Frugal Consumers Appreciate Us More Than Ever

Aug. 2, 2011
Refreshment service operators have to keep reminding the decision makers about the benefits their service provides.
When I was starting out in my work life, someone encouraged me to go into the food business. The reason being that while business conditions change, people always have to eat.I cant honestly say that this advice led me to a career in refreshment services journalism. But given the alarming economic news being reported these days, refreshment services a segment of the food business is a good industry to be in.The Commerce Department recently reported consumers cut their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years after seeing their incomes grow by the smallest amount in nine months.The latest data signals an economy that is adding few jobs and barely growing.The personal savings rate rose to 5.4 percent of after-tax incomes, the highest level since August 2010.Last week, the government reported the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of just 1.3 percent in the spring after an even weaker growth rate in the first three months of the year.Coffee service is an especially good business to be in, given consumer budget concerns. Work place coffee is free, and workers know it. By skipping a trip to the convenience store, the fast food restaurant or the coffee house, a person can save the travel expense and the cost of the coffee and snack, which translates to serious dollars in the course of a week.But the employer needs to still be willing to foot the bill. Many if not most see it in their best interest to keep people in the work place as much as possible.Refreshment service operators have to keep reminding the decision makers about the benefits their service provides. The decision makers are under pressure to cut costs.Reports also indicate that many companies are sitting on hordes of cash. They dont want to invest in hiring new employees because they dont know what the future demand for their products and services will be.Theyve also learned, after downsizing in the last three years, how to get more done with fewer people.Given this scenario, coffee service has become more important to corporate America than ever.Its the OCS industrys job to make sure corporate decision makers know this.