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Workplace Food Trends in 2014

Eating habits have changed massively over the last ten years and they continue to do so. These changes will have an impact on workplace food trends in 2014, according to Rob Kirby, Chef Director, at Lexington Catering.

The Evening Standard recently reported that Londoners are eating out more than ever before – and at lower prices – fuelling an explosion in the number of restaurant openings. This leaves staff restaurants and cafes competing with the likes of Costa and Pret.

Rob says, “Fads come and go so it is important not to introduce innovation for innovation sake. Food offerings need to be tailored to the market and in the workplace this is all about developing healthy tasty food, within a budget and in a sustainable way.

“The large majority of employees want good, simple, wholesome, reasonably priced food that they can purchase quickly when they are at work. It is this that employers and contract caterers need to focus on.”

Health-conscious, cash strapped busy consumers set the stage for what’s to come in the food world in 2014.

Rob says, “Lifestyles today mean some employees just want to grab something to eat and take it away with them to eat at their desk or on the go. Others will want to eat away from their desk. Success depends on organisations offering convenient, reasonably priced, healthy and satisfying food.

“This together with consistent excellent service will help ensure employees and guests continue to value the organisation and increase footfall into staff restaurants.”

Here are eight areas that every organisaton needs to consider when thinking about food trends in the workplace in 2014:

  1. Be healthy: Employees are increasingly looking for healthy eating options – think superfoods. It is important to make sure there is a variety of food and employees have a choice about what they eat.
  2. Grab and go: Employees have little time and they need to be able to buy food quickly.
  3. Build a brand: Organisations are competing with the high street restaurants, don’t miss out on the opportunity to show employees what you can provide.
  4. Educate: Make sure catering/hospitality staff are able to tell customers exactly what their food contains and where it comes from.
  5. Think local: There is more demand to know where food has come from – demonstrate to employees that you are committed to sustainability and reducing impact on the environment.
  6. Think about the whole experience: Consumers buy into the experience so making sure the quality of service is excellent is just as important as the quality of food.
  7. Create a social hub: Organisations that have space for employee dining onsite have a really opportunity to improve employee engagement. It is important to make the most of this environment by creating a sense of social hub as well as somewhere to take time out and relax.
  8. Waste not, want not: Reducing waste is high on the agenda for many UK businesses. The food industry is often criticised for the amount of waste – organisations need to work in partnership with their caterers to reduce waste.