We all know how important it is to refuel during our lunch breaks. But with countless deadlines, back-to-back meetings, and never-ending emails, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to prepare or go out for lunch. This is where workplace catering lunch has come in.
More and more, the priorities of employees go beyond the paycheck.
Holistic-based expectations are emerging and companies are quickly realising the benefit of providing free food for their staff. Linkedin for example, has reported that fully subsidised food is the top reason employees come into the office.
With food inflation peaking at 12% in 2022, offering free or subsidised food as an employee perk has never been more popular.
Food ultimately encourages a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. So workplace catering lunch has become more than just a commodity, it’s now an essential ingredient for successful workplace culture.
It is therefore no surprise that many forward-thinking companies understand the value of food to align employees to business strategy and culture. Traditionally, offering food to employees has come with a significant amount of investment in office kitchens and canteens.
However, during the pandemic these office canteens sat empty and companies started to wonder if it was necessary to recommission them once staff started coming back to the office.
Many decided to ditch the kitchen and opt for delivered catering instead. And for good reason. Delivered catering is a convenient, hassle-free solution that eliminates all the fuss that comes with an in-house kitchen. We’re here to tell you why.
Why should companies ditch the kitchen & delivered catering?
Running and maintaining an in-house kitchen can be expensive. There are lots of operating costs associated with purchasing equipment and supplies, as well as the HR element of hiring staff to prepare and serve food. By opting for delivered catering, companies can save money on these costs and still provide their employees with high-quality food.
Though using delivered catering for workplace catering lunch might seem like an added expense, it can save you money in the long run. With delivered catering, you avoid these kitchen costs and can make the most effective use of office space – for example by repurposing what would have been used as kitchen space, for added collaboration areas – all while still allowing your employees to thrive with good quality food.
So how much can you save by ditching the kitchen? Check out these statistics from one of our Soho-based clients:
- Headcount: 500
- Kitchen space needed if cooking onsite: 3000sq’
- Kitchen set-up cost: £500k
- Real estate cost @£97.50/sq ft: £292.5k/pa
- Labour cost for 5 chefs: £200k/pa
With our service, this client was able to:
- Save nearly £500k in kitchen fitting costs
- Reduce real estate footprint & optimise their office space
- Eliminate the need for chefs onsite, reducing labour costs by £200k/pa
- Offer the same service as an on-site canteen with a full front-of-house team.
Need we say more?
Delivered catering allows companies to be flexible, not just with the menu itself, but in terms of the number of lunches required and the frequency of delivery. This contract flexibility means headcounts can be adjusted to match the demands of your workforce.
Whether you need 100 lunches on Wednesday and only 60 on Thursday, or require a full breakfast, lunch and dinner offering only once a week, our flexible 360 delivered-in catering offers the perfect solution to scale up and down depending on your needs.
Another facet of flexibility to consider is related to the emergence of hybrid working. With hybrid working becoming the standard to match demands of the workforce, more offices are finding their in-house kitchens empty and isolated…
So what’s the point of having an empty, expensive-to-run, in-house kitchen taking up your valuable office space? It’s time to ditch it and rethink your food at work.
Getting rid of unused in-house kitchens provides ample opportunity to transform that space for another purpose, whether it be another co-working area, a collaborative meeting room to a wind-down environment – the possibilities are endless. Either way, you’re saving on cost!
3. Saves time and effort
If you already use an aggregator foodservice, you’re aware that at the best of times this becomes difficult and stressful even when things are going well.
Before you even get to the orders themselves, managing the service and reminding your personnel to place orders on time is a hassle. Then more often than not, orders frequently arrive in several deliveries, late, are incorrect, or are delivered cold.
That results in unhappy, dissatisfied employees with a whole load of one-off packaging and food waste that creates even more work for your teams to sort out.
With a 360-delivered catering service like us, there’s zero hassle. We save both time and effort compared to aggregators and other delivered services by managing the programme for you in full. Service, clean-up and all the in-between, we do it all.
We know reliability is critical to keeping staff happy and well-fed, and we can deliver! In all our years of service, we’ve never had a late delivery.
Our full delivered catering service model delivers meals in reusable containers, serving up your buffet lunch with proper crockery, we prevent ‘takeaway’ meal waste. After service, we clean up everything and bring it all back to the kitchen to be washed and used again.
We make and deliver all the food ourselves so there’s less chance of miscommunication. This means you skip all the hassle and fuss and can place all your energy on enjoying a delicious workplace catering lunch.
Psst. Want to learn more about how we outshine aggregator foodservices?
4. Offers a variety
Safety aside, employees want quality, authenticity, and variety. It can be challenging for in-house kitchens to find new and exciting dishes to cook, especially when different dietary restrictions and preferences are involved.
Our 360 delivered catering services offer more versatility. How? Well beyond our changing, delicious daily menus, our menus rotate seasonally so we always have new dishes to surprise you with.
Thanks to our in-house food development team, our recipes are constantly researched and perfected making high-quality and varied food, perfect for your office to enjoy. We also draw on the diversity we have in our own kitchen, giving you authentic recipes from all around the world. Check out how versatile food at work can be!
5. The Practical Stuff
We can’t forget the practical stuff…
Having a kitchen in the office can cause several practical and sensory issues.
For one, it’s self-explanatory that kitchens come with noise. From the prep involved to noisy appliances like blenders, microwaves, dishwashers and clanging pots – the noise of an on-site kitchen is pretty disruptive and is likely to disturb nearby workers.
In fact, distracting noises in an office reduce performance by up to 66%, more so if you’re working with limited space.
The smell of food and cooking easily spread. Though we all delight in the smell of good food when we’re hungry and ready to eat, a constant, prolonged smell of food throughout the workspace is unpleasant and decreases our desire to eat.
In-house kitchens also have to deal with food waste which isn’t a pleasant smell for your office. So if you’ve got an in-house kitchen with all this fuss – it’s time to ditch it for a hassle-free alternative.
Delivered catering is the solution. The cost-effectiveness, time-saving, customization, no-hassle, and flexibility benefits make it the perfect choice for companies who want to cater to their employees’ needs without breaking the bank.
So why not give it a try? Your stomach and your workload will thank you.
Our delivered-in model is the solution. Yes, we might be biased but we’ve been operating since 2005 and we’ve seen the success our clients have had with our workplace catering lunch and the flexibility of our full service offering. See for yourself how we grew Netflix’s food programme and how we pressed restart on another tech client’s food programme…
If you need more convincing, check out why the hottest London tech companies use Fooditude
Find out more here
Written by Safena Yvanovich