Adapting the depot to maximise spending by licensed caterers

Licensed caterers make up nearly half of all caterers visiting a cash and carry. The majority are pub owners, but in addition 13% are club owners, 9% are restaurateurs and 6% are hoteliers. Non-licensed caterers include sandwich shops, fast food outlets, coffee shops and delicatessens.

Licensed caterers tell us that they source the majority of the alcoholic drinks they buy from cash and carry, then delivered wholesalers, and they also admit to buying some from supermarkets.

Licensed caterers visit the cash and carry more frequently than non licensed caterers (1.7 versus 1.5 times per week) and buy beers, wine and spirits from their cash and carry on average 1.2 times per week. So what are they buying on their other visits? Perhaps we need to focus on the other categories that they are visiting for in order to get them to visit more frequently and alternately spend more with us.

Licensed caterers tell him! that they visit the soft drinks aisle first, followed by the chilled food dairy section and then the spirits. These are the categories driving visit frequency. We need to ensure that we have these core categories right in order for caterers to be satisfied with their visit.

Those caterers who are licensed are a hugely valuable client base as they spend more (due to the high value items they are buying such as alcohol and often cigarettes) at the cash and carry than non-licensed caterers so we should be doing all that we can to attract these customers to the depot.

Fifty nine per cent of licensed caterers said that they were going to purchase BWS and 58% did purchase BWS items, meaning that cash and carries are meeting nearly all purchase intentions leading to little slippage but also that there is impulse purchasing within the category.

This could be because 64% of licensed caterers tell him! that they always buy the same brands of alcohol each time that they visit the cash and carry. This is because licensed caterers are more likely than non-licensed caterers to use a shopping list when visiting the depot.

So how do we get them to deviate from the list? Licensed caterers also tell him! that they are much more likely to be encouraged to look closer at a product on offer if they are able to try the product, sampling it then and there in the cash and carry. Understanding how caterers shop the depot is critical to make sure that we are sending the right buying messages throughout their journey.

It is also important to make sure that there is the correct product adjacencies, such as crisps and snacks next to the BWS, offering cross promotions of a discount when crisps, snacks and BWS are bought together.

Caterers are very set in their ways and therefore need to be educated and encouraged to shop more of the depot. Using visually impactful signposts will help to draw them into new departments. Suppliers need to make sure that they are providing the right range and pack size such as larger spirit bottles which are optics friendly.

Caterers are a very diverse group and although slightly more complex than independent retailers, suppliers need to distinguish between the different types of caterers and their needs and not treat caterers as just one sector. Him! can help.

There is no quick fix solution. We need to educate the caterers so that they are aware of new products, range available and offer tips and advice, such as menu matching, to help their business.

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