TAF Celebrates our 2nd birthday today and, as we always say, if it weren’t for:
contract caterers … there would be no need for catering consultants and
facilities departments (employing caterers), there’d be no need for catering consultants within workplace environments.
For these two reasons, we are so happy to celebrate that we’re in business in 2020.
In addition to this, we are in the midst of unprecedented and challenging times post COVID-19, but are intent on staying true to our company values to LISTEN, COLLABORATE & DELIVER solutions to our clients.
Despite the challenging circumstances around the pandemic, those in facilities and foodservices continue to inspire us and work tirelessly to innovate around the clear and apparent obstacles, with there being no precedent and no clear indication of the what lies ahead. Each day being a moveable feast.
With unsettling, turbulent times behind and ahead of us and return-to-work timelines remaining uncertain, with companies and sectors operating under different timelines, there is a feeling of the UK wanting to return to a different kind of workplace.
This is where the TAF Catering Consultancy can support those in facilities, around their workplace feeding scenarios.
In the last two months alone, we have engaged 40 caterers in 40 days so know where the industry’s best practice lies. We believe in a new kind of inspirational, can-do attitude, specialist expertise and flexible approach that is, as we speak, shaping foodservice facilities post COVID-19, to facilitate both the UK’s physical and economic recovery.
If you are a corporate client organisation with people in the workplace to feed at the office (or at home), and you need fresh, forward-thinking, app-savvy, sustainability-focused and disruptive innovations to support you, contact us to project manage your catering consultancy needs.
Here’s to a whole new world of foodservices post COVID-19!
TRACEY FAIRCLOUGH | Consultant & Managing Director
On 21st October 2020, the TAF Catering Consultancy presents a phenomenal insight into how UK workplaces can change their habits around foodservices to a transformed post COVID-19 employee who needs 24/7 feeding (in the office or at home).
TAF has observed COVID-19 unfolding since March and the impact on corporate workplace foodservices.
Our disruptive catering consultancy has networked with 40 caterers, large and small, and many corporate organisations, responsible for feeding anywhere from 800 to 3000 employees, pre-COVID-19.
With working from home looking set to remain the norm, on-site staff restaurants and workplace hospitality will continue to be affected by reduced on site office working populations. This presents a huge challenge to those in facilities, responsible for feeding those who matter the most to their business.
COVID-19 has accelerated the evolution of innovation around foodservices to deliver food and drink to employees at work or the office and at home differently.
TAF’s report presents a unique insight into how the market has changed, how employees have transformed and what innovations should inspire a new foodservice era.
According to Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why?”, we face a new era of radical uncertainty and disruption brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as climate change, financial crises, terrorism, Brexit, demographic changes in the labour market and rapid transformation from digital technology.
Simon says COVID-19 is a black swan event: an unpredictable event beyond what is typically expected of a situation with potentially severe consequences, being extremely rare and having a severe impact. An event forcing companies and entire industries to rethink their global supply chain models.
TAFTALKS REPORT FOCUS
TAF focuses on the customer (or workplace foodservice employee) and explores what’s going in their mind today to:
LEARN best practice on leading/adapting during disruption,
UNDERSTAND how to adapt foodservices and supply chain models,
BUILD trust to help them accomplish during challenging times,
IMPROVE critical workplace relationships to achieve results, reflect, rebuilt and reassure after the crisis, and
DEAL with the black swan better – ensuring workforces are better fed, anywhere, anytime, as the most valuable asset of any organisation is its workforce and each and every employee.
TAFTALKS REPORT SUMMARY
CUSTOMER INSIGHTS | What today’s customer looks like… TODAY, in a post COVID-19 world.
Our report highlights 13 Customer Insights: (1) Mind Body Wellness, (2) Quality vs Pricing, (3) Safety | Top of Mind, (4) Cashless Payments, (5) Tech Today, (6) Experiences & Online Experiential, (7) Rise of the Ready-Meal, (8) Eating Out Resurgence, (9) Treating Out, (10) Townie Takeaways, (11) Couples Catering, (12) Fast Food Gen-Zers and (13) Pizza Weathers Storm.
DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIONS | How today’s contract catering and workplace foodservices have been disrupted… in a whole new world post COVID-19.
Our report highlights 10 Disruptive Innovations: (1) Al Fresco Dining, (2) Dark Kitchens/CPUs, (3) Experiential Marketing, (4) Grocerants, (5) Micro Markets, (6) Meal Kits/Ready-To-Cook, (7) Pop Up Catering, (8) Simplified Menus, (9) Desk Delivered and (10) Foodservice Collaborations.
FUTURE FOODSERVICE FOCUS | And on to digital transformation… and what OPPORTUNITIES there are to cater for the post COVID-19 customer.
