How It All Began
In 1977, to ensure the story would be passed on to the next generation, Louis Rund and his brother Bill Rund typed the history of how four generations of Rund’s became experts in the restaurant and catering industry. It all started in 1906 when the Rund brothers, Lou and Bill, rented a Lunch Car on East Main; East Main Lunch. Catering to the working people of the area it was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They sold hamburgers for 10 cents and soup for a nickel, opening the doors to the restaurant and catering business lineage that is the fabric of CaterTrax today.
In Rochester, It's Rund's
The Rund name became prestigious in local restaurant circles in Rochester rather quickly. Despite World War I interrupting the Rund brother’s careers, they returned home and were successful in spite of 1920’s prohibition. The growing Rund family divided and conquered with various taverns and restaurants including: Roast Beef Tavern, Standard Brewing Company, Rund’s Town Hotel, Point Pleasant Hotel, and Rund’s Restaurants inclusive of Rund’s on the Ridge, Rund’s Periwinkle Pub, Ted Rund’s Seafood Wharf & Restaurant, Jim Rund’s Restaurant and Eagle Vale Restaurant & Clubhouse. Click to view more memorabilia.
For Rund's, Life Revolves Around Food
Bill Rund’s grandson, Duff, estimates that together the Rund’s family restaurants brought in annual sales equaling about $6 million in 1988. Featured in the Democrat and Chronicle that same year, author Mary Lynne Vellinga wrote, “For youngsters in the Rund family, doing a stint as a restaurant busboy or dishwasher is a rite of passage.” Quoting another member of the Rund family, “By the time you are 18 you’ve already got 8 years in the business.” Notably, Duff Rund also admitted that he expected some of his children, nieces or nephews to continue the Rund’s hospitality heritage.
Born in 1973, Rich Rund, Duff’s son, began contributing to the family business as a young boy. Peeling potatoes is a culinary necessity and a chore that always needs to be done and it is one of the first things Rich learned. From there, he worked his way up through the ranks from busser to waiter to catering manager learning firsthand the pressure of ensuring food is correctly prepared and presented to quality standards. He became a seasoned expert in hospitality – planning menus, directing personnel, monitoring operations and finance, preparing reports, training and development, and above all, meeting client expectations.
Creators of Good Food and Hospitality Since 1906
In 1994, yet another business venture ensued with Rund’s Original Catering Company (R.O.C.C.) which had been in business for over 90 years. With Rich’s brother-in-law, Dan Welch, as President and Duff Rund as General Manger, R.O.C.C. responded to the demand for reasonably priced, off-premise catering that showcased high quality preparation and timely service.
Becoming an Expert
After graduating from Michigan State University, Rich worked for Houston’s Restaurants in Atlanta, Chicago, and Sacramento. Rich returned to Rochester in the mid-1990’s and joined Microworks POS Solutions Inc., a company that provides touch-screen ordering capabilities for restaurants. Today, Microworks POS enables staff to take orders quickly and accurately, linking the wait staff to the kitchen. While at Microworks POS, Rich learned website development and gained his first insight into technology’s ability to support foodservice operations.
In 1999, Rich returned to the family business. In his absence, the restaurant businesses continued to multiply and so too did the paper problems. They relied on spreadsheets and calculators for everything. While these tools are great for many things, they’re not sustainable for long-term operations. Orders change, plans get lost, and team members are misinformed. The logistics involved were overwhelming – and costly if miscommunicated. They needed a system to help them get organized and communicate better but the tools they had tried using were complicated and too confusing to implement. Frustrated, they decided to build their own catering management software.
Rich enlisted the help of his brother-in-law, Dan Welch, and channeled the Rund family’s entrepreneurial spirit to found a company specializing in catering management technology. With this endeavor came a promise to ensure that caterers and foodservice operators could have the solutions and support they need to promote, grow, manage, and sustain their businesses. In 2000, they started building a catering system specifically for Rund’s Catering and their client, ExxonMobil.
