Research on consumer demand in the contract catering industry
Keywords:contract catering, market research, consumer needs, health, lifestyle
The main aim of the research was the examination of a very up to date issue with the help of recent market research tools. After summarizing the results, different conclusions have been made. On one hand consumers are getting familiar with their own specific expectations through practice, on the other hand the research analyzes and evaluates the behaviour and quality expectations of the stakeholders participating in contract catering. The conclusions of the study will be useful not only for non-profit organizations or for educational institutions but also for participants in the healthcare industry in a wider sense. Because of the high volume of contract catering and the high number of participants affected by the service, the research is based on questionnaires. Furthermore, several interviews were made with key decision makers, such as institution leaders and managers. These ensure that relevant data was collected to make the final conclusion. Our goal was to set up a relevant, reliable and flexible feedback system to measure consumer opinion. With the help of proper data analyses and the assessment of consumer needs, higher, even complete, customer satisfaction could be achieved regarding the service provided by contract caterers. I will show the sufficient nutrition and energy intake of different age groups participating in contract catering and the materials and methodologies needed to achieve these amounts. As a contrast to this, I will summarize the everyday eating patterns and the familiar and accepted meals and materials of the consumer groups on the basis of the answers to specific questions. The recent presence of different trends in diets (vegetarian, bio food, religious practices) and the challenge these diets mean to service providers will be examined. I will also discuss the challenges service providers have to face because of the changes in eating patterns and living standards affected by diseases and environmental changes and to what extent these changes can be handled in the contract catering industry. I will examine the correlation between the recommendations of different scientific institutions and the summarized consumer needs on the basis of the questionnaire. A recommendation will be made in order to develop a program that is informative, promotes and declares healthy lifestyle and changes the approach of the future generation, as well as the thinking of their parents.