The holidays are a hectic time for many businesses, and that's certainly true for Tasty Catering and its sister companies. The Chicagoland fixture has to hustle to meet the demand for its popular catering service for Christmas parties, often booked at the last minute. And Chicago's traffic-nerve-wracking at the best of times-presents even more logistical challenges, sometimes compounded by bad weather. "We always find a way to rise to the occasion, though, and our Mercedes-Benz Sprinters help us immensely," says Larry Walter, Tasty Catering's owner and COO.

The company currently has three Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Model 2500 High Roof Crew Vans with 144-inch wheelbases in its fleet, and it plans to add at least four more. Walter is sold on the Sprinter's fuel-efficient BlueTEC clean diesel engine, which has resulted in a 73 percent improvement in fleet-wide fuel economy over the past two years, as well as the van's versatility, maneuverability, large cargo capacity, and great driving characteristics.

A Sprinter saves the day

All those qualities played a role in helping That's Caring, one of Tasty Catering's sister companies, meet a big challenge during the last holiday season. A green, eco-friendly, socially conscious e-commerce gift company, That's Caring books a large portion of its sales in the fourth quarter. "As with any company, you want to control your inventory to keep your cash flow positive," Walter says. So when That's Caring received large, last-minute orders that needed to be shipped right away, he dispatched a Sprinter to save the day.

The Sprinter headed down to the city early in the morning to pick up supplies, about 300 cases of assorted products. "There was plenty of room, and it was easy to load and unload, especially with the ramp we had installed," Walter relates. "And since this particular Sprinter does not have a full graphics wrap, we can just slap on magnetic signs over the vinyl letters on the front and back doors to convert it to a That's Caring van."

Quality that speaks for itself

Two hours after the Sprinter returned with the supplies, the driver headed back into the city to drop off hundreds of completed gift boxes to nine different Chicago high-rises. "Driving the Sprinter in the city is so easy compared to our box trucks," Walter says. "It's our preferred vehicle for downtown deliveries. The drivers like the size and agility of the Sprinters. They have a commanding view thanks to the large windows and the elevated front seats."

Tasty Catering works hard to project an image of quality, outrageous customer service, and social consciousness in everything it and its sister companies do, and that's another reason Walter is sold on his Sprinters. "Mercedes-Benz quality speaks for itself, and Tasty Catering identifies strongly with Mercedes-Benz's approach to quality," he says. "That quality combined with all the other outstanding attributes of the Sprinter make it the perfect vehicle for our business."

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