5 Alive and Kicking

by Martin Boyd

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Let's think about 5 things that give us the current lay of the land?

Firstly, it’s a list of 5 things for those of you who are working in the Food Service industry sector who have found that the biggest challenge is the ghostly silence of the empty or closed off cafeterias across the workplaces. With the usual outlets no longer available, Food Service providers need to find innovative ways to get their food to those hungry souls who have returned to the office.

And what about independent catering businesses, who used to be so busy with event hospitality that workplace or individual catering wasn’t even on the radar...things have changed and now you are trying desperately to remember where you put your radar...

Here are the 5 things forward thinking Food Providers are finding as they seek to keep their operations alive and kicking.

1: Delivered In

Out for now are the days of waiting in line for a slice of lasagne. In are colourful boxed lunches delivered straight to desks. Operators have now embraced their own version of the delivered-in model and accept that there is an accelerating need to offer an online ordering solution for office workers.In these instances ghost kitchens, commissaries and internal kitchens are, more than ever, front and center when it comes to providing food for office workers.

2: Drop-off Points

‘Contactless’ has become one of the buzzwords of 2020, and this extends to lunch! Operators and fast casual concepts have created innovative ‘drop-off’ points, where bagged lunches are left for office dwellers to be picked up at an allocated time totally eradicating the need for human contact.

3: Cafe Pickups

The Cafeterias that have reopened are, at least for the time being, not what they once were. Enhanced Click & Collect ordering has become crucial for ensuring no overcrowding. Pick up options allow the caterer to target the restaurant breakout zones.

4: Group Ordering

Lunch ‘on the company’ is one of the best ways to show employees they are cared about. However, pizza boxes and shared platters now unfortunately pose a risk. An online ‘Group Ordering’ feature is a great way to replicate this experience - allowing individuals to place their selection as part of a wider order administered and costed by one central foodbooker. This is hugely helpful in making sure there is no nervousness on the part of the individual when it comes to their food order.

5: Mobile Ordering

From Zoom meeting to shopping - the pandemic has fundamentally altered our relationships with our online behaviour. This shift also applies to food service and ensuring you have a mobile friendly ordering site is crucial for ease of use.

So, as someone once said, ‘Change is inevitable - growth is optional’. That’s a pretty fair estimation of how it is for many in the Hospitality sector at the moment. Taking stock of the situation is just the beginning - then it’s time to act.

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