TAF Catering Consultancy Talk About Taking To The Road post-COVID-19

What a month February 2021 has been, with TAF taking to the road to support a nationwide essential service provider; whose employees have tirelessly been putting one foot in front of each other and every day for the last year, to serve the nation.

Proud of the appointment, TAF has – without doubt – experienced some challenges. A road trip and a series of site visits, in post COVID-19 times, is something quite different, to what it might have been this time before. Having been, like most people, confined to the safety and security of our own homes, protection of mind and body were key.

For this reason, we armed ourselves with the right kind of kit to protect ourselves, our team and our client(s); COVID-19 lateral flow tests, masks, gloves, visors, the appropriate protective clothing and a whole lot of positive mental attitude.

So, with this short post, our advice – with the roadmap for lifting lockdown setting out stage two (no earlier than 12 April) for shops, restaurants and pub gardens to serve customers sitting outdoors – we ask you to remember to be kind to yourselves when setting foot back out in the big wide world – it can be daunting, but with the right protective measures and positive mental attitude… anything is possible, as we step back out into, what is clearly, a changed post COVID-19 world.

Look forward to seeing you on the other side!


2021 Foodservice Life Changers

This January, TAF Catering Consultancy reached out to the 43 caterers in their network to find out how they are doing and how they are supporting clients with their return to work strategies. Here’s a summary of our findings.

2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as the most challenging year for foodservices. Hospitality has been deeply affected by challenging circumstances, with over half a million people losing their jobs, and furlough a “saving grace” for most UK foodservice businesses.

As 2021 is now well underway, TAF Catering Consultancy has reached out to all 43 caterers in our network to understand how they’re doing and how they are shaping up for the year ahead.

Why? The contract catering market is moving and evolving, driven by 2 key factors:

  1. Back to Work Strategies| In preparation for the lifting of restrictions, employers are developing their return to work strategy, with a focus on employee re-engagement, health & wellbeing, safety. For this reason, caterers appear to be liaising more and more with the HR function within organisations, as they are in a prime position to support them with a bespoke catering offer.
  2. Foodservice Options | Businesses are investigating their staff feeding options for 2021 and beyond, as their catering contracts come to an end or simply because they are not completely satisfied with their current service provider.

We’ve been inspired by the caterers’ resilience, positivity and good work, despite all the challenges, which bode well for 2021 and beyond. Each caterer outlined a different approach to business continuity and client relationship management. Our key findings are summarised below.

Part A: Business Performance

Caterers performance to date appears to be highly dependent on the key sectors they operate in:

  1. Some expanded their business model based on a blended approach, with catering being only one element of a wider offer that includes cleaning, reception and security.
  2. Some focussed on pre-existing business streams that were not affected by the ongoing crisis such as healthcare, education, care homes & assisted living.
  3. Others have not diversified their revenue streams or pivoted alternative foodservice solutions but stuck with their core B&I business, developing solutions for clients on a case-by-case basis.

Part B: A Common Thread

From our conversations, TAF have established 5 recurring trends:

  1. Key Sectors | Market presence in sectors such as cleaning, security, healthcare & education have proven instrumental in generating a profit, while B&I clients aren’t operating.
  2. Innovation | 2020 was characterised by unparalleled levels of foodservice innovation, from digital transformation through App development, to virtual engagement programs, to caterer-run, flexible delivered in services.
  3. Furlough | Redundancies and restructuring have occurred across the board, with variable numbers of team members involved, based on the caterer size and core business. Almost all caterers have benefitted from furlough and flexi furlough to meet flexible foodservice requirements effectively.
  4. Catering Teams Engagement | Engagement programs were created to support redundant/temporarily unemployed staff in their job search and to facilitate re-hiring once business levels go back to normal, from in-house staffing agencies to career advice initiatives.
  5. A New Working Week | Long before 2020, the UK Government was encouraging the uptake of flexible working practices in the workplace. The trend was undoubtedly accelerated by the pandemic and it is now a permanent feature of employees working weeks.
  • After months of homeworking, employees seem eager to return to the workplace, and foodservices will play an integral part in their experience, as they help boost productivity and a sense of community.
  • As working patterns have changed and the return to work is staggered, most caterers are adapting their services around a shorter working week, which will see building occupancy rise Tuesday to Thursday.
  • Spend per head also appears to be affected by these new working practices, with customers enticed by the staff restaurant food offer after months spent catering for themselves. For this reason, caterers are developing fit-for-purpose menus striking a balance between healthy and indulgent, whilst controlling food waste effectively.