Our report highlights: (A) App Tech Disruption and ask if the right app technology is in place and (B) Techdine Disruption and ask UK facilities are prepared for a new way of thinking, turning the traditional contract catering model on its head.
firstly, there is a whole new world of flexi-feeding workforces (and our economy) 24/7 at work and at home and
secondly, our counter-parts in the rest of the world are already delivering foodservice solutions based on: disruptive innovation, restaurant quality food, unique packaging, no food waste, strategic marketing and reduced costs.
Our disruptive catering consultancy presents our industry-defining report at the industry’s first known socially-distanced face-to-face round table events on 21st October 2020 to corporate clients, among some of the biggest organisations on the planet.
We invite the corporate world to start thinking, engaging, sourcing, cooking, serving and performing differently in a post COVID-19 World of Corporate Catering!
Create NEW habits around your workplace foodservices to a transformed post COVID-19 employee who needs 24/7 feeding. Download TAF’s report in 3 DAYS to kick-start a new way of thinking! Follow us NOW…to start thinking, engaging, sourcing, cooking, serving and performing differently!
TAF’s Managing Director Tracey Fairclough comments on the future of contract catering in a key article today in Facilitate Magazine, discussing how business models are evolving around three key areas: central production kitchens (CPUs), Cafes and technologies. She elaborates on the concept as follows:
“CPUs being the medium through which foodservice providers can prepare freshly prepared food, snacks and meals, with reduced on-site catering teams supported by a single behind-the-scenes labour structure in a remote kitchen delivering into sites”.
“Cafes being the channels to generate additional revenue from high street ready-built kitchen facilities (from high street retailers, no longer trading)”.
“Technologies being the driving force behind the latest cashless, on-line, cloud pre-order customer payment solutions that deliver data behind the purchases and solutions that provide food for different users, different dining occasions, and different locations around sites that save labour, save waste and deliver healthy, tasty and safe feeding solutions”.
Touching on the 3 most significant changes to catering models, Tracey Fairclough identifies:
Feeding phased populations returning to buildings across all sectors at different times of the day and/or the week and/or the month, safely.
Delivering flexible, fresh, authentic, tasty and hot food services – hot being particularly poignant as the UK heads into colder winter months.
Maximising the skills, expertise and efforts of reduced on-site catering teams.
If you are a corporate client organisation with a workplace staff restaurant planning a phased reopening and need some fresh, forward-thinking, app-savvy, sustainability-focused assistance, contact us to project manage your catering consultancy needs.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts | WINSTON CHURCHILL
September has proven to be yet another challenging month for workplace hospitality, particularly in light of the policy developments announced in the last few weeks, which make the “return to work” timeline more uncertain.
At TAF Catering Consultancy, we strongly believe that with every challenge comes an opportunity. For this reason, this month we’ve been engaging with all caterers in our network to find out the latest in terms of innovation: new catering models, ongoing technological developments and more agile ways of working that are at the core of the evolution of foodservices right now.
We were inspired by the caterers’ resilience, determination and commitment to adapt and evolve to offer the best solutions to their clients, feeding the people that matter the most to them.
We are confident that the industry will gradually bounce back, despite all the adversities. Caterers are analysing, processing, experimenting and adopting a proactive approach to deliver the best possible outcomes. The overwhelming message is one of optimism: creativity, flexibility and ability to adapt service delivery models to changing requirements is what will get the foodservice industry to move forward and succeed.
If you’re a corporate client organisation with a workplace staff restaurant and need fresh, forward-thinking, app-savvy, sustainability and safety-focused support to establish the best catering solution for you moving forward, email me directly on
Last week’s CACI report “Adapting to the New Consumer Reality” corroborates TAF’s findings that today’s employee, emerging from lockdown, is very different to the one that went in, in March.
TAF has engaged with caterers, consultant peers, foodservice suppliers and workplace client organisations in recent weeks and has been repeatedly asked to predict workplace foodservices.
To think ahead, we had to first take a look at the consumer… the customer … the employee NOW and understand how they have emerged from lockdown (and WHY).
This is why I cast my mind back to when I was at Cardiff University and introduced to the studies of Abraham Maslow. I reconsidered what Maslow had studied, and thought about “The Maslow Effect’ having applied the thoughts of Abraham Maslow to foodservices in the workplace, and the specific ‘needs’ challenges employers face.
Maslow, wrote a paper in 1943, A Theory of Human Motivation, having developed the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ proposing healthy humans have certain needs which are arranged in a hierarchy or a five-tier pyramid (see diagram).
