Vending firm BonCulina has unveiled a new flexible workplace dining offer as it claimed that pre-traditional contract catering models which rely on upwards of 70% capacity face becoming extinct in the post-Covid era.
The company believes its hybrid zero-subsidy ‘smart restaurant’ concept offers the ideal solution to the challenges that employers face as staff working patterns change by combining traditional manned service with smart retail technology.
However, unlike legacy office catering contracts, the concept is not reliant on a consistent footfall of diners to operate successfully and it can adapt instantly from feeding a few to a full workforce.
The concept has been devised to reflect the new office staff split, with fewer staff working on-site and more staff working from home. BonCulina said it will give employers the chance to retain an in-house restaurant concept at reasonable subsidy levels.
Keith Pordum, managing director of BonCulina, said: “While subsidies are increasing dramatically and caterers are leaving catering contracts, BonCulina goes in the opposite direction. We are able to offer a manned service at zero subsidy through a fine balancing act between the human element of a manned service and technology.
“Most companies we talk to are convinced it’s out of reach, impossible and unrealistic to have a caterer on site as catering traditionally involved expensive equipment and labour-intensive operations but not anymore.”
The easing of Covid-19 restrictions has created a seismic shift in UK business practises as companies embrace a post-pandemic hybrid working model and this is expected to have a major impact on office and staff catering services.
Major UK employers such as BP and KPMG have already publicly announced that office staff can work from home two days a week.
Pre Covid-19 traditional contract catering models, which typically rely on upwards of 70% capacity to break even or make a profit, are becoming “unsustainable” in the new landscape, said BonCulina.
The ‘smart restaurant’ catering concept combines a manned service with its BonCulina Anytime hot food vending technology, that requires limited space and reduces food waste.
Hot meals prepared by chefs are delivered in patented Torus Pak straight-to-plate technology, which is designed to ensure dishes are presented as if employees were dining at a conventional restaurant.
To complement the ‘smart restaurant’ concept, BonCulina has also developed a 24/7 catering solution, BonCulina Anytime hot food vending solution, which is aimed at businesses that need to support staff with high quality hot meals when they are working unsociable hours, such as night shifts, bank holidays or weekends.