Software Streamlines Ordering
At ExxonMobil Chemical’s facility in Rochester, NY, Rund’s Catering generated an annual revenue of $210,000 from managing their cafeteria and 10 conference rooms. In 2002, ExxonMobil’s catering orders were filled out by hand, then duplicated onto another form which was used for fulfillment, and were hand-delivered to foodservice personnel in the cafeteria. When mistakes were made, more paper forms were then filled out. Dan, Rich, and Duff recognized the opportunity these paper problems presented. An article in Foodservice Director Magazine announced ExxonMobil as the first official user of a new software by CaterTrax which allowed customers to view menus, customize orders, receive confirmations, and print invoices. The original iteration of the software stored events for future reference, allowed for order revisions, and automatically alerted catering, kitchen, finance, and delivery personnel to any changes. In 2003, CaterTrax launched its first website and gained their first retail client, Atlanta Bread Company.
High Tech Rochester Helps Turn Passion into Action
CaterTrax’s software started as a way to manage orders and production at the Rund’s catering operation. Co-founders Rich Rund, Dan Welch, and Duff Rund, quickly realized the possibilities for others in the foodservice industry. In 2004, they moved into their first office space at High Tech Rochester (HTR’s Lennox Tech Enterprise Center). HTR is a nonprofit whose mission is to be a catalyst for innovators and entrepreneurs who plan to build high-growth businesses. In 2004 Hospitality 101 was formally incorporated and CaterTrax landed their first higher education client, Penn State.
TRAX Platform and Solutions
In 2006, we deployed our iteration of CaterTrax referred to as the Enterprise Dashboard. Keeping our feet rooted in hospitality and minds set on fueling innovation, CaterTrax kept an eye on emerging technologies that could improve how the foodservice industry does business. Eventually, Enterprise Dashboard evolved into the TRAX Platform – the robust system that powers the solutions we offer today – that is packed with features and countless configurations allowing this foodservice platform to dynamically mold to the unique needs of each operation it supports. Key enhancements to the TRAX Platform included Catering, Take-Out, Floor Stock, and Web Starter Solutions that address every industry and give increased access to vital business information. These solutions help foodservice professionals lower operating costs, increase business agility, and improve the experience for the customer. Learn more about our solutions.
High Tech Rochester Graduation
Four years after enrolling in the High Tech Rochester program, CaterTrax graduated with an expanded knowledge base, experience, and support from all of those involved in the growing company’s promising journey.
CaterTrax reintroduced its brand to the world with a new logo and messaging that was a better reflection of the CaterTrax mission: to continually drive the design and implementation of innovative technology and services to ensure that caterers and foodservice operators have the solutions and support they need to promote, grow, manage, and sustain their businesses. Our revitalized brand embodied the following: Who we are, what we do, and the difference we make by improving the quality of life for caterers, foodservice operators, and the customers they serve by leveraging the diverse talents and experiences of the CaterTrax family. In early 2011, catertrax.com won the Rochester Business Journal’s Best of the Web Award for the Business and Professional Services category. See what the judges had to say.
Inside City Limits
Headquartered in Rochester, NY, CaterTrax spread its wings and moved to a bigger space in the Village Gate, in Rochester’s eclectic and inspiring Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA). The Village Gate includes residential and commercial properties and has been owned and managed by Stern Properties since 1982. In addition to many other businesses moving downtown, CaterTrax, a DBA for Hospitality 101 Inc., moved 39 employees from 5,300 square feet in Henrietta to a space with 10,000 square feet in the heart of downtown in March 2011. Village Gate offers many advantages to its tenants with free parking, close proximity to expressways, retail shops, and eateries. Location is just one of the reasons why the CaterTrax family loves coming to work every day.
