Hybrid Working Headaches

February 1, 2024

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We know that, for those in the catering sector, coming out of pandemic restrictions was like reaching the surface and gasping for air again. However, and continuing the analogy, the subsequent hybrid working patterns now established are akin to a ‘Long Covid’ with its associated sluggishness.

And it seems now seems clear that 'Hybrid' work patterns and WFH habits are not going to change – a recent study of those looking for work commented, In 2021/22, 76% of candidates said they would refuse to take a job that didn’t allow them to at least partially work from home. This has increased to 95% in 2022/23, with 50% of all respondents wanting to work full-time from home, 45% wanting two or three days working at home.

Of course, this has huge implications for corporate catering firms and those running hospitality contracts across a range of sectors. You want to be able to offer a service but it needs to adapt to changed circumstances.

How can tech solutions help catering managers face this challenge?

The tools need to be available so you can be flexible and sensible in how staff are managed, and being able to manage what you offer and how you offer it.

Firstly, to be candid, could your catering team be smaller on certain days? If there are less customers in the buildings the need for service is less. There are a number of ways Spoonfed’s software can be set up to manage things well and make sure that a smaller team doesn’t mean a poor or chaotic service.

And second (more candidness) the elephant in the room is, of course, to recognise the need for a proper online ordering system for corporate hospitality, ie a system that can handle hospitality orders 'frictionlessly' even when there is degree of complexity. We need to get serious about the amount of wasted time for kitchen staff handling orders manually because the processes are based on order forms or an App which can’t handle anything complicated. Your starting point to winning is to engage with fit for purpose tech solutions - Spoonfed allows all orders to be placed with confidence, end to end, and avoids burdening kitchen teams with unnecessary calls, reply to emails, call backs with costs etc, etc.

How will this frictionless engagement with customers work?

  1. Use online menus which are ‘dynamic’. If someone is placing an order for a Monday they will only see what is available on a Monday – why offer the same range with the same lead in for orders on a day when you know there are less people in the office? Fully customisable menus are key.
  2. In a similar vein, Spoonfed’s system can let you control how many orders you are prepared to take in any time slot during the day…again with a smaller team you will want to fully automate this. When the foodbooker begins to place an order time slots all ready filled may already be ‘greyed out’.
  3. And drilling down even further, you can apply a stock limiter to certain menus on certain days. Pointless producing the same amount of goods each day, but to avoid cut off times for orders being overly stringent, the stock limiter can take that pressure off and when it is ‘gone it’s gone’ and no longer available for online ordering that day.

These are just some of the very relevant tools available to Spoonfed users.

But is hybrid working all bad news?…

Well it seems that meetings for when staff do come into the office generate a high order value. Spoonfed users have seen a recent spike in the average order value. And does Spoonfed have tools for capitalising on that scenario? - what do you think?!🤓

Get in touch for more information on how Spoonfed can help your team solve issues and take up fresh opportunities.