Competitors are offering new solutions to meet the needs of the post-COVID workplace, and convenience service operators need to stay aware of new technologies and services in this space.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- ZeroCater, one of North America's largest corporate catering and snacks platforms, announces today the national rollout of Cloud Cafe, a digital app-based cafeteria for companies and groups of any size. Cloud Cafe enables employees to choose and pay for their own daily meals from thousands of individually packaged menu items provided by top-rated caterers and restaurants. Cloud Cafe is powered by ZeroCater's proprietary food recommendation engine FoodIQ, and curates a weekly rotation of cuisines and meal offerings that match the unique tastes and preferences of every employee. Built for the post-COVID workplace, Cloud Cafe offers companies unmatched flexibility to pay for all, some, or none of their employees' daily meals.
In a post-COVID world, companies are offering their employees more flexibility than ever before when it comes to how and where they work. The corporate office is undergoing a transformation to a new hybrid model; now employees can work from home part of the week while still having the flexibility to come into the office when needed, whether it is to meet a new team member or brainstorm with a manager over lunch. Companies are realizing that feeding their teams is paramount as they look for new ways to build culture and foster creativity while keeping employees safe as they return to the office.
"A recent survey of our customers showed that their top concerns when it comes to their teams working from home are lower employee engagement and decreased productivity," said Ali Sabeti, CEO of ZeroCater. "We're seeing companies across all industries prioritizing feeding their teams as a new way to keep employees engaged, productive, and safe on the days they decide to come into the office."
As hybrid workforces become more prevalent, companies of all sizes are struggling to manage their food programs. Fluctuating in-office employee headcounts and shrinking food budgets are making legacy solutions like on-premise cafeterias run by companies such as Aramark, Compass Group, and Sodexo, along with traditional on-site caterers, obsolete. "Companies are hesitant to spend millions of dollars to build out a corporate cafeteria when they don't know how many of their employees will be in the office next week. The economics and menu variety of an on-site cafeteria or caterer just will not work in the post-COVID world," said Sabeti.
Some companies have turned to third-party B2C food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats for their office catering needs, but are now finding these solutions to be too expensive and lacking in the consistency and quality that an office feeding a group of 10 or more employees needs. "Companies without access to cafeterias and traditional caterers, like smaller offices or warehouses, may currently be using B2C food delivery services, but they quickly realize that delivery consistency, food quality, and cost become issues once the group gets larger than 10 people. That's where Cloud Cafe comes into play," said Sabeti.
With Cloud Cafe, employees simply download the ZeroCater app, create an account, and take ZeroCater's interactive food profile builder survey. From there, FoodIQ, ZeroCater's proprietary food recommendation engine, takes over optimizing the first week's cuisine selection and boxed meal offerings based on the tastes and preferences of the group. Employees then select their meals for the days they're in the office and, upon checkout, have the ability to easily pay for whatever portion of the order their company isn't subsidizing. After the meal is delivered, employees leave feedback about what items they liked and disliked through the ZeroCater app. Using feedback from every employee, FoodIQ derives data-driven insights to customize the next week's rotation of cuisines and menu offerings ensuring that the company's food program is evolving to meet the tastes of its employees. "FoodIQ has the intelligence to understand why someone might love fried chicken but hate garlic roasted chicken. We use that intelligence to predict what cuisines and menu items resonate best with the group, ensuring that every employee gets access to only the food they love," said Prabjot Jaaj, Vice President of Product, Engineering and Customer Experience at ZeroCater.
With Cloud Cafe, ZeroCater is transforming the corporate cafeteria experience and expanding it to employees of any company regardless of its headcount or industry. Hospitals, warehouses, universities, small businesses, and groups of any size will now have access to a flexible digital cafeteria offering an unlimited variety of high-quality meals at affordable prices. "With Cloud Cafe, we now offer any group the ability to enjoy enterprise quality meals from our platform of caterers and restaurants, all while giving companies the flexibility of letting their employees order and pay for their own meals. We're expanding what tech industry workers have enjoyed for years to a new base of employees at affordable prices," said Sabeti.
For more information, visit ZeroCater.com.
With a mission to help companies build a better culture through food, ZeroCater is building technology to revolutionize the way companies eat. ZeroCater is one of North America's largest B2B catering and snacks platforms with its Cloud Cafe, Corporate Catering, Corporate Snacks and Kitchens, and Corporate Event Catering products serving companies including Okta, Datadog, and Salesforce. ZeroCater's products are powered by FoodIQ, a proprietary AI-driven food recommendation engine that customizes meal and snack recommendations to employees' unique tastes and preferences. ZeroCater serves the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Austin, and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit zerocater.com. Follow @ZeroCater onFacebook, Instagram, LinkedIn andTwitter.