Four reasons why business catering services must continue to evolve in 2023
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world of food service and business catering had to change and adapt in ways we never imagined were possible. Now, the industry continues to progress to serve its clients and customers alike.
While the pandemic served as a catalyst to much of the change we’ve seen so far, there have been other events that continue to shape the industry - including the plant-based movement, on-going food shortages, and sharp rises in our cost of living.
Here are four reasons why businesses should continue to evolve within the food service and catering space.
A stronger need for brand transparency
People now, more than ever, see sustainability as something that directly impacts them, as well as something in which they can have an impact. This means consumers are really buying into brands that put the health of our planet at the centre of their business ethos.
Consider this consumer-brand relationship shift in the context of business catering. With a constant stream of regular customers, often visiting as much as three times a day, employee food services are under the spotlight to show up for sustainability. This positive form of pressure is pushing business caterers to do better across the board, from food labelling to product packaging.
At Eurest, we’ve introduced ‘eco labelling’ where, using expert knowledge from researchers in the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) team at University of Oxford, we’ve scored and labelled our food products from A to E based on environmental factors. Using clever techniques like this is all in an effort to subtly ‘nudge’ rather than push our customers towards better choices for both them and the environment.
An increased appetite for technology
With the pandemic came a multitude of workplace safety challenges, a big one being the need for social distancing. This triggered a drive for innovative food catering solutions, and while now not necessarily needed for the same reasons, continues to be an area of evolution.
For example, catering technology is an ideal solution for workplaces that can’t provide on-site food solutions. Self-service micromarkets and vending machines make fresh food available 24 hours a day, ensuring employees have access to great-tasting food around the clock.
Our Head of Culinary Operations, Jason Trotman, highlighted the success of our innovative Time2Eat app for one of our clients in a recent interview with The Foodservice Equipment Journal:
One of our clients has a massive factory and some of the guys can’t get to the restaurant because it’s too far away, so we now have hot lockers. They order on the app as they would normally but that app then tells the locker to either heat up or cool down.
We’ve had to get creative with food waste
With the move towards Net Zero now a standard expectation for all types of businesses, the food catering industry has had to get creative with how it manages waste – from sending leftovers to charities to designing recipes that use up every aspect of a piece of produce.
As business caterers with the planet at the heart of everything we do, our chefs here at Eurest are always working to redefine our attitude to waste.
For example, through our business concept ‘Plenty’, we’re incorporating food waste recipes into our daily offering – from keeping pineapple skins to flavour water to using up kale stems for a tasty pesto. We’ve even found ways to use coffee grinds in some of our dishes.
Menus are changing to meet dietary choices
With over half the UK population now identifying as flexitarian, employees have come to expect plant-forward menus as a standard part of their workplace food offering. This has resulted in a huge shift when it comes to designing menus for businesses.
While some food caterers have decided to drop meat entirely from their menus, at Eurest we’re embracing the aspect of choice and balance. Plant-based dishes now make up over 50% of our menus, while the others retain meat, fish and dairy options.
Here to help
At Eurest, we give your employees something to come into work for. Our flexible food and drink services help people feel mentally and physically well, fuels concentration, supports collaboration, and boosts productivity. We’re also ‘planet positive’ – meaning we use sustainable ingredients wherever we can.
A greener future
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Catering for culture
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A healthy impact
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