 On a Final Note…

Whilst 2021 didn’t probably start as expected, with risk management still being very much at the top of the agenda for corporate organisations, TAF do believe the contract catering panorama has been forever changed and re-shaped by this defining moment in our history.

With so many different options on the market at the moment, TAF looks forward to working with corporate organisations to bring them the best, most fit for purpose solutions for their foodservices moving forward.

#workplace #contractcatering #contractcaterers #returntowork #foodservices #foodservice #workplacecatering #facilitiesmanagement

TAF Catering Consultancy Tells Facilitate Magazine COVID is Game-Changer for UK Contract Catering

Tracey Fairclough, managing director and senior consultant at TAF Catering Consultancy, welcomed the (Coverpoint) comprehensive report. She told Facilitate that the pandemic was “a game changer” for the profession and there was bound to be more focus on employee wellbeing. “For instance, food services in companies are talking more to FM and HR to help support the wellbeing of workers,” she said.

She added: “During the pandemic, various catering companies pivoted to make good use of ingredients and food to help charities and children.” Fairclough believes socially minded behaviour like this will continue and she also said that workplaces now had an opportunity to provide a more tailored “healthy and immune-boosting” food offer to workers that will be more in demand in the future.

CLICK here for the full article NOW: Food Industry Will Need To Cater To Workers WIth Immune Boosting Food Post Pandemic


TechDine Solutions Are the Way Forward To Feed the Post COVID-19 Workplace Employee

TAF Talks in Fac

The TAF Catering Consultancy commented in this week’s online Facilitate Magazine, following the consultancy’s first post COVID-19 socially-distanced conference on 21st October 2020.


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Happy Birthday To TAF Catering Consultancy; Celebrating 2 Years of Consultancy around Workplace Catering

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

TAFTALKS 2020 REPORT | The Definitive Guide to Foodservices for Facilities (Catering for the Post COVID-19 Customer)

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.

We’ve amassed data (from MINTEL’s “The Future of Eating Out | Impact of COVID-19” Report), insight and best practice. We now share our view of the world of foodservices to support corporate organisations, and UK economy, manage the changing landscape post 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.


TAF focuses on the customer (or workplace foodservice employee) and explores what’s going in their mind today to:

  1. LEARN best practice on leading/adapting during disruption,
  2. UNDERSTAND how to adapt foodservices and supply chain models,
  3. BUILD trust to help them accomplish during challenging times,
  4. IMPROVE critical workplace relationships to achieve results, reflect, rebuilt and reassure after the crisis, and
  5. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

TAF argues:

  • 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!


For your post COVID-19 workplace catering consultancy needs, please do not hesitate to contact contact us.

#facilities #workplacesolutions  #businessandindustry #foodservices#cateringconsultancy


Workplace Foodservices | Creating New Habits … for a transformed post COVID-19 employee who needs 24/7 feeding.

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! 

#facilities #workplace-feeding #businessandindustry #foodservices #cateringconsultancy


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:

Tracey Fairclough - TAF Catering Consultancy

“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:

  1. Feeding phased populations returning to buildings across all sectors at different times of the day and/or the week and/or the month, safely.
  2. Delivering flexible, fresh, authentic, tasty and hot food services – hot being particularly poignant as the UK heads into colder winter months.
  3. Maximising the skills, expertise and efforts of reduced on-site catering teams.

READ HERE to see who else commented the same piece to show you how the contract catering models are evolving, as of October 2020: Facilitate Magazine, October 2020

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.

#workplace #contractcatering #contractcaterers #returntowork #foodservices #foodservice #workplacecatering #facilitiesmanagement

Innovation: the driving force of foodservices in the post-Covid world

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

#workplace #contractcatering #contractcaterers #returntowork #foodservices #foodservice #workplacecatering #facilitiesmanagement

COVID-19 The Workplace, Foodservices & The Maslow Effect: Beyond 2020

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

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