Food at the Heart of Culture #FuellingProductivity

A campaign where nutrition and wellbeing become the core areas of thinking

A Change in Dialogue

In 2018 EP launched a series of discussion forums entitled ‘Fuelling Producivity’ to raise the profile for how food today can play a pivotal role in some of the wider business and social issues that we face.

Our argument was that food service could no longer be viewed as a commodity but as an important service offer than can play an influential role.

As the year progressed there ha been a steady change in dialogue and operators today do believe there is a need for disruption and one perhaps driven by a mix of social, business and trend influences.

Fuelling Productivity – creating a voice for how food can play a positive role supporting productivity improvement

In the forthcoming week, EP will be delighted to announce the creation of a new board for the Fuelling productivity campaign which will involve over 20 industry leaders and experts -from the major operators through to leading consultants through to business and school organizations.

Together we can create a new voice that does discuss real issues that do impact on day to day life. This is a time for genuine change.
There is more and more data and research emerging for how great food service can impact on both social connectivity and wellness within business.
Within the next six months, there will research emerge that will illustrate for all that food service can cut down the number of lost days through sickness and presenteeism and impact too on both culture & retention of quality talent.
As straight forward as this may sound, it can create a genuine dynamic for change as the real cost of positive impact on these areas impacts directly on performance which is of a high value.

The impressive industry board members includes:

  • Compass
  • Sodexo
  • ISS
  • Dine Catering
  • Thomas Franks
  • Nomura
  • Ince
  • St.John’s College, Cambridge University
  • ISBA
  • The Oxford Cultural Collective
  • The  Russell Partnership
  • Houston & Hawkes
  • Amadeus
  • Prestige Purchasing
  • Fooditude
  • Business Coffee Solutions
  • Liquidline
  • Food First
  • Compass
  • Indicater
  • City Pantry
  • Delaware
  • Alix Partners
  • A number of leading experts in the field

So do come and be part of a positive conversation for how food service, nutrition and hydration can impact on daily life.

The change is happening so be part of the dialogue.


There is a momentum beginning to develop

This is a new era when everyone wants to talk about great food, nutrition, wellbeing, service and great people. Food has become an universal language and reward. This allows for a rare opportunity to develop storylines that create a new narrative about the sector and is positive about the Industry.

2020 will not be an easy period and will be challenging. Food today plays a central role in everyday life and moreover, it can play a pivotal role in some of the bigger issues.

Productivity and Mental Health – The Core Arguments:

  • The UK lags 15% behind the other G7 countries
  • In State of the Global Workplace report only 11% of UK employees are engaged in their job, compared with 70% at the world’s most successful organisations
  • UK productivity was 27, 30 and 35 percentage points lower than in France, the US and Germany respectively. (Office of National Stats)
  • Economic Research Council – just 8% of UK employees are enthused about their work. A fall from 17% in 2012
  • Lack of trust in leadership – 63% globally – UK is 1:5 – 1:7 in Institutions
  • 1:4 suffer from a form of mental illness
  • 1:10 suffer depression
  • 1m more should be prescribed antidepressants
  • Research shows that 40% of the average day is spent in meetings
  • Average 150 emails per day = estimated 3 hours to answer
  • Just 27 minute lunch break
  • Average number of sick days per year – 5.7 days per year
  • In schools, NHS Digital found in November 2018 that mental health difficulties have risen by over 25 per cent, equating to one in 8 young people aged 5-19 now experiencing problems – the equivalent of nearly four in every classroom.

Change is being created by….

A growing concern in productivity and service levels and concern on talent and mental health, retention, sick days and competitiveness.


A lack of concern over some of the traditional debating points such purchasing discounts or rebates. As well as an increased interest in food and understanding that food service does bring people together. Plus supports health and wellbeing.





The Change in Diets

Over 28m people today in the UK declare themselves as Flexitarian. There were 540,000 vegans in 2016. This has risen to 3.5m in 2018 and is estimated to grow to 7m by 2020. The faster growing groups are teenagers. Diets are changing across all age groups and sectors. Is this a threat or an opportunity?

Food Service needs to be viewed through a wider social context

  • The argument is that the average UK professional is 30% physically and mentally more strained than 20 years ago. However life is not going to change or slow down.
  • Modern comms – the average person will see over 700 adverts per day but how many can you recall?
  • The argument is people generally hear and communicate less even though there is more taking place.
  • Reason suggests that there 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

Change is happening

  • Enhancing lifestyle support with in-house yoga and pilates sessions
  • Counselling for those who feel pressured and stressed
  • Health led food strategies
  • Created complete vegan or plant based menus

At the same time:

  • One of the major issues within business is the lack of talent that is breaking through at senior levels. How can business nurture talent?
  • It is estimated that 40% of the workforce will be part of the gig economy by 2022
  • Expected fall in available chefs by 17%
  • Over 350,000 vacancies in Hospitality at anyone time

People will become a premium commodity and will need to be retained


Key strategic and strong alliances have been formed to create a powerful framework. This has never been done before.

  • Mad World – Europe’s only conference that puts mental health at the heart of the business agenda; over 300 businesses are attending and food is considered a core pillar
  • FUTR – Focused on innovation and the emerging generations
  • UKHospitality – Who represent more than 700 companies in the hospitality industry
  • The Chef’s Manifesto – Action by chefs to deliver a sustainable food system, includes 158 chefs from 43 countries
  • Hero – Understanding employee wellbeing and where businesses can focus and take action
  • Sports personalities – To open the door to C-Suite/Boards

This is a challenging period but food service can place people first, make them feel valued and support them and business

This is an unique opportunity – arguably the first in a generation.

Our aim is to create a new understanding and dialogue that does benefit all

Become Involved

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