July 16—The technology that enables more employees to work at home is cutting into the sales of corporate foodservice operations, according to a Clarion Group study.
“Corporate food service operators are facing a slow-motion crisis as technology is enabling companies to reduce head counts in their offices, factories and other workplaces,” says Tom MacDermott, president of Clarion Group, a food service consulting firm. “Fewer on-site employees mean fewer customers for the food service.”
“College and university food services don’t face the same dilemma,” he adds, “because enrollments remain strong and, for many campuses, growing.”
Technology challenges the food service operator on four fronts:
· Increased automation and offshoring of routine jobs decreases total employment.
· Companies encourage employees to work from home or other off-premises locations.
· Many employees, especially well-educated managerial, professional and technical
· Employees prefer to bring their own “healthier” food from home. Others bring their meals to save money. Either way, they don’t but meals from the food service operator.