When feeding the workforce is the distraction

For every operator the aim is to provide a quality, consistent and delicious food offer for their customer. This is the same for employees, but in reality, it can be difficult to achieve.

It’s logical to provide a quality food offer to drive productivity and to improve social interactions between employees in the workplace. However, is it fair to argue this is not always the case? Not through a lack of belief, but more because catering for staff can become a distraction when all the focus is on the commercial offer. EP spoke to Mark Smalley, Retail Operations Lead at apetito to find out why their staff dining offer provides a solution to this common dilemma.

For any successful operations, whether hotels, restaurants, theme parks etc., the focus is investing all the time and energy on the paying customer. They aim to inspire, to delight and to offer something the customer truly wants. This often results in the employee dining and their subsequent welfare being overlooked, as the excuse is that money needs to be made. apetito have recognised this and created a food solution, via a delivered in model, that provides consistent quality and does not require trained chefs.

A fair question is to ask why operators would look to de-skill the kitchen? “Rightly or wrongly Brexit is playing a role and there is no denying that busy kitchen operations are struggling with either staff retention or finding the right skill level. Coupled with the rising costs of raw materials & wages and the age-old headaches of portion control and wastage, it becomes hard to provide a consistent and cost-effective staff dining offer.” Explains Mark, the young leader at the helm of the new offer from apetito. He adds, “with the mindset of chefs wanting to cook for customers and not for staff then it’s a cocktail of potential disaster. This is why solutions must be adapted to ensure a food offer is provided which keep teams healthy and productive and in turn makes a financial impact on the business.”

At the same, there has been a significant increase in allergies, intolerances and special diets meaning that the ‘one-size menu’ fits all is no longer an option. apetito’s solution removes this worry from the food operation. Now lower skilled staff (not trained chefs) can provide a nutritious and personalised food offer which can also be provided from relatively small spaces – an essential given recent kitchen size utilisation.

“With the current situation in the kitchen and market, and not to mention some companies are having to overspend on their employee staff subsidy, we are providing a unique and innovative staff dining meal proposition” says Mark. It’s an interesting point given the current situation but heartening to know that there is solution which can save time, money and space. If this in turn creates a potentially more effective and happier workforce, than that’s powerful.