There is a disruption taking place across Food Service

Where nutrition and wellbeing are becoming a core area 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 has 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.

There is a momentum beginning to develop

16th May 2019

EP is holding a Conference to discuss changes in the market and in November 2019 hosting an awards dinner for leading Scottish Independent Schools.

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.

2019 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

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