Calveta Dining Services – A Recipe for Growth?
Calveta was founded by the Italian immigrant Antonio Calveta in 1966. What originally started as a neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn offering traditional Italian dishes led to the opening of two more restaurants and finally, in 1972, to the beginning of meal deliverance services to nursing homes. The market was a very promising one: A big part of the 18.000 nursing homes in the United States chose to outsource their dining services as it allows them to profit from the culinary expertise as well as from the lower costs that professional food delivery services offered. Calveta proved to be especially successful in the business: by 2008, Calveta Dining Services Inc. was the fourth-largest food delivery service in the U.S., covering 10% of the market and growing at a much faster rate than the industry average. In contrast to its main competitors, Calveta’s single business is the meal delivery service to nursing homes which it extended to cover all dining occasions in nursing homes, including planning, preparation, service and the planning of special events. What started as a family business now is a privately held firm worth $2 billion with 15000 employees, 500 of them working in the company’s headquarter in Brooklyn. Concept
Calveta’s success is mainly built on three pillars: its high quality food and personalized service offered by motivated employees and its effective cost control structure. Calveta was one of the first companies to use only fresh ingredients for their dishes and cater according to the eating preferences of their customers. Furthermore, Calveta offeres highly personalized service. Not only is it Calveta’s value to treat the end customers in a particularly respectful way, but also does the highly regional company structure of Calveta allow the adaption to specific regions. This structure also enables the adaption of Calveta’s services to the needs and desires of every single facility. Each nursing home is assigned personal employees who take care of that facility only. Apart from this exceptional service, Calveta’s efficient cost control culture allows not only to save money within the company but also to apply this cost saving culture in the single facilities and offer their products at very competitive prices. As a consequence, Calveta has high customer satisfaction: end customers and their relatives value the high quality of the food and the service, and the nursing homes find in Calveta a long-term partner that offers not only high quality food, but also personal contact with motivated employees at very competitive prices. Company values and culture
A big part of these success factors are rooted in the values and culture coined by its founder Antonio Calveta. “Antonio’s way”, as the corporate culture of Calveta is often called, includes five main values, namely the commitment to provide high quality food and personalized service to its customers, the principle of cost saving within the company and for the client, constant innovation, employee development and profitable growth. Especially the employee development plays an important role in the company. The company offers constant feedback and recognition as well as vast possibilities for education and promotion, including promotional programs that require constant job rotation. Even though the company, as a consequence of its rapid growth had to hire a big number of external managers, 20% of all managers have worked their way up from the front line within the company. As a consequence, Calveta has high retention rates and an employee satisfaction rate of approximately 90%, which translates into motivated employees and, in turn, satisfied customers.
In 2007, Antonio Calveta retired and chose his eldest son Frank, who had been working as CFO in the company for 10 years to become his successor. Apart from Frank, his daughter Jennifer works successfully as COO in the...
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