Omaha Steaks: Focus on Fulfillment
On the customer end, each package delivery includes a registered number proving its inspection by a staff member. And the company offers a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. Fortunately, says Simon, the company’s high standards for quality control keep this from adding significant cost. In addition, he continues, the sharp eye on quality control helps boost both customer goodwill and repeat business.
A Cut Above
Since its inception in 1917, Omaha Steaks has aged all of its own beef cuts. While this now serves as a business differentiator, back then it simply was a tradition carried from Latvia by the company’s founders.
According to Simon, the process of aging involves holding meat in a cooler set at precisely 28 degrees for three to four weeks, allowing its natural enzymes to break down the meat’s connective tissue, and giving it a more tender texture and robust flavor. Though aging separates Omaha Steaks’ cuts from those in a grocer’s freezer, it also slows down the production process.
The ability to visually communicate the product’s taste, texture and quality is essential for any food catalog, and at Omaha Steaks that boils down to one thing: photography.
“It’s absolutely critical to our presentation,” Simon says. As a result, photography is allotted a large portion of the company’s budget, as the cataloger mostly outsources to professionals who specialize in food photography.
After a photographer is contracted, the creative team deliberates about whether to shoot a product in its raw or cooked state—a decision ultimately made by a customer’s association with the food itself, as tracked by real-time sales analysis.
The creative team then may choose which accessories to complement the item; for example, a steak may be paired with a potato side dish or seasoning package. But for the most part, says Simon, the catalog displays its offerings by category (steaks, chicken, fish, appetizers, desserts, etc.), much like a restaurant menu. They pay special creative attention to the catalog’s core offerings—among them: filet mignons, New York strips, sirloins and burgers.