How to Make Corporate Dining A Five-Star Service
The corporate dining sector has undergone a massive facelift in recent times. As companies downsize, food service has been less and less connected to corporate culture despite other firms, notably, tech companies like Google and Microsoft, have seen corporate dining as a way to attract new hires. In short, a necessary evil has been transposed into a valuable incentive. This new interest in corporate dining means that there are new jobs opening up, especially for any business-minded chefs.
Here are just some of the more notable trends that have pushed for a greater degree of investment into this aspect of the foodservice sector.
Millennials have brought their collegiate interests in food to work, including a desire for quality and authenticity. This extends to knowing where their food is sourced from, how it is handled, and if any step in the process contributes to society in a positive way, such as a charity.
Food with a Show
Chefs are now facing customers at many business and industrial kitchens due to a rise in demand for exhibitions that allow the customer to watch their food constructed before their eyes. This means the customer can see every ingredient and assess how fresh their food will be. It also means that customers can customize their meal to their perfect tastes-a major interest of the younger workforce.
Some companies have taken to adding a “wellness action station” to such areas, providing an outlet for customers to see how to optimize the healthiness of their meals. Microsoft decided to modify this “eatertainment” idea by inviting chefs from local restaurants to perform culinary demos; this not only livened up meal breaks but also supported local eating establishments.
The list of companies that have been more proactive in watching the health of their employees, boost morale and productivity, and diminish healthcare costs continues to grow. As touched upon in the last trend section, the foodservice industry has played its own part in such endeavors by offering vegetarian or healthier food options to the menu. The foodservice industry has also been more than willing to freely provide the health and nutrition info of items on its menus.
At least one corporate services manager has remarked that her employees were greatly concerned about healthy meal options. These employees want a meal that is fresh, clean, local, roasted, incorporate grains, is gluten-free, and so on. Some companies have responded to this need by pursuing vegetable-centric dishes and plant-based meat alternatives, resulting in a push for dried beans, peas, and lentils. It is also common to find a nutritional breakdown of every item next to its name and price on most menus.
Portability Becomes a Priority
Just because people are more than willing to wait around for a quality meal that has been made to their specific tastes and dietary interests, it does not mean that they are looking to sit down and savor it at a commissary table; these people are still busy employees who may be staring down some deadlines and are pressed for time. These time crunches are why some foodservice operators have taken to providing space for self-serve, grab-n-go meal items. This mini-cafeterias offer a variety of packaged meal options, some of which are prepped and wrapped on the premises, in order to make sure that every type of employee is able to keep themselves fed and productive.
Many daytime operations in the business and industrial sector of the foodservice industry have reported customers requesting snack-sized items best suited to eating on the go or at the limited free space of a desk or cubicle. These sort of mini-markets are the perfect solution and can even allow employees to continue to network and collaborate while they either place their orders or grab their cravings, collect them, and then head back to work.