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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, Duff’s grandfather, typed the history of how four generations of Rund’s became experts in the restaurants and catering industry. It all started in 1906, when the Rund brothers, Lou and Bill, rented a Lunch Car on East Main which they named East Main Lunch. It was open 24 hours a day including Sunday and catered to the working people of the area. They sold hamburgers for 10 cents and soup for a nickel. The restaurant and catering business is the fabric of CaterTrax today.
In Rochester, It’s Rund’s The Rund name became prestigious in local restaurants circles in Rochester rather quickly. Despite World War I interrupting the Rund brother’s careers, they returned and were successful in spite of nationwide prohibition that began in 1920. With 6 families with children, the Rund brother’s 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, Eagle Vale Restaurant & Clubhouse. View more memorabilia.
For Runds, Life Revolves Around Food Duff estimates that together, the Rund’s family restaurants annual sales equaled about $6 million in 1988. Featured in the Democrat and Chronicle in 1988, author Mary Lynne Vellinga illustrated, “For youngsters in the Rund family, doing a stint as a restaurant busboy or dishwasher is a rite of passage.” Jay Rund added, “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 hospitality heritage.
Growing Up Born in 1973, as a young boy, Rich Rund, Duff’s son, began contributing to the family business. A culinary necessity, peeling potatoes is a chore that always needs to be done and it is one of the first things he learned. Eventually, he worked his way up to bussing tables. When people were done with their meals, he removed dirty dishes, utensils, napkins, wiped down the table, and reset it in the proper format. Rich worked his way up from busser to waiter to catering manager so he knows the pressure of ensuring food is correctly prepared and presented to quality standards, planning menus and hospitality, directing personnel, monitoring operations and finance, preparing reports required to support finance, meeting client expectations, coordinating personnel planning, training and development activities.
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 Dan Welch as President and Duff Rund as General Manger, the R.O.C.C. responded to the demand for reasonably priced off-premise catering that included 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-1990s 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, Rund learned website development.
Paper Problems In 1999, Rich returned to the family business. In Rich’s absence, the restaurant businesses continued to multiply. But, so did the paper problems. They relied on spreadsheets and a calculator for everything. These tools are great for many things, but not so great for long-term operations. Orders change, plans get lost, and team members are misinformed. The logistics involved were overwhelming and costly if they were not correctly communicated. The need for a tool to help them organize and communicate the work to be done was apparent. They tried a few tools, but they were complicated and too hard to use. Frustrated, they decided to build their own catering management software.
Opportunity Rich enlisted the help of his brother-in-law, Dan Welch, and channeled the Rund family entrepreneurial spirit to found a company specializing in catering management technology. And with it a promise to ensure that caterers and foodservice operators have the solution 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, a local operator, generated annual revenue of $210,000 from managing their cafeteria and 10 conference rooms. In 2002, ExxonMobil catering orders were filled out by hand and hand-delivered to foodservice personnel in the cafeteria which was then duplicated onto another form which was used for fulfillment. And if a mistake was made, a new form had to be filled out. These paper problems meant opportunity for Rund’s. The publicity in Foodservice Director Magazine announced ExxonMobil as the first official user of CaterTrax software. CaterTrax 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 changes, automatically alerted catering, kitchen, finance, and delivery drive 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 started as a way to manage orders and production at a family-run 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 and for manufacturing companies that wish to grow via innovation as well as by enhancement of their sales, efficiency, productivity and quality. 2004 brought major changes as Hospitality 101 was formally incorporated and CaterTrax landed their first higher education client, Penn State. CaterTrax graduated from the HTR program in 2008. (http://htr.org/catertrax)
TRAX Platform and Solutions In 2006, we deployed our iteration of CaterTrax referred to as the Enterprise Dashboard. We recognize that there is always plenty of room for improvement and innovation. As time went on, we continued to keep an eye on innovative technologies that can improve how the food service industry does business and how we can help you utilize them in kitchens and front of the house. Eventually, Enterprise Dashboard evolved into the TRAX Platform and Solutions we offer today. We packed the TRAX Platform with features and hundreds of possible configurations, making it the perfect fit for any operation. 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. Check out the current solutions offered today.
