82 per cent of UK employees would buy meals more often from their workplace canteen or restaurant if they can order ahead and pick up their meal from a dedicated service point, research by Omnico and The Caterermagazine has found.
52 per cent will use order ahead capability every time, if available, and 29 per cent will use it some of the time. 37 per cent will make two or more extra visits per week if they can order ahead.
The research, among 750 employees across the UK, found that 58 per cent of respondents would visit at least once more in the week, if they could access experience-enhancing technologies such as ordering ahead, or are able to make payments via apps, touch-screen kiosks, wearable devices and phone-scanning.
70 per cent said they will visit more frequently if the staff cafeteria operated a personalised loyalty programme which they could access via any channel.
Mel Taylor, CEO, Omnico said, “our research makes clear that UK employees will visit and spend more if canteens and workplace restaurants offer an experience that is quick, easy and genuinely personalised, whether online, via smartphone, kiosk or at the checkout. Time is precious to employees – we found that 61 per cent do not visit their in-house restaurant more often because they can’t face queuing.”
The research found that a loyalty scheme offering rewards redeemable against future purchases would deliver an extra two visits per person each week. And overall, technologies that eliminate queuing and make ordering and payment easy across all channels will increase visit frequency by an average 1.18 extra days per person each week.
48 per cent of those surveyed said they want to place an order using a phone app, while 25 per cent want to pay using a smartphone payment system such as Apple Pay. From a list of types of promotion that employees want from loyalty schemes, 48 per cent selected value meals and 45 per cent want meal deal packages, allowing them to buy a discounted package of meals over a set period. This benefits operators’ cashflow and stock-planning while extending employees’ use of the canteen over more days.
Mel added, “smooth integration of technologies is essential to make the workplace cafeteria the number one choice for employees. As our research shows, if implemented properly it can substantially increase revenues. We know, for example, that with ordering ahead, the average value of an order is 18 per cent higher than normal. When diners use kiosks, operators have great opportunities for upselling, especially if they have the solution to personalise recommendations. What is essential is having the technology to bring it all together.”
Download the full report here: Corporate Catering Barometer