Given our own recent survey of 2,000 UK employees with canteens we were interested to see how their results compared to ours and what trends they spotted. Here are our top three takeaways from their report:
Queuing puts off customers – and order ahead brings them back
Apart from preferring external food options, the most frequent reasons employees gave for not visiting their workplace cafeteria more often were queuing for food at the serving area and queuing to pay. 82% of employees would buy more often if they could order ahead. According to Omnico, “There is no doubt about it – giving employees the ability to order ahead so they can beat queues will bring in more customers than any other method.”
Different strokes for different folks
The report found that providing a range of channels was critical to meeting the requirements of a varied audience and therefore providing a seamless experience to customers was an essential part of the successful delivery of this. They found that 48% of employees said they want to place their order using an app on their phone, 23% preferred to place their order online and 10% wanted to use a touch-screen kiosk.
Caterers need to embrace technology now
Last year Omnico’s research found that contact catering companies are lagging behind technologically. Omnico says, “Their business clients will expect to offer their staff the latest solutions, both as a positive attribute to them as an employer, and to optimise the lunch
break and cut down on time lost waiting in line. And the consumers will reward
them from their pockets.”
These insights align with our own report’s conclusions. Ultimately, the picture is positive for corporate caterers. The gripes that employees have towards canteens are issues that canteens can resolve with a little help, rather than a fundamental problem like the quality of the food. We also see that many canteens are on their way to adopting the solutions to these challenges, and that those who are not already there, can be soon. We agree that corporate caterers looking to increase canteen footfall should consider technological changes to help respond to consumer demand for speed, convenience and value.
If you would be interested to find out more about our take on employee trends, download our corporate catering report.