Contract corporate foodservice management can easily settle into a mundane routine with repetitive menus, uninspired dining team and bored employees. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five tips to improve your corporate dining and catering program:
- Survey Your Workplace
Do you compete with the street? Survey your employees to understand their food preferences, how often they eat in the cafeteria, where they eat when they are not eating in the cafeteria, how much they expect to pay, and what they like or don’t like about the current menu. When Unidine works with a client, we use an extensive preference survey to help us customize our program for each location, and conducting the survey demonstrates that we value the employees and their opinion. You can use a paper survey, but there are a lot of free or paid online survey tools that can be used to conduct a survey and generate reports. Offer an incentive, like a free dessert or muffin, to those who complete the survey. Then, incorporate what you’ve learned into your menus, promotions and communications. You will find you are able to compete more effectively when your decisions are based on real data.
- Support Your Employee Wellness Program
There are so many ways that a corporate dining program can support an employee health and wellness program. Work with your on-premises fitness center to promote a daily healthy food selection. A coordinated effort to promote exercise and healthy food choices is a benefit that can help employees meet their personal health and wellness goals, reduce corporate healthcare costs and position the organization as an employer of choice.
- Conduct a Fresh Food Audit.
One of the most effective ways to deliver delicious and nutritious options is to focus on the ingredients, the recipes and the menus. The first step is to understand how much of your current menu is made from fresh ingredients and how much is frozen, canned or prepared from ingredients that have undergone some sort of processing. The easiest way to understand this is to take a quick stroll through your storage room, freezer and refrigerator. Take note of what you see (here is a Fresh Food Checklist to help you).
The Midwest Business Group on Health reported in 2011 that, “Convenience is a major factor for those who lead a hectic lifestyle. The challenges employees indicate they face include finding time to eat healthy, cook healthy and be physically active.” Prepared dinners-to-go can boost revenue and solve a major challenge in the busy and complicated lives of your valuable employees.
- Create A Vision.
When your goals are clear and you have a vision for your dining operation that supports the corporate vision, mission and values, day-to-day decision making becomes easier. Even the major decisions, like selecting the appropriate dining management partner become clearer when you have a strong vision of what your program should be. At Unidine, we define success by the extent that our effective management of your dining program strengthens your corporate culture, delivers a valuable employee amenity, improves productivity and represents your corporate brand to employees, guests and the public.
To learn more about developing a fresh vision for your corporate food and dining program, download our Fresh Food Toolkit.