New Features

Did People Really Do That?

by Martin Boyd

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Take a moment to think of some things we now accept as normal, which our grandparents would have winced at. And of course, there are many other things which were ‘everyday’ just a generation ago, but which now, we just laugh at.

How about this campaign slogan from the 1950s?: ‘More doctors smoke Camel than any other cigarette.’ More what do what??? Or would you like to buy some Cocaine Toothache Drops - for the children? It was the early 20th century before that particular narcotic treat was pulled. (Don’t google it just now - keep reading!) Maybe the same will be said in 2040 -You did what!!? 'You gave smartphones to young people with access to social media!?' We shall see.

Someone once said the only lessons from history are that we don’t pay attention to the lessons from history. Well, maybe, but we can all do a simple thing like looking back and realising that we can do much better than before. By all means, give yourself a hard time for having been so slow to have seen what was staring you in the face for so long...and then move on, there’s work to be done…

Join me in considering the following: If the key to success for many in the hospitality sector is in embracing guest-oriented solutions for each aspect of their service then Group Ordering is a vital component.

I’m not saying it’s up there with the madness of cocaine for toothache but looking back it’s worth thinking about what the experience is in the absence of a Group Ordering option when organising catering for a meeting:

  • the level of stress and time wasting for the facilitator
  • the level of disappointment for those at the lunch table
  • the level of difficulty for the caterer to score highly in everyone’s feedback

Let’s tip our hats to the meeting facilitators who plan catering. But then let’s give them the software they need to do the job well. They are catering to a public who, more than ever before, have particular dietary requirements and are more nuanced in their menu choices.

A Group Ordering feature removes the guesswork in ordering and relieves the pressure on one person to get it right for everyone. The rise in numbers of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians, alongside allergen concerns, equates to a huge amount of time being spent by those organising meetings, desperately trying to make sure they cater for everyone properly. Ah, notice it has now moved from being merely a poor user experience into an economic issue. Spooned has often been able to show clients their return on investment from using our software solution which runs into $000s of staff admin costs each year...let’s just say highlighting these hidden staff costs focuses the mind somewhat.

And we can flip this over and consider what we have just said from the point of view of those in the meeting wanting to enjoy their lunch. Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking this is about catering for ‘those people’ who are narrow (we want to say ‘fussy’ don’t we?) in what they will eat or who are ‘awkward’ because of allergen issues. Surely, we are past that sort of thinking. If you need to be convinced that it’s not just a tiny minority who expect a wide choice when it comes to menus, look at the stats for those taking part in Veganuary (and plant-based diets in general).

And, alongside the Rise of the Flexitarian, is the way that people order food. The pandemic restrictions have accelerated and ingrained the habit of individuals ordering food online. Why force customers backward when they have moved on to a far better customer experience.

It’s a solution and it’s an opportunity. At Spoonfed we have a simple FAQ sheet detailing how our Group Ordering solution works, covering the basics of how orders are originated, placed, and processed. End to end we have a software feature that is not just suitable for today but expected by any who are looking for an excellent experience when ordering food. Click the button below and we can send you the FAQ sheet.

Of course ‘suitable for today’ reminds us of the fact that ‘today’ is a pandemic and post-pandemic world. We have seen two key areas where Group Ordering has brought clear solutions in this context too.

Firstly, as not everybody meets in the same room Group Ordering allows all the important delivery details to be captured for delivery across the building/campus to individuals. Secondly, and crucially, having individually packaged food allows the catering team to be Covid secure in what they offer and gives confidence to the customer.

What’s your takeaway from reading this blog? The fact that at Spoonfed our expertise and technology will bring you end to end solutions for your catering operation. And that, when we see that things aren't working we make changes for the good of everyone. And, clearly, the bit about people who used to give kids cocaine for toothache.

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