2020 was a challenging year for most workplace caterers as the pandemic shook the industry and the traditional ways of operating within just a few months.
As we are looking forward to the slow global recovery from the pandemic, remote work has emerged as the new normal within the workplace landscape. Many workplaces have understandably encouraged remote work during the past year, yet this trend is expected to continue even after the pandemic. According to a survey by Gartner, 48% of office workers are willing to continue remote work at least part-time as reduced commuting time and increased flexibility are seen to positively add to work-life balance.
This change will not only lead to a decrease in demand for office space but it also has a significant effect on traditional catering services. As the number of people working at offices continues to stay small and fluctuating, more flexible and affordable ways of serving food are needed. As many workplace caterers might not have ready business models nor the infrastructure to cater profitably to a greatly reduced customer base, caterers must prepare to transform to new business models that allow their businesses to function in the new-normal mode.
Fortunately, new advances in technology are already there to support successful and profitable new business models. For example, many caterers worldwide have already deployed self-service technologies at workplaces to reduce operational cost and provide flexible catering services whenever needed.
One of these solutions is the fully unmanned and automated Selfly Store by Stora Enso. Selfly Store is an easy to set up self-service solution that enables caterers to
- Extend their service hours and locations without an increase in labor cost
- Provide a wide variety of fresh and healthy options in a contactless, safe way
- Gain accurate data and insight on sales, inventory, and customer behavior
- Quickly and cost-efficiently capture the heated momentum of contactless catering services
To read our view on the trends shaping the catering industry and to learn how one of our customers in the catering industry successfully deployed the Selfly Store Solution to provide fresh food flexibly around the clock, we invite you to download the article Adapting to the new normal of workplace catering with unmanned self-service.