Revitalized Brand CaterTrax reintroduces its brand to the world with a new look for its logo and messaging that more accurately reflects the mission of CaterTrax today: 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 now embodies 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 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 spreads its wings at a bigger space in the Village Gate, a vital component of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA). The Village Gate includes residential and commercial properties and is owned and managed by Stern Properties since 1982. In addition to many other businesses moving downtown, CaterTrax, a DBA for Hospitality101 Inc., moved 39 employees from 5,300 square feet in Henrietta to 10,000 square feet in the city in March 2011. The Village Gate offers many advantages to its tenants with free parking, vicinity to expressways, retail shops, and eateries. That's one of the reasons why so many of the people who work at CaterTrax stay at CaterTrax.
Highly Configurable In addition to the specific functionality handled by the CaterTrax solutions, there are options that help you tailor your CaterTrax implementation to fit your particular business model. With our Single Sign-On option you can provide your clients with the ability to automatically be logged into your CaterTrax website as soon as they log in to their campus or corporate network. Our Additional Production Location functionality allows us to configure your site to have orders routed to different production calendars. We have created the ‘Enterprise Director Site’ model for those clients who have many different physical locations across a large geographic area. With our Credit Card Payment Gateway option you can provide an easy to use interface for your customers to pay for their orders by credit card in a completely PCI-compliant manner. Similar in concept to the Payment Gateway, the Purchase Order Gateway option allows us to configure your CaterTrax system to interface with purchase order systems such as Ariba or Sci-Quest.
TRAX Payment Solutions CaterTrax officially released TRAX Payment Solutions powered by Mercury®, a fully integrated payment processing platform, which is now available as a standard option in all of the CaterTrax web-based and mobile ordering modules. The partnership with Mercury®, 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 to be very competitive and aggressive with the pricing model. TRAX Payment offers a fully integrated payment processing platform as a standard option for all web-based and mobile ordering modules. Read the full story.
Enhancing Catering Rooms Manager 2012 brought the re-launch of Catering Rooms Manager. Existing CaterTrax customers can 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 In January 2013, CaterTrax released the preliminary results of a recent client survey in infographic form. The infographic captures the highlights of the business impact section of the survey. The results were overwhelmingly positive, as illustrated in the new infographic. The graphic captures a variety of stats including that 63% of respondents estimated they are 50 – 100% more efficient and 95% of respondents said the CaterTrax platform has improved employee morale. The CaterTrax Leadership Team continues to review the data and the response has been very positive. Continue reading.
On Track and Within Budget CaterTrax announced enhancements to the Budget Management add-on that allows for enhanced reporting features. The add-on allows foodservice businesses to 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. Admins 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. When your website design makes the user experience an easy, pleasant one, you’ve garnered repeat business. 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 including nutritional value, keyword, 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 order to keep pace in 2014, we are currently working to enable our platform to create responsive websites.
Coming Soon: Advanced Menu Pack CaterTrax will launch a new add-on that allows existing clients to easily report and manage key aspects of their menu. Advanced Menu Pack will enable clients to make kitchen production easier every day by simplifying order fulfillment for upcoming events and take-out orders. Adding Advanced Menu Pack will streamline every aspect of an operation and give employees the information they need to prepare orders efficiently. Accurate orders ensure customers are happy and likely to repeat their orders.
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.
2014 and beyond Today, we're bigger than we've ever been, but we're still relatively small at 75 people. Through conscious choice and discipline, we've enjoyed growing slowly and focusing on today. The technology industry thrives from innovation, but CaterTrax succeeds from our clients and quality. When we meet people, and they ask us what we do, we say we work to improve the quality of life for caterers, foodservice operators, and the customers they serve. And we'll never forget why CaterTrax came to be in the first place. True to our promise, our job is to help you do your job better and we'll continue to make CaterTrax more of all of those things.