by Joe Angliss

Top tips for generating more revenue in workplace restaurants

Top tips for generating more revenue in workplace restaurants
It feels like a lifetime ago since working from home was first advised, but finally, restrictions have eased and offices can reopen in phases.

Since the start of the pandemic, the dynamics of offices have changed and working norms are set to be very different to what they were before. The biggest factor impacting workplace catering is the unknowns surrounding remote working into the future. Our recent survey suggested that almost a quarter of people intend to hybrid work (half at home, half in the office) for the on-going future.

So how does this impact catering to these people?

Obviously, people will be in fewer times a week so there will be fewer opportunities to capture spend. This means caterers will have to pivot their offer to try and recoup that spend in ways different to what they have ever done before. Therefore, I’m going to go through some of what I believe are the top factors to capitalise on to generate more revenue.


People will want to treat themselves on the days they’re in

Who else is bored of eating the same old sandwiches every day? I certainly am! In fact, 63% of people are looking forward to not having to make their own lunches every day. People are looking forward to being catered for again and this leads to more of a treat mentality. In fact, 61% of people want to treat themselves to nicer lunches on the days they’re in the office and this number rises to 66% of people aged 18-34 years old. Promotions and meal deals are a fantastic way of encouraging these people who have a treat mentality to spend more on their meals as it provokes a feeling of getting real value for money, plus it is a great way to drive loyalty too.


Technology is the way forward

I don’t know about you but I have downloaded a lot of apps when eating and drinking out over the pandemic for table service… I’m not sure the amount of apps I have reflects that well on my pub habits, but it is a great way for businesses to encourage spend and personalise deals to customers. The top service workplace consumers wanted from their workplace restaurant was in fact an app they can order from. This is a win, win, since it makes things easier for the consumer, it helps your kitchen staff with planning and it allows you to understand consumer data better for future promotions/deals which will help you drive loyalty.

The 2nd most asked for service that customers want from their workplace restaurant is the availability to buy takeaway meals for dinner for the next day. This is the best way to capture spend for those who are hybrid working so they no longer have to have go back to that boring sandwich at home… And best of all, it means you don’t lose out on the days they work at home.


Take advantage of new consumer needs

Many people are struggling with WFH burnout and struggling to take lunch breaks like they used to. Therefore, there was no surprise that our survey suggested that people are looking to take proper breaks when they return. Your restaurant should be a place for people to come in and switch off from work in their break. Offering promotions that include wording around food and drink having functional benefits will do well for you here. In fact, 35% of people want to buy food that will energise them throughout the day as food is fuel.

Another reason why consumers potentially are taking less of a break when at home is because they haven’t got the same social opportunities anymore. Our survey heavily suggested that office employees miss socialising with colleagues and there are opportunities to make food centre to that. 30% of people said they want to use their lunch to catch up with their other colleagues, so make sure you do all you can with the space you have to encourage that. Big tables for teams to all gather and pods/smaller table layouts for one to one catch ups are a must if you want to capture this lunch/social spend.


From what I have discussed today, the insight comes from our recent survey which we conducted with the insight agency 3Gem to understand workplace consumer intentions as restrictions ease off. We have plenty more results and targeting opportunities in the report, plus we have a Relaunch Ready guide which provides more tips and advice.

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