ezCater, the only nationwide marketplace for business catering, today announced that Jim Rand, the longtime restaurant industry executive who built the catering business at Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s, has joined the company as Catering Practice Leader. In this new role, Rand will apply his decades of experience in building and scaling catering operations to help ezCater’s partners grow their off-premises business.
With more than 40 years of restaurant experience, Rand focused much of his career on building successful off-premises operations. As Vice President of Catering at Panera Bread for nearly a decade, Rand built the company’s catering business and grew catering revenue from 2 percent to nearly 10 percent of individual store sales. Prior to this executive role, Rand developed more than two dozen Panera franchise locations where he created the successful catering model that he later introduced company-wide.
Earlier in his career, Rand held executive roles at Metromedia Restaurant Group, working with Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouses, and held various roles at Au Bon Pain. Most recently, Rand was Vice President of Off-Premises Dining at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, where he built a catering program that doubled the channel’s sales growth in just 18 months.
“I love talking about catering and helping operators succeed, which is why ezCater is the perfect place for me. Catering has been an important piece of the organizations where I’ve worked in the past, and I’m so excited to join ezCater where it’s the only focus,” said Rand. “The industry is changing drastically and I believe ezCater is the new model for success. I’m eager to help ezCater’s restaurant partners seize the opportunity that catering represents for them.”
Off-premises dining has been a bright spot in a restaurant industry faced with flat or shrinking revenues. Business catering in particular has grown by nearly 40 percent in the past four years to become a $22 billion market, according to data from the foodservice research firm Technomic. As the only nationwide marketplace for business catering, ezCater has helped restaurants serve over 36 million businesspeople in every corner of the country and is in a unique position to help its partners quickly tap into this growing market.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Jim to our team,” said Victoria Brady, ezCater’s VP of Caterer Partnerships. “He brings unmatched industry experience to ezCater, plus he’s innately kind and helpful so he’s a natural fit. Adding Jim to the team will ensure that we provide the very best solutions to help our restaurant partners grow their catering businesses.”
To learn how ezCater can help grow your catering business, visit: https://www.ezcater.com/company/grow-catering-business/