UK Markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    7,550.37
    +8.52 (+0.11%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    19,887.79
    -248.91 (-1.24%)
     
  • AIM

    920.17
    -4.39 (-0.47%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1782
    -0.0041 (-0.34%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.1823
    -0.0109 (-0.9163%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    17,892.50
    -1,466.81 (-7.58%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    504.88
    -36.72 (-6.78%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,228.48
    -55.26 (-1.29%)
     
  • DOW

    33,706.74
    -292.30 (-0.86%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    89.91
    -0.59 (-0.65%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,760.30
    -10.90 (-0.62%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,930.33
    -11.77 (-0.04%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    19,773.03
    +9.13 (+0.05%)
     
  • DAX

    13,544.52
    -152.88 (-1.12%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,495.83
    -61.57 (-0.94%)
     

Firms order food from new kitchens in bid to entice workers back to the office

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
A chef from Compass Group's Restaurant Associates serves up vegan nachos - Compass Group
A chef from Compass Group's Restaurant Associates serves up vegan nachos - Compass Group

Companies are ordering food from special city centre kitchens in a bid to attract workers back to the office without having to run canteens.

Catering giant Compass has set up 12 remote kitchens in the UK and Ireland, mostly in London and Dublin, to cook meals and deliver them to its corporate clients.

It is a similar format to so-called "dark kitchens" used by some restaurants to sell food via apps such as Deliveroo, except in this case the food needs to be pre-ordered in bulk.

The FTSE 100 group said most of its customers are small companies that are trying to entice employees back to the workplace with freebies.

These clients did not have on-site canteens before the pandemic and do not have the capacity to establish them.

Some businesses with canteens are ordering food from remote kitchens instead, because it is easier to adapt to fluctuations in the number of workers coming into the office on different days.

Hiring a caterer is more cost-effective and avoids supply chain issues and labour shortages. New rules on allergens requirements have further complicated the process, Compass said.

The world’s largest caterer hailed record new business wins of around £2.1bn in the year to September, half of which were coming from corporate clients outsourcing food for the first time.

Compass is also offering an app on which workers can order food to avoid queuing at the canteen, as well as upscale vending machines with more elaborate options than usual to remove the need for human contact.

People are spending fewer days in the office but some are working longer hours when they do commute in. On top of lunch, they might order breakfast or dinner, