It’s an enviable problem to have: A packed calendar, new ventures, and exciting jobs you can’t turn down. But for Catered Too! founder Greg Casella,CPCE, taking on more business also meant more administrative work—and an ongoing struggle to find enough reliable, quality people.
Here’s how partnering with Instawork helped him reclaim his time and find a more sustainable way to grow.
Easing growing pains—and outgrowing old practices
Catered Too! has served the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly three decades, routinely catering for groups ranging from a hundred to 20,000 people. As one of the largest caterers in Silicon Valley, they feed up to 1500 people per day at various companies in addition to event catering and managing three museum cafes—and they’re still growing.
Behind it all: Founder Greg Casella, a passionate, hands-on leader who, up until spring of 2018, juggled staffing-related tasks and a growing shortage of qualified candidates.
“We needed a lot of people, and always had difficulty finding them,” he says. “Whether we need 200 or 300 staff for a day, it felt like there was nobody to be found.”
Couple that with the time it takes to hire and Casella was in a bind. He had always handled staffing the traditional way, on his own. And when they did try staffing agencies, there were too many failures.
The solution: Access to reliable, high-quality workers through Instawork
What Casella needed was not only better access to the quantity, but quality as well. In the spring of 2018, Catered Too! partnered with Instawork.
“When we found Instawork, the rate of people showing up was amazing. If you booked 10 people, you were pretty much guaranteed 10 people would show up.”
Catered Too! has high standards for its staff. Before Instawork, screening and interview processes were the only way to guarantee the attitude, skills, and reliability they need. Instawork’s pre-vetting and matching takes the time and effort out of finding the best people for the job.
“Being able to have the Instawork team on our side has helped us say yes to more jobs. The Instawork workers are happy to be there and engaged with what they're doing—they really want to be there.”
As the viability of Instawork became apparent, Casella increased his use of on-call staff—and saw an opportunity to shift his entire staffing strategy.
Modernizing processes and staffing strategies for the future
With a pool of staff they could count on, Casella found more areas to improve—including scheduling, timekeeping, and payroll. But when it came to overseeing events, he still found it tough to be in multiple places at once.
His solution: Creating a full-time—to—on-call staffing ratio he could apply like a formula to events of any size. Quality control and management tasks can be delegated to the core team day-of.
This has streamlined recruiting as well. “I'm hiring fewer full-time staff and using more Instawork workers. I can concentrate on hiring leads who can manage the on-call staff for an event. It’s made us all better at what we do.”
Building a stronger company culture
Instawork hasn’t just made Casella’s life easier—it’s improved the work/life balance for his core, team. “We have less burnout now that we’re supplementing with Instawork. My full-time staff doesn't have to work double shifts or six days in a row.”
Providing constructive criticism is easier, too. Feedback can be given right on the app after each job, and Casella likes it’s a two-way street.
“Knowing that an employee can rate Catered Too! on the app as a good place to work has made me a better employer. I think we're all conscious of that and better prepared to take care of our staff, whether they're from Instawork or in-house. I think you're on your game a little bit better because of that, which is a good thing.”
For more information on Instawork and its product offerings, please visit www.instawork.com.