The food experience helps to create well-being and sustainable employees
Eating at work affects our working days more than we think.
"A good food experience can determine whether we want to work from the office or not," says Carl Fernholm, VP Service Development Food & Beverage at Coor.
What is needed for the food experience at the workplace to be as good as possible? One of the cornerstones is that the food is well cooked and tastes good. But taste is just one of several senses that need to be activated for a lunch to feel meaningful.
The results from Coor's report "Join the Workplace Revolution" highlight how much the work lunch means to us. One in four state that improved lunch options in the workplace increase the willingness to work in the office. This is particularly important for the younger age groups.
– The study highlights the younger employees' high demands on the employer, that food plays a major role. For many employers, this is an important insight, both today and in the future, says Carl Fernholm.
Well-being at work can thus be linked to what and how we eat. For a long time, many workplaces have offered breakfast, lunch and even dinner to their guests. However, the focus on how the end consumer experiences the meals is a factor that has not always been taken into account.
"A holistic approach is needed"
To succeed with this, a holistic approach is needed, according to Johan Lundblad, business developer at Food and Beverage Coor Sweden.
– From dialogues with our customers, we know that services related to food and beverage are super important. Good, healthy and well-prepared food from scratch with sustainable ingredients is central. But the experience needs to be seen from a 360 perspective where the food is one of the cornerstones, says Johan.
The food, the meeting and the room are three equally important parts that need to be worked on. Søren Kanne, Division Manager at Coor Denmark, emphasizes the importance of a good food experience.
- It needs to add more value than just the food. It should give something extra and be perceived as a boost to eat together with your colleagues, says Søren Kanne.
Aaron Apew, responsible for Food and Beverage at Coor Norway, also highlights the experience as the most important element.
- The key is a dining experience that makes a positive difference during the working day. It's something that makes employees return to the workplace if done correctly, says Aaron.
Part of the experience is also about knowing what you eat and where the ingredients come from, Aaron points out.
- Our strategy is to work with good raw materials. Some people are horrified by vego alternatives that contain soy, but then it is important to tell where the food comes from and how it is produced, says Aaron Apew.
Staff restaurants need to constantly vary the range and create something new for their guests, explains Johan Lundblad.
- Traditional restaurant visitors go to the restaurant twice a year. Many people visit our restaurants every day and then we must be able to offer something new. That's why we work with, among other things, tastings and lectures, says Johan.
In Denmark, they create added value for their restaurant guests by selling ingredients directly from the kitchen.
- Having a mindset that creates added value for our guests enhances the experience. For example, we sell bread that guests can buy to take home to the family, says Søren Kanne.
Concepts such as food trucks, Friday brunch and lectures at the restaurants are also something Coor works with its customers.
The treatment from the restaurant staff and having premises that feel welcoming with good acoustics add additional value to the meal itself. To make employees feel satisfied in the workplace, the dining experience needs to be well thought out, says Carl Fernholm.
– The food experience at work is for many people the highlight of the working day. Breakfast, coffee break, lunch or snack. The experience should be enjoyable, visually appealing, and the food should taste good. It contributes to creating well-being and sustainable employees.
- Friday brunch is something we've been working on for a while. For employees, this means that they can eat a lovely meal in a more relaxed way before the weekend and at the same time be productive at the office, says Søren Kanne.