“New Work” concepts – chances or risks for contract catering?

Most recently, the Corona Pandemic has ensured that terms such as “New Normal” and “New Work” also play a major role in the catering industry. Due to the associated hygienic measures, there have been some changes and innovations in the catering industry. Many concepts in company canteens have changed to “to-go” or “delivery to the workplace”. The trend towards open restaurant concepts, away from classic canteens with food counters and waiting queues, is therefore clearly visible in order to cope with the effects and changes of the pandemic. This makes it easier to comply with distance regulations and hygienic measures, even after the Corona High-Peak. The role of company restaurants will thus change almost completely in the future. They will nevertheless remain an important part of employees’ everyday working lives.

“New Work” and “New Food” – challenges in a changing catering industry

“New Normal” generally means that a new work culture is being developed around home office and flexibility in the choice of working hours and location. Several companies have been working on new “New Work” concepts for years. But Corona is now operating as an accelerator of these changing processes. As a “place of communication and recovery”, catering spaces are gaining importance in the new world of work in order to successfully shape the new type of collaboration.

Furthermore the trend of digitization is getting a push in the contract catering industry through the Corona Pandemic. For example, the “people counting” has been introduced in many canteens and company restaurants. This system registers how many people are in a company restaurant. Either online, via app or web view, visitors are thus informed about the occupancy rate in the respective area. Another possibility would be to show the number of seats. Through a stele or a traffic light at the entrance to the canteen you can show how many places are still available. In this way, the flow of visitors can be controlled more efficiently. Additionally, hygienic and spacing regulations can be observed more easily.

People Counting Stele in a company canteen

“Mobile Canteen” as a future trend in the “New Work” world

Employees are becoming increasingly mobile. They work from home, in their garden or in their office. Therefore, food must also become mobile to meet the demand for “to-go” options for everyday work. A major challenge will be to make the “to-go” alternatives sustainable as well as in line with hygienic guidelines. “In-house delivery” will be a promising option, following the trend towards decentralized, mobile and smaller catering locations. Classic self-service, on the other hand, will be viewed more and more critically in the future. Alternatives are offered by various new features, such as a pre-order function.

Therefore, kitchen staff has longer lead times and can plan resources more efficiently and sustainably. For the visitors, it offers the advantage of being able to order and pay more quickly and thus benefit more from the actual lunch break. In addition, alternative sales concepts independent of the company restaurant are being further developed. One example would be vending machines or refrigerators for self-service. This solution is particularly practical for employees on night shifts who do not have the opportunity to take advantage of the regular daily offer in company canteens. This gives everyone with different working patterns a chance to benefit from the companies catering offer.

Go with the Flow – chances of “New Work” in the catering industry

Less conferences and a smaller amount of guests, changed working conditions and new hygienic rules – the previous concept of company catering is undergoing a major change. New procedures, such as adjustments to the “New Work” and “New Food”, as well as the calculation of expenses, should urgently be put on the agenda of every company. Moreover, not all employees will continue to come to the office after the Corona years. Home office and remote work concepts will be an integral part of the new working world. This is an opportunity for company catering to change, to remain future-proof and to go with the trend of digitization. An employee restaurant could develop into an all-day, multifunctional communication platform and thus represent a creative gastronomic alternative.

Trends recognized? Then go for it!

Dashboard of the qnips catering portal in a company canteen

There are many ways to adapt to these trends and integrate the “new food” concepts into your company. qnips offers various features to bring your company canteen or staff restaurant up to the latest, technical standard. Using the ordering system, your guests can order their food in advance and pay directly if required. In order to provide the guests with comprehensive service, especially at large locations, there is the option to define different delivery locations and times as well as lead times, among other things. This allows the kitchen staff to plan and use resources and capacities more efficiently and sustainably. In addition, you can place conference orders, giving your staff a relaxed lunch break between long meetings and discussions.

We can support you with our qnips platform in the digitization of your contract catering or you have questions about further features of qnips? Then take a look at our Demo-Portal and click through our catering portal to get to know our ordering system better. Simply book a free demo appointment.

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