How to Break the Rut in the Employee Cafeteria
Employees look forward to their lunch break almost as much as they look forward to 5 o’clock. Many are fortunate enough to work in an office that features an employee cafeteria. This is the perfect way to eat lunch faster than would be possible if you were to go anywhere outside the building. However many employees may still find themselves eating outside of the building because the cafeteria food is not interesting enough to keep them coming back every day.
It is the responsibility of the employee cafeteria manager to make the food more interesting. Not only does this help to ensure that the employees can get a fast and convenient meal, but it helps keep the cafeteria in business by providing food to the employees that work there.
The Cafeteria Rut
Often cafeterias get complacent because they feel they are catering to a captive audience. It is important to remember that between delivery, chain restaurants and fast food eateries, employees can get a delicious meal elsewhere, just as quickly as they would in the employees cafeteria. If the food there is not appealing and varied, your employees won't eat there.
Another problem facing the employee cafeteria is the lack of diversity. People do not want to choose from the same few entrees every day. It is a good idea to vary what is offered on the menu ion a daily or weekly basis. There will be certain menu items that remain constants, but everything else should be varied in order to unsure that the employees have something new and different to choose from every day.
Offering Menu Items that Employees Will Want
You don't have to be highly innovative when creating a diverse menu for the employee cafeteria. The foods that you make should highlight the kinds of foods that are most popular with the majority of people who work in the office. Then you can start adding new recipes every day or every week.
You can avoid the hit and miss approach by either asking employees what kind of food would make them consider eating in the employee cafeteria; or by giving out an opinion survey; or by having an online survey on the company's website. Any of the foods that gain popularity as a result of these surveys should be added to the menu.
For example, it is a safe bet to assume that if you do not currently offer health conscious foods, those choices should be added. Offering healthy choices will make it possible to retain the business of both your health conscious consumers and your soon to be health conscious consumers.
Will you Need New Equipment?
There may be some foods that people want from the employee cafeteria that cannot be made with the equipment you currently have. Examine the costs of the equipment you would like to purchase and decide if it will be a good business decision. In general, look to add new equipment that is easy to purchase and does not require added hood space or alterations to the plumbing or electricity.
One of the pieces of equipment that employee cafeterias are finding necessary is a panini press. This can be used to make fresh hot sandwiches every day. Another easy option is adding a griddle, where one kitchen worker can make quick, fresh foods like scrambled eggs, pancakes and much more. These options are usually quite popular and don't require a huge investment.
In conclusion, it is really not difficult to break the rut in your employees cafeteria with some thought and planning. This captive audience can turn into customers who really look forward to the food in the cafeteria and are willing to pay for it as well.