ezCater aims to help connect customers with small businesses and restaurants owned by underrepresented groups.
The initiative is part of the catering company’s new supplier diversity program. The program includes adding filters that provide more search options on the company’s marketplace.
The two new filters are “Diversity of Ownership” and “Business Size.” The first filter allows users to search for and order from restaurants based on the owner’s identified demographic. Demographic choices include Asian-American, Black, and LGBTQ—to name just a few.
The second filter can be used to support small businesses. Small restaurants are defined as having less than $13.5 million in revenue according to the Small Business Administration’s definition.
Diane Swint, Chief Revenue Officer at ezCater, said the company is committed to uplifting underrepresented restaurants.
“Our customers have increasingly expressed their desire to have more visibility into restaurant ownership, and now they do,” she said.
Restaurants can choose to provide demographic information about their ownership through their ezCater account. This data is also used to measure the equitability of ezCater’s restaurant network, which includes more than 100,000 restaurants, and will also be used to report on diverse supplier spend for the company’s corporate account customers.
Additionally, the information will be used for Heritage Month spotlights and to provide enhanced search results.
The company has partnered with EatOkra, the largest database of Black-owned restaurants, to identify restaurants that are owned by members of an underrepresented group.
ezCater is a corporate member of several organizations that provide economic opportunities to these groups, such as the Center for Women Enterprises (CWE) and the National Veteran-Owned Business Development Council (NVBDC).
The supplier diversity program also provides ezCater’s corporate customers access to custom reports. These reports show how much money the company has spent with diverse suppliers.
Michele Barron-Resto, Workforce Planning Manager at Marcum LLP, said her company chooses to order from restaurants owned by underrepresented groups to reflect the diversity of their staff, among other reasons. “ezCater’s new initiatives make it much easier for us to continue embedding DEI into our food program,” she said.