Caterer Great Performances works with NYC Department for the Aging to deliver meals to seniors

Great Performances prepares food in their kitchen
Great Performances pivots to meal preparation and delivery

Great Performances is an established Bronx-based catering company known for its fine dining, serving weddings, glittering galas, bar mitzvahs, and events such as the NY Times Food Festival. “We know how to prepare amazing food. We know how to do assembly lines. We are used to purchasing millions of dollars’ worth of food annually,” commented Brandon Reichert, their Director of Transformation and Technology. “With COVID-19, however, business as we knew it halted. We needed to pivot our business to help provide food for the vulnerable and food insecure.”


A Call to Action

Approached by the Department for the Aging, a major New York government agency, in mid-March, Great Performances rapidly shifted gears to provide meals to housebound elderly no longer able to go to their local senior center for meals and company. “We were tasked with a list of eight thousand individuals, living across greater Manhattan,” Reichert said. “We worked with our nutritionist to ensure our offering was serving our seniors’ needs and created weekly food boxes with 5 meals: 2 perishable, 3 shelf-stable.”

 

Team Accepts Challenge

Despite knowing how to produce high quality food at scale, delivery at this volume was not something the Great Performances team had done before. Tasked with this logistics challenge, workers were grouped into distinct teams for safety, allowing them to be quarantined in case of an outbreak. Coordinating thousands of deliveries was what drove Great Performances to Onfleet. “We became dispatchers. We desperately needed a way to streamline communications, have contactless deliveries, optimize our routes, and coordinate with a team of almost 70 drivers as well as volunteers and staff.”

 

"I’ve been an IT professional for over a decade and Onfleet has been the easiest software I’ve ever worked with to install and deploy.”  
– Brandon Reichert, Director of Transformation and Technology, Great Performances

 

Onfleet dispatch dashboard
Caterer turns to dispatching thousands of meals, communicating with seniors, staff & drivers, with Onfleet

“A key area where Onfleet’s communications shone was our ability to send messages to our drivers who were purposefully isolated,” Reichert explained. “Even beyond smart deliveries, people need to know they’re doing a good job. We could also push out a daily blast of weather conditions and other updates that helped them succeed in their deliveries.”


“There is a story behind every meal, of course. The human element behind our meal delivery service cannot be underestimated.”
– Brandon Reichert, Director of Transformation and Technology, Great Performances

For more information on how you can contribute to their efforts, visit Great Performances.