Level 1 | Physiological needs
Level 2 | Safety needs
Level 3 | Belongingness needs
Level 4 | Esteem needs
Level 5 | Self-Actualization needs
Below: Workplace Foodservice Covid-19 – The Maslow Effect, According to Tracey Fairclough, MD
According to Springboard data (https://www.spring-board.info/news-media/social), the retail analyst, covering hospitality businesses, it was encouraging to hear of reported visits increasing by almost 30 %, at 3pm on Monday 4th August, versus the previous week, with Opentable, the restaurant booking platform, reporting a 10% increase in the number of diners compared with the same day last year.
This month, August 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak inventively and commendably launched the “Eat Out To Help Out” incentive to encourage diners to dine out this month at one of 72,000 participating cafes, pubs and restaurants.
By way of an overview of the offer, which appears to have caused some initial confusion: ”eat out to help out” offers people of the UK (not on any kind of local lockdown) a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking (soft drinks) in a participating restaurant or food establishment – Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August.
With no news from Chancellor Sunak on extending his £500 million scheme… as catering consultants, we wanted to apply best practice from our own “eating out” experiences to ‘helping out” workplace catering and foodservices by sharing our Foodservice Firsts – from dining in (at home) and dining out (at restaurants) during and post lockdown.
Whilst hospitality is one of the UK’s biggest employers and hit hard by lockdown, a survey published last month suggested Britons were still uncomfortable about eating out at a restaurant, sadly something that’s since been corroborated by celebrity chefs, such as Tom Kerridge and James Martin, reporting customer “no shows”.
In terms of my own confidence as a customer in “eating out” throughout lockdown, irrespective of the “eat out” scheme incentive and undeterred by neigh-sayers, here’s my story:
In May, I dined in, at home with high street chain, Côte Restaurants’ Cote At Home (Home Delivery).
In June, I trialled Goodwood’s Secret Cinema (Drive In) dying to eat food not prepared by anyone in our house.
In July, I dined in, at home with Clink At Home (Home Delivery), supporting the prisoner rehabilitation charity.
In August (to date), I dined out at two local restaurants, neither participants in the “Eat Out” scheme:
Kinghams in Shere, Surrey (for Dinner at their restaurant) and
The Talbot Inn, part of Bespoke Hotels in Ripley, Surrey (for Afternoon Tea at their restaurant).
ADAPTING TO INSTIL CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE
What’s been inspiring is how foodservice providers are adapting and evolving:
Extending the Brand / Brand Extensions | Some restauranteurs have evolved quicker by providing takeaway services during lockdown, offering an important extension to the brand, to continue providing foodservices via an alternative channel (i.e. delivery) and using a Central Production Unit or CPU (to make significant labour savings whilst delivering the same quality of food). A very resourceful way of evolving.
Evolving the Brand / Brand Evolution | Some restauranteurs have adapted quickly to reopening with dining-in services post lockdown, engaging customers in surveys, and promoting vital “social distancing” measures to show they’ve HEARD and KNOW customers like me. This has enabled their core brand to continue. I opted to dine-in locally to support my local community and was EMPOWERED, ENGAGED AND DELIGHTED.
Our Foodservice Firsts demonstrate WHAT type of provider is open and ready for business, WHERE they operate, HOW they inspire confidence and WHY they’re the source of inspiration for workplace catering, with the UK economy seeking to repair itself. Important to take stock of the word ‘Restaurant’ which derives from the French verb “restaurer”, meaning to restore!
Irrespective of money off incentive, the above experiences have given me every reason to believe there are ways and means to inspire foodservices to cater to restore employees in the workplace. What do YOU think?
If you’re a corporate client organisation with a workplace staff restaurant that needs to open again soon and need some fresh, forward-thinking, app-savvy, sustainability-focused support on best practice from the high street, like this, or to project manage any other catering consultancy needs, email our Managing Director, Tracey Fairclough, today ">.
To see the detail in the Foodservice Firsts, please refer to our article featured in Hospitality and Catering News by CLICKING HERE NOW: https://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2020/08/dining-shared-experience-review/
TAF is proud to announce that its consultants have completed and passed the City & Guilds and ILM e-learning module that equips individuals with the essential health and safety knowledge regarding Covid-19.
With fifty million face masks bought by the UK government back in April 2020 not being used because of safety concerns, have YOU considered the best face mask options and how best to protect your workforce, colleagues and customers?
Tracey Fairclough, our Managing Director, contemplates the market, given that quality of masks is a hot topic amongst TAF’s corporate client company organisations who ask her advice on the best options for catering staff having more face to face interactions with workforces.
READ THIS NOW to see how the range of face masks we benchmarked (between April and August 2020) fared and make your own mind up… it’s never too late to save a life … especially if it’s your own!