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For Restaurants

Catering for Success: How Two Dinova Restaurant Partners Are Winning with Corporate Clients

As consumers hit the price ceiling and companies invest more in relationship-building and employee engagement, corporate catering has emerged as a key growth opportunity for restaurants. Corporate catering success means accommodating the needs and expectations of businesses, which differ from those of consumers. (Learn more about corporate catering decision-makers in our latest State of Business Dining Report.)

A growing number of restaurants are shifting their operations accordingly, from joining Dinova’s program to gain corporate visibility and preferred supplier status to offering special menus, pricing, and perks. We spoke with two Dinova restaurant partners to learn their recipes for corporate catering success:

  • As San Francisco’s oldest continuously operating business, Boudin Bakery has a rich legacy—it even makes its famous sourdough using the original 175-year-old starter. It offers a range of business dining experiences, from casual in-store meals to full-service catering and an online store for corporate gifting.
  • Originating in Scandinavia, Joe & The Juice took the U.S. by storm in 2015 with signature juices, shakes, coffees, sandwiches, and treats. With convenient locations in major cities, it features trendy dining spaces and unique catering options like the Joe Event Bar and Joe Truck.

Here are the takeaways for restaurants.

#1: Client outreach is critical.

Boudin Bakery and Joe & The Juice understand the importance of proactivity in remaining top-of-mind for new and existing catering clients. For Boudin’s Sr. Regional Catering Sales Manager, Danna Navarro-Carr, that means cultivating relationships with decision-makers like administrative assistants and HR professionals. 

“I may go in and ask if I can thank them for their business,” said Navarro-Carr. “I offer to bring in some food, then I invite them to bring new people along to introduce our product and services and get to know me, and it just kind of snowballs.”

Boudin has also proactively sent menus and offers ahead of dates with heavy catering needs, like Nurses Week, and offered free bread cards as a leave-behind for those not yet ready to close the deal.

For Joe & The Juice, partnering with other local brands and events is key to visibility.

“Building strong bonds with loyal corporate clients and branching out through partnerships with well-known brands and wellness organizations are paving the way for growth and increased market presence,” said Philip Johannessen, Senior Corporate Accounts & Marketing Associate.

Other successful outreach tactics for Joe & The Juice have included hosting events during off-peak hours, targeted flyer distribution, and special introductory pricing.

#2: Think of it as a partnership.

These restaurants view their relationships with customers as a mutually beneficial partnership, where a higher level of service and communication is key. 

To that end, Boudin negotiates pricing and provides a single point of contact for business customers. Special touches and local flavor also go a long way toward fostering loyalty. For an elevated experience, Navarro-Carr throws in “surprise and delight” details like animal-shaped bread, custom cookie designs, and table cards that tell Boudin’s story.

“That’s the kind of thing that makes it special, not just like every other ‘drop and go’ caterer,” she said. “We also bring team members on site to scoop clam chowder in a bowl. That’s San Francisco’s claim to fame, right?”

Joe & The Juice has found that co-branding during corporate events reinforces the idea of a partnership.

“Customization is at the heart of what we do,” explained Johannessen. “We offer personalized experiences that feature your brand alongside ours, creating a co-branded vibe that’s all about connection.” 

Animal-shaped bread at Boudin Bakery in San Francisco. Image source:

Navarro-Carr also emphasized the importance of other B2B partnerships, like Boudin’s partnership with Dinova.

“I am really a fan of partnerships, whether it’s with my corporate clients or our third-party partners,” she said. “It’s important to me that we all remain close as we maneuver through these new times with our business. I love working with Dinova.”

#3: Corporate customers require flexibility.

Corporate events come in all shapes and sizes, from office gatherings to large-scale conferences and high-stakes meetings. Earning new and repeat business means providing flexibility, and for Joe & The Juice, the entire catering program is designed for mobility and flexibility.

Joe & The Juice customizable event bar. Image source:

“Our flexible pop-up bars adapt effortlessly to various settings, from intimate office gatherings to large event spaces, ensuring every element is on point,” said Johannessen.

Corporate groups typically include people with dietary restrictions, and both Boudin and Joe & The Juice go above and beyond to provide delicious options for everyone. That often involves creating new or modified menu options with the culinary team.

“What I currently do is make a hidden menu of my own,” Navarro-Carr shared. “So I modify the heck out of things. We’re developing many more vegan and vegetarian options that should launch in July.”

Joe & The Juice also recognizes the importance of catering to diverse dietary needs in the corporate landscape.

“Our menu is thoughtfully crafted to include a variety of options—gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and Halal—ensuring that every palate is accommodated,” said Johannessen. “We take customization seriously, providing personalized labels to ensure each item is precisely tailored to individual preferences.”

#4: Hospitality matters.

While many corporate catering orders are merely transactional, other caterers—like these partners—understand that genuine hospitality and human interaction are crucial.

“It’s about the human connection to get to know your client,” Navarro-Carr explained. “I think that’s the differentiating factor between the way catering’s being sold today and the way it should be sold. Hospitality needs to matter because these are the times we spend with our colleagues. We need to reconnect as a bond more as groups for company culture. I think that food is an easy way to make that happen.”

For Joe & The Juice, hospitality also means going the extra mile to make things right if something goes awry.

“Addressing customer service issues promptly is also vital,” said Johannessen. “We’ve implemented proactive measures like heartfelt apologies and added perks to turn around any service snags and keep our customers smiling.”


State of Business Dining Report: Catering Edition

Learn more about corporate catering trends and how to reach decision-makers in our latest report.