer (shochet) certified by rabbinic authorities is qualified to slaughter an animal. The trachea and esophagus of the animal are severed with a special sharp, perfectly smooth blade causing instantaneous death with no pain to the animal.
  • Bedika: After the animal has been properly slaughtered, a trained inspector (bodek) inspects the internal organs for any physical abnormalities that may render the animal non-kosher (treif).
  • Glatt Kosher: Some Jewish communities or people only eat of an animal that has been found to be free of all adhesions. "Glatt" means smooth,  that the meat comes from an animal whose lungs have been found to be free of all adhesions. "Glatt Kosher" is used more broadly as a consumer phrase meaning kosher without question.
  • Koshering: The Torah forbids the eating of the blood of an animal. The two methods of extracting blood from meat are salting and broiling. Meat once ground cannot be made kosher, nor may meat be placed in hot water before it has been "koshered."
  • Salting: The meat must first be soaked in salt.  After the salting, the meat must be thoroughly soaked and washed to remove all salt.
  • Broiling: Liver may only be koshered through broiling, because of the preponderance of blood in it. Both the liver and meat must first be thoroughly washed to remove all surface blood. They are then salted slightly on all sides. Then they are broiled on a perforated grate over an open fire, drawing out the internal blood.

One of the main tenants is the prohibition of meat and dairy in the kitchen together. The Torah forbids cooking meat and milk together in any form, eating such cooked products, or deriving benefit from them. As a safeguard, the Rabbis extended this prohibition to disallow the eating of meat and dairy products at the same meal or preparing them on the same utensils. One must wait up to six hours after eating meat products before any dairy products may be eaten.

Fressen Catering will serve a wide variety of dishes.  This is offered for two reasons. 

  1. The larger repertoire of menu items is a benefit to the customers.
  2. A large selection is required because meat and diary cannot be mixed within the meal, therefore, in essence you have to have two different menus, one with dairy and one with meat.

Some of the menu offerings will be traditional Kosher/Jewish meals such as beef brisket with potatoes and vegetables and a roasted chicken with rice and spinach.  More inventive meals will also be offered to appeal to the higher end, more discriminating customers such as chicken pesto dishes or a red pepper couli sauce, or maybe salmon with curry couli and plum chutney.

Kosher catering is not cheap.  The ingredients cost more, as well as the additional equipment that is needed to eliminate the mixing of dairy and meat products.  Per person costs range from $45-110.

Keys to Success

  • Generate repeat business.
  • Increase transaction amount per person.
  • "Knock" the socks off customers with impressive food quality.

Critical Issues

Fressen Catering is still in the speculative stage as a caterer.  The critical issues will be handled by:

  • Taking a modest fiscal approach; expand at a reasonable rate, not for the sake of expansion, but because it is fiscally wise to. 
  • Continue to build brand awareness which will drive customers to increase their usage of Fressen as well as be vocal to their friends about the positive experience they had.

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