In addition to the specific functionality handled by the CaterTrax solutions, there are game-changing features and add-ons that help tailor each solution to meet your unique business needs. Single Sign-On gives clients the ability to be automatically logged into their CaterTrax website as soon as they log-in to their campus or corporate network. Our Additional Production Location functionality allows us to configure your CaterTrax site to have orders routed to different production calendars and the Enterprise Director Site allows clients to manage multiple locations across a large geographic area. The Credit Card Payment Gateway option provides a user-friendly interface for customers to safely and securely pay for orders by credit card and the Purchase Order Gateway option allows the TRAX Platform to interface with multiple purchase order systems such as Ariba or Sci-Quest.
TRAX Payment Solutions
CaterTrax officially released TRAX Payment Solutions powered by Mercury® (now Vantiv), a fully integrated payment processing platform, which is now available as a standard option in all of the CaterTrax web-based and mobile ordering solutions. The partnership with Mercury® (now Vantiv), the leading integrated credit card payment processing company in the U.S. and Canada, has allowed the company to offer a simple and complete solution and be competitive and aggressive with the pricing model. Read the full story.
Enhancing Catering Rooms Manager
In 2012 CaterTrax re-launched Catering Rooms Manager. Existing CaterTrax customers can now manage catering and reserve rooms in a single system that seamlessly integrates with their existing data and settings. CaterTrax customers retain an incredible amount of control over each step of the catering and event management process. Caterers and event planners that use Catering Rooms Manager provide their customers the ability to book rooms, customize the room layout, and make equipment and AV requests regardless of whether or not they are placing a catering order. Read More.
Survey Says Caterers Love CaterTrax
CaterTrax shared the preliminary results of their annual client survey in an infographic that highlighted client’s feedback on the business impact of the software. The results were overwhelmingly positive – 63% of respondents estimated they were 50 – 100% more efficient and 95% of respondents said that using the Trax Platform improved employee morale. Learn more!
On Track and Within Budget
CaterTrax announced enhancements to the Budget Management add-on that allows for enhanced reporting features. The add-on lets foodservice businesses set budgets with declining balances for customers. These configurable reports allow administrators to create a summary of all active budgets, the remaining balances, and the orders that have been placed using budgets. Administrators can then share these reports with customers, helping them budget for goods and services or upcoming catered events. Read more.
Serving Every Taste
It’s time for the foodservice industry to adapt to today’s media powerhouse; mobile – to help companies earn repeat business with a website design that makes the user experience an easy, pleasant one. Consumers are already accustomed to reading menus online, but as the smartphone and tablet revolution continues, they will expect the ability to order and pay for their food from their mobile devices. Consumers will also expect to sort menu items according to their needs like nutritional value, keywords, dietary restrictions, and price. Responsive web design is a fancy phrase for a website that adjusts to the format on which it’s viewed. When your site offers total usability to everyone regardless of platform, you’re using responsive web design. In 2014, we continue fueling innovation, working to enable our platform to create responsive websites.
Leveraging Technology to Deliver the Ultimate Experience
CIO Review states that the food and beverages industry is embracing multiple sides of the technology value to bring in huge savings by adopting differentiated strategies and technology investment priorities. The technology trends highlight an industry in transition. CaterTrax is recognized as one of CIO Review’s 20 Most Promising Solution Providers for the food and beverage industry. Read more about what CIO Review had to say about our technology.
The Perfect Software Pairing
CaterTrax forged a partnership with room diagramming gurus Social Tables to continue building a well-rounded catering solution that best meets the needs of our partners and clients. This partnership gives our clients access to two top industry tools to manage their catering business and detailed room-diagramming needs. The Social Tables integration compliments the TRAX Platform by allowing users to make accurate room layouts, create seating arrangements, check-in guests for events, and position kitchen staff to work more collaboratively and efficiently with their customers.
Responsive Website Launch
We overhauled our corporate website to launch an improved responsive site that can be cross-platform and browser independent. Mobile device ownership has reached critical mass world-wide. The launch of our innovative corporate site was the first phase in our initiative to create responsive solutions that meet the demands of our technology-driven economy and mobilize foodservice management for our busy clients and partners.
