COVID-19 | Workplace Foodservice – TAF Eat Out To Help Out Benchmark

According to Springboard data (, 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).


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:

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




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.


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Tracey Fairclough, TAF’s Managing Director, comments in a key article today in Hospitality & Catering News, one of the foodservice and hospitality sector’s leading journals, saying:

Tracey Fairclough - TAF Catering Consultancy

“Foodservice is now more than ever a priority for employers, creating workplace foodservice that helps employees to choose to stay inside workplaces during work hours minimises transmission risk, and maximises productivity.”

READ HERE to see who else commented in the same piece to show you how the contract catering landscape looks at the beginning of August 2020:


If you are 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 assistance, contact us to project manage your catering consultancy needs.

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

COVID-19 | Workplace Foodservices post Pandemic (The Caterers’ Perspectives)

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. | MARGARET MEAD

UK foodservices have worked tirelessly to adapt, evolve & create a “new normal”. See what 23 Caterers say (see below), in representing the hard working 2nd largest sector in the UK and the mood of the foodservice sector.

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COVID-19 | UK High Street Retailers Inspire Workplace Foodservice

On Monday 15th June 2020, the UK’s high streets opened for the first time in three months, a significant move for 2020 post lockdown. To understand the measures in place to ensure safe customer experiences, TAF visited 13 UK high street (non-essential) retailers:

1) Argos  | 2) EE | 3) Greggs | 4) H&M | 5) JD Sports | 6) John Lewis | 7) M&S | 8) PRET | 9) Primark | 10) Sports Direct | 11) Starbucks | 12) Top Shop  13) Vodafone

This article presents an overview of 5 “Covid-19 secure” initiatives retailers implemented that inspired us for applying to workplace foodservices:

  1. Essential Digital Communications
  2. Enhanced Sanitising Regimes
  3. Effective Customer Engagement
  4. Proactive Customer Flow Management
  5. A Common Safety Measure: Protective Screens



























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COVID-19 | Corporate Foodservice Survey (the clients perspective)

UK foodservice operators today have to work harder than ever, further having to adapt, evolve, innovate, communicate and reassure corporate clients (and we know this because we’ve talked to over 30 contract caterers in these last couple of weeks of May).

On the back of a conversation with one of the caterers, we approached 50 corporate companies directly to ask them what the “new normal” looks like to understand, for ourselves, first hand, a sense of market trends (the clients perspective).

CLICK on the below image to see the results and read the entire article published in Hospitality and Catering News.

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COVID-19 | Free Social Distancing Advice for Foodservices

The next few weeks will be crucial for staff restaurants and their supply chains, as businesses that prop up UK economy ramp up to pre COVID-19 to support the health and wellbeing of workforces going back to work. After three months “lost in time”, it’s most critical for staff restaurants feeding the UK economy to maximise the provision of safe and immune-boosting menus as soon as possible.

With businesses re-opening offices, even if to those on foot or within (non-public transport) commutable distances, post COVID-19 staff restaurants must adapt foodservice premises and procedures to keep catering staff and their workforces safe.

TAF today announces FREE professional advice on social distancing and safe operation to foodservice operators managing staff restaurants, through My Compliance People.

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On Sunday 10th May 2020, Boris Johnson offered hope to #ukhospitality outlining the COVID alert level plan and signalling a return to work. I wrote “Foodservice The New Normal” to support UK foodservices in the workplace beyond COVID-19.

CLICK here for the article:

As Boris sought to inspire the British Public against the invisible killer, he said: “We will come back to health. The UK will be changed , more resilient, innovative, more economically dynamic, more generous and sharing.”

Here are our ten key considerations to review when designing future staff restaurants to create the ‘new normal’, based on the latest assessments of Covid-19 market intelligence.

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