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Food Delivery Technology – Catering to the Modern Workforce

Food Delivery Technology – Catering to the Modern Workforce
19 December 2023
 

Workplace psychologist Dr Audrey Tang and MD at Just Eat for Business Matt Ephgrave explore why business leaders must keep up with innovative office food technologies. 

Dr Audrey Tang is a chartered psychologist and award-winning author who focuses on practical self-improvement. She hosts the 'Retrain Your Brain for Success' podcast, appears on "The Wellbeing Lounge" on NLiveRadio and "Psych Back to Basics" on DisruptiveTV, and was the resident psychologist on Channel 4's "Don't Diet Lose Weight". Dr Tang also offers expert comment as a psychologist spokesperson through TV, radio, and published media.

Matt Ephgrave is Just Eat for Business' Managing Director. With renowned experience in hybrid and marketplace businesses, Matt was previously the COO of Festicket, the world's largest festival travel platform.

 

Food Delivery Tech Must Become a Priority for Businesses

 

Food in the workplace has undergone a huge transformation over the past few years. People’s tastes have inevitably changed, and so have their expectations of their employers, who they perceive as being partly responsible for enabling a better quality of life – both in and outside of the office. 

Our research showed that half of all employees are dissatisfied with what they eat for lunch at work. That’s both extremely disappointing, and a good opportunity for employers to improve their employees’ lives.

 

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Picture: a photograph of Matt Ephgrave. Image Credit: Just Eat for Business 

 

According to employees themselves, better food options at work would significantly improve their experience. One in every two employees supported free or subsidised food policies. Days in the office become a lot more enticing when high-quality, shared meals are on offer. But, with new working policies in place like hybrid working, traditional catering arrangements will no longer cut the mustard for most businesses.

 

“Today, people expect a lot more, and food still ranks among one of the most valued perks. 68 per cent labelled it as the perk that they appreciated above all others. If business leaders want to employ the best people, they’ll need to place their best bets on the food.”

 

Food = A Catalyst for Productive Business Culture 

 

Company culture has become a topic of extreme interest among businesses over the past few years. Even before the pandemic, business leaders were thinking about how to improve the culture fostered in their organisations. Now, even more people recognise its importance in maintaining productivity after the pandemic’s disruption. And according to research, food is one of the most important catalysts of a great company culture. Two in three people surveyed referred to shared meals with colleagues as a significant contributor to positive working cultures.

Not only does food support company culture and employee retention, it can also act as an attractive recruitment benefit. Long gone are the days when free fruit at work could convince talented workers to sign employment contracts. Today, people expect a lot more, and food still ranks among one of the most valued perks. 68 per cent labelled it as the perk that they appreciated above all others. If business leaders want to employ the best people, they’ll need to place their best bets on the food.

The problem is that, for many businesses, the traditional catering model may no longer offer the most efficient or effective means of doing that. Traditional means of offering food to employees often can be costly, especially during a period of high inflation when goods come at a high cost and high energy prices place a greater burden on permanent catering facilities. Many companies now operate hybrid working policies by which employees don’t work at a permanent site five days of the week anymore. All of this means that business leaders must consider new ways of catering to their workforces.

 

Catering to a New Era of Work

 

One of the most effective ways of catering to a workforce today is to adopt the technology that consumers have already been using for years: Digital food delivery platforms. There are many services for businesses that offer distinct advantages to solving the challenges of catering to a post-pandemic workforce.

The principal benefit of food delivery tech for businesses is that it renders the whole process much smoother. When office teams have many important things to deal with, the last thing they want to have to do is go searching for a suitable food supplier, making sure that they offer appropriate options, and then arranging delivery – sometimes over the phone. It’s much easier to use an app, which society has now become accustomed to.

Digital food delivery platforms also offer the benefit of greater variety. Using only traditional suppliers, the food options available may be restricted to the scale and expertise of that supplier. Food delivery apps increase the range of possibilities. The options offered by each restaurant partner are clearly marked with dietary information, and businesses can even order from multiple partners. This offers businesses a distinct advantage over traditional means of food supply, since it allows them to cater to any of their employees’ tastes or dietary requirements.

Payment is also made easier when using digital food delivery platforms. There’s no hassle of reading out card details over the phone or handing a company card around the office to the person that needs it – potentially getting lost in the process. That’s not to mention the real-time order tracking, more accurate delivery estimates, and swift issue resolution that are all part of working with a good digital food delivery platform.

Since the pandemic, employee tastes, expectations, and working arrangements have changed in such a way that demands business leaders reconsider how they feed their staff. Traditional catering options no longer always serve as the best tools to do so. They often take up valuable space, which could be used for better ends. The flexible arrangements offered by food delivery tech offer more financially appealing options, with better culinary experiences for businesses. It’s time for business leaders to start considering different options.

Picture: a photograph of Dr Audrey Tang. Image Credit: Just Eat for Business 

Article written by Dr Audrey Tang and Matt Ephgrave | Published 19 December 2023

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