Food Service should no longer be viewed as a commodity for it is part of a bigger jigsaw puzzle and can plays a pivotal role.
What is the puzzle?
By Chris Sheppardson, Managing Director, EP
How to increase productivity, reduce stress, anxiety levels, employee welfare and improve informal comms. The average employee today takes 5.7 days off sick per year. In theory the average UK employee takes 5 days to do what the employee in Germany or USA will do in 4 days. If Food Service can play a role in supporting these objectives, then research will support the fact that the increased productivity and comms is worth more than the savings created by many of the old arguments for cost reduction, and focused audits.
The argument is that the average UK professional is physically and mentally tired and is need of great restaurant areas which encourage social dialogue and relaxation. It is as simple as Great food and good spaces = bring people together effectively = healthier diets and eating = great communications, problem solving and more refreshed customers.
For way too long, food service has been viewed almost in isolation as a service to be overly controlled, managed and almost constrained. By this approach, of course, bad habits and practices will emerge and most can cite examples.
The key is to view food service in a wider context. We are all aware of the major social and individual problems that most organizations face today. 1:4 will suffer from mental health issues, 1:3 in any one time, 1:10 suffer from depression, record lack of trust in leadership teams, internal comms has never been poorer, a record number of people are opting out of corporate careers, etc.
Viewing Food Service in a narrow perspective helps very few. Food plays a more central and important role today than it ever has. It can play an even bigger role – which in turn helps the industry – if the mind sets over how food service is treated can be changed. Companies today are developing strategies on how to help their employees be healthier and more productive. Food Service needs to be part of that conversation. It needs to be start to think bigger and differently and if all can work better together, good change can be implemented.