The landscape of every aspect of our lives has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the country last spring. The ways that we work and eat have shifted dramatically, along with almost everything else in our lives. Stay-at-home orders impacted businesses in a myriad of ways, and even as some industries return to work, the way they do business has changed. Keeping employees safe in their day-to-day is a top priority because now, one misstep could have lasting repercussions on the availability of your workforce for weeks or months.
But as employees do return to their places of work, keeping those employees happy, engaged, and nourished is a challenge many operations now face. For the office space, the way people eat at work must change. Now, open cafeterias, crowded breakrooms, or a revolving door of employees coming and going during work breaks are no longer in an organization’s best interests.
With more than 40 years in refreshment services helping hundreds of companies feed thousands of employees, Evergreen Refreshments is uniquely positioned to see how companies are coping with this new normal. Here we are sharing the top trends on what smart companies are doing to meet today’s challenges to keep their onsite employees safe at work, happy, and fed.
In this blog series, we look at ways in which food at work is changing, and how employers can be ready to tackle evolving expectations for employee food safety at work.
We will look at three trends in the ‘food at work’ space:
The shift from an open office food pantry model to a micro-market
Evolving beyond vending into fresh foods and more variety
Contactless is the new normal, including for office coffee service
There is no doubt that for organizations whose employees cannot work from home, food service has become a big challenge.
This might include segments like:
Food processing companies
Grocery & other essential retailers
Healthcare and hospitals
Infrastructure, utilities, transportation
The safety of employees related to food service is not the only factor. There is also the need to provide a variety of healthy, well-balanced, and quality food and beverage options. Combining those two needs, organizations have been forced to pivot to pre-packaged options and ways employees can be well-nourished with minimum contact with others, which is where contactless options come in to play.
When COVID-19 hit, we were in the same boat as many of our customers. Not only did we need to find ways to enhance the safety of our employees, but we also had to evaluate and quickly modify our procedures to keep our own employees safe.
We already have procedures in place to help your company food service adapt during COVID-19. We can help you with new practices and procedures for cleaning and for your employees. We can maximize the number of contactless and touchless options employees have for food and beverage at your company quickly and economically.
Join us in the coming weeks as we examine these food–at–work trends in-depth and how Evergreen Refreshments can help meet the needs of employers and employees alike.