How will services change in the workplace?

EP looks at the future of sustainability, nutrition and home delivery

There are a number of articles within EP that discuss how today change is just a reality and how this affects business. However, change will also affect services…

Hospitality is not just a service anymore; it is theatre and an entertainment also. Research shows that people are eating out more and more and they want to see new ideas, original concepts and to be constantly entertained and challenged.

There is a view that F&B strategies can no longer be reviewed annually, but rather in quarterly cycles as the market is moving at such a pace. This may be slightly extreme but there is little doubt that the consumer wants to be excited by original ideas that can display something special. The odds are that the greatest change will come in the fields of sustainability, nutrition and home delivery:

  • Sustainability – growing up in very different worlds, the emerging generation views life differently to the baby boomers and want companies to show leadership in good environmental and sustainability programmes and innovation. There has been a relative slowness of hospitality companies to respond, but change is coming and this will move from the periphery to the core over the next decade and at increasing pace. There are new value sets on the rise and businesses will need to embrace them. The counterargument is that there is already too much pressure on margins and that there is a balance, and still the movement will happen. Recent research has shown that every major foodservice player today is developing food waste policies with more urgency, and this is only one example.
  • Nutrition – it has moved from the periphery to the centre over the last two to three years, just as fitness and sport have become increasingly important also. The challenge for foodservice will not be so much in meeting demand, but that the consumer may become reliant on them providing greater and newer solutions – becoming person leaders in education and food styles.
  • Home delivery – it is interesting that Deliveroo and similar businesses have taken off as the consumer seeks to enjoy great food products at home. It is a logical move, as technology has allowed this service to be more effective. However, isn’t it even more logical that foodservice companies fill this gap? It can be a revenue extension to certain large-scale contracts that see employees taking their dinner home (especially if designing new dietary patterns – detox diets, allergy-free diets, etc) or for the ordering to come via the foodservice partner. Go one step further and for the first time there can be a far greater, closer and more emotional connection between the foodservice operator and the businesses they serve.

It opens up all kinds of opportunities. One may shake one’s head at some of the above, but the reality is, the concept of high-speed delivery of food will become increasingly successful. There are already new online concepts being developed that will grow, as they can serve an audience with no high street presence and take the food directly to the consumer rather than have/own a lease. Again, isn’t this a natural area of innovation for foodservice companies?

The consumer is less engaged by brands and more by a passion for food and diet. This could mark an exciting opportunity for those foodservice companies that can grasp the concept and create great solutions.

“Research has shown that every major foodservice player today is developing food waste policies with more urgency”