NPS Score of 44
Over 900 foodservice professionals participated in our Annual Client Satisfaction Survey. Respondents gave us an impressive Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 44, putting us heads and shoulders above the average NPS score of 26 for the software and app sector. We’ve continued to push our service as a software approach and increased our NPS by 22% from the previous year.
Rolling Out a Refreshed Vision, Mission, and Core Values
We rolled out a refreshed vision and mission, and established core values that reaffirm what it means to demonstrate hospitality. CaterTrax has enjoyed double digit growth for over 10 consecutive years but the roll out of these new standards sets the stage for managing and obtaining that growth for the future. Establishing core values sets the guideline for growing a team of hospitality ambassadors that are able to drive our promise to our clients and partners while staying true to our refreshed vision and mission.
CaterTrax Named Rochester Top Workplace
CaterTrax was honored to receive the Democrat and Chronicles’ “2015 Rochester Top Workplaces Award.” The award is based on an employee survey on workplace satisfaction by WorkPlaceDynamics, LLP and we were happy to find that our hungry, humble, and smart team of 75 feel happy to be here. We realized that what sets us apart is our knowledgeable and experienced staff. They know the meaning of demonstrating hospitality and that portraying this from the inside out is the key to our success.
CaterTrax Featured as Local Business Leader
The Democrat and Chronicle featured CaterTrax as a local business leader, sharing how our roots in hospitality are the foundation for our success in the software industry. The Rund family’s foodservice lineage is a proud part of Rochester history and CaterTrax humbly carries on the legacy, offering software built by caterers for caterers.
Welcoming a New CFO
CaterTrax announced new Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Luchetti, in preparation for the next phase of growth for the company. With over 19 years of experience in financial and operational leadership, Jeff joined the team as part of a larger effort to transition the self-proclaimed “10-year start-up” into the next phase of maturity.
Making Rank on Rochester Top 100
CaterTrax ranked 84th on the Rochester Top 100 Award’s list by the Rochester Business Alliance and KPMG LLC. Being recognized amongst the fastest growing, privately-owned companies in the Greater Rochester region is a great honor and we were grateful to be placed on this list for the first time in the history of CaterTrax.
CaterTrax Joins Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
After being honored as one of Rochester’s fastest growing companies by the Rochester Business Alliance in November 2015, CaterTrax joined The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to continue fostering growth for the company and community. Membership allows admission to local networking events to meet and recruit top-notch Rochester talent, the ability to communicate with knowledgeable business-savvy individuals, and access to industry-related resources and support.
CaterTrax Appoints New CIO
We welcomed a new Chief Information Officer, John Crowley, to lead our technology in support of strategic advancements in innovation. John has over 20 years of technology experience, IT leadership, and an entrepreneurial spirit and had a hand in creating the first developments of the CaterTrax code base back in 2004. Through his leadership and expertise he promises to continue fueling innovation for the company.
CaterTrax Named Finalist in Rochester Business Journal's Best of the Web Awards
CaterTrax was named a finalist for Rochester Business Journal’s 19th annual Best of the Web Awards recognized as one of the top three finalists for the “Business and Professional” category. A panel of judges evaluated nearly 200 nominations from the Rochester area across 13 categories based on content, usefulness, navigability, use of technology, design quality, e-commerce, and likelihood of repeat visits. We’re honored to be recognized amongst our peers for our online efforts and look forward to continuing to boost our online presence with the upcoming phases of our website project.
CaterTrax Named Finalist in AMA | Rochester's Pinnacle Awards
This was CaterTrax’s first year being nominated for the AMA | Rochester’s Pinnacle Awards and we were proud to have been named as a finalist for our marketing efforts. A panel of judges reviewed the marketing tactics and campaigns of Rochester-area businesses, judging based on both creativity and effectiveness. There was a record-breaking number of entries – 113! – and we were honored to have been among such successful and creative local businesses as a finalist.
How can CaterTrax’s catering management software help you?
We’re revolutionizing the way foodservice operators cater. We have everything you need to make your people, operations and customer service thrive in one, easy-to-system.