Catering to customer needs

Customer needs analysis is used in a variety of product and brand management contexts, including concept development, product development, value analysis and customer value analysis.

We were approached by a medium-sized catering company based in Johannesburg  that provides equipment from large commercial catering equipment to catering smalls (e.g. crockery, cutlery). They  were eager to expand into the ever-growing pool of food service establishments and private restaurants. We were asked to conduct a B2B research study that would help them to understand the customers point of view, catering equipment needs, opportunities and the purchase decision-making processes among target market groups.

We began our research by conducting telephonic surveys across Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga among food service establishments that had a commercial level kitchen: private restaurants; take-away (non-franchised); nightclubs and bars; boutique hotels and butcheries.

Each survey was conducted among owners and/or managers of the kitchen i.e. the person responsible for purchasing commercial catering equipment. The questionnaire was carefully designed during a Questionnaire Development Workshop with our client  that ensured that we were asking the most insightful and relevant questions.

Customer Needs


Thereafter we sourced the relevant databases and interviewed potential customers. In order to encourage participation and create brand awareness, respondents were entered into a lucky draw  (the prize of which was a substantial catering equipment voucher). In addition we conducted a comprehensive competitor analysis through secondary desk research.

As a result we delivered an insightful quantitative report to our Client that assisted them in developing a marketing strategy to expand into new market segments. They were able to manufacture and supply products based on specific customer needs, as well as apply the  most effect way to market their products and services by understanding the purchase decision-making process and communication preferences. Subsequent to this research study they have become key suppliers to new market sectors and have more than doubled in size and revenue.