Clarion advises value as best corporate foodservice bet


Aug. 31—Clarion Group, a foodservice consulting firm, says that demonstrating value is the most important way to improve corporate foodservice operations during the current recession.


“The most important thing to keep a company dining service profitable
is to keep demonstrating real value,” Tom Mac Dermott, president
of Clarion Group, said in a press release. “That doesn’t mean lower prices, but offering meals
that are fresh, food quality that is high, quick, efficient and
friendly service and a welcoming environment.”

 

Demonstrating value was just one of the recommendations Clarion Group
released in its newest report. Mac Dermott said he believes that the
downturn isn’t likely to reverse any time soon for several reasons,
including more people working from home a few days a week and more
people bringing food from home.

 

Most employees cite cost as the primary reason they bring meals from
home, according to Clarion. In three recent Clarion employee surveys,
53%, 40% and 38% of respondents, respectively, said the meal they
received wasn’t worth the price charged. Other strategies Clarion
recommends for improving participation are: offer daily low price
“specials” priced at about $5 including a beverage; feature healthy
scratch-made foods, including items that vegetarians will eat; develop
grab-and-go options for those who work at their desk; offer online
ordering if possible so the customer’s order will be ready when they
arrive; and market special events to entice infrequent diners into the
café.

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