“The world has changed. Coronavirus has seen to that. Counting on a quick return to business as usual is not a viable strategy. The shock of the pandemic and future behaviours can’t be ignored. Whatever the path forward, companies need to think strategically and plan for a new normal”.
This is what PricewaterhouseCoopers was writing at the end of 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago.
Having supported corporate clients – all global organisations – throughout the last year and a half, TAF Catering Consultancy now reflects on what’s in store for foodservices for the rest of 2021.
However, before concentrating on future developments, we’d like to summarise “the story so far”.
The Before: January 2021
Defining Moment: Due to changing working patterns and a staggered, highly regulated return to work, caterers evolved their workplace offer around shorter working weeks and immune/energy boosting menus allowing better control of food waste.
- Food | Whilst traditional B&I was at a standstill, with lockdown three underway, contract caterers concentrated business development efforts in key sectors that were unaffected by the pandemic: cleaning, security, healthcare, education, and supply chain.
- People | Redundancies affected operators to various degrees, depending on caterers’ size and core business. The UK accommodation and food services sector had the highest number of employees furloughed, with London recording the highest uptake (27%). (source: gov.uk)
- Technology | Innovation around techdine was at an all-time high, accelerating the digital transformation through App development and tech-enabled, flexible, delivered-in catering.