Punchh, a mobile CRM suite for restaurants, has formed a strategic partnership with Monkey Media Software and the MMS Catering Institute, to create a restaurant catering rewards and loyalty program, set for launch in 2014.

The companies claim this is the industry's first rewards and loyalty program geared toward catering.

Punchh CEO Jitendra Gupta said a growing consumption of meals prepared away from home and a rise in meals delivered to workplaces have helped off-premise catering become one of the fastest-growing sales opportunities for restaurants. The battle for that revenue, however, is highly competitive, which led Gupta to MonkeyMedia Software and the MMS Catering Institute, according to a news release.

"Just as a repeat customer of a particular restaurant enjoys getting a free meal for their loyalty, a catering client does also," Gupta said. "This is especially important since catering customers spend far more money for catered meals than would a single customer."

Businesses that can track those sales and their customers' purchasing habits, Gupta added, can reward them meaningfully while marketing to them effectively.

"When we are out in the field with restaurant operating and marketing leadership, we are often asked about reward and loyalty solutions for catering. Through this partnership, we are bringing an industry-leading solution to our customers," said Wayne Alexander, president of the MMS Catering Institute.

Punchh has been certified by the MMS Catering Institute in the "Get Catering and Grow Sales" system. Punchh provides more than 1,300 U.S. restaurants with a POS-integrated, cloud-based platform through which operators market to customers.

"Punchh has built the market's leading and most comprehensive mobile engagement and rewards platform and we are proud to have them as a strategic partner," said ErleDardick, founder and CEO of MonkeyMedia Software and founder of the MMS Catering Institute. "We see a huge opportunity today for restaurant brands to build and deploy catering-specific loyalty programs and through this partnership we will further enable our restaurant customers to feed, and now reward, their customers where they live, work and play."

Read more about catering news.

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