With the advent of COVID-19, the whole world was flipped on its head. With the return to the workplace, just after we had gotten used to being at and working from home, we had to, again, adjust to a ‘new normal’.
Servicing the office workplace was the backbone of many inner-city restaurants and ghost kitchens, and this sector was predicted to grow by around $1.4 billion from 2019-2020. With offices now back open and people working hard on working up an appetite the office catering market is, once again, open for business.
A Lack of Options
The staff cafeteria is currently not able to open, communal appliances have been either taped shut or removed from office spaces, people are not wanting to leave the office for fear of being the one that brings “it” back with them, and food prepared the morning or night before at home just doesn’t always hit the spot. This is the niche that office catering can now fill!
The Lucrative Office Group Catering Market
Purchasing lunch for all of their staff on a weekly basis as a thank you was becoming a norm for many office managers. This also helped to boosted team morale and increase interaction and communication as employees wandered around intermingling and serving themselves from a communal buffet. Alas, the days of intermingling and sharing buffets are in the past and, unfortunately, seemingly distant in the future. But these gathers are still wanted by everyone involved, even more so now!
This hasn’t, however, stopped many businesses adjusting their strategy to cope with this new normal. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings is putting together a selection of individual boxes from which employees can choose, and then the manager can order all at once for a single delivery. This is a model many companies can choose to follow, and by using a first-party service app such as Lunchbox, Olo, and Chownow you have the ability to instantly add such offering to your app and push them to your customers so that they know they exist!
Purchasing for everyone from a single restaurant reduces the number of people visiting the office building and also allows office-folk to feel like they’ve returned to some sort of ‘normal’ when they all sit down together -appropriately socially distanced of course- to enjoy their lunch break.
The Opportune Individual Meals
Such meal boxes don’t need to be created just to service large groups of people, they can also be made for the individual. Not only are you supplying the hungry, hard worker with food but all of his or her colleagues are going to be able to smell your delectable offerings from behind their own desk and wonder what on earth smells so good! This creates a fear of missing out, or FOMO, which in turn could see many more people ordering from your location to that office, bringing you more customer along the way. It and might even see the whole office go for the office lunch option which you created above!
As aforementioned you could create a variety of “lunchboxes” to provide your customers with a wide array of affordable, but still filling and delicious options from your menu at lunchtime. These can be made available for groups and individuals at affordable, lunchtime prices.
There is also the opportunity to showcase your location to many other people by offering a variety of discounts and deals through your first-party service based app. Using an app like Lunchbox, combined with the add-on loyalty function offered within, you can offer your customers double points at lunchtime or, just before lunchtime, remind them of the refer-a-friend rewards they can earn!
Reaching out and catering to the ‘new normal’ of the office world will hold the key to success for many restaurants. If you were the one ordering food for everyone then the Relish service provides a dedicated option for employee meals services. However, you may find that if you refresh your offerings and provide loyalty options for your online guests, like those options available on the Lunchbox platform, you could find your popularity growing quickly in the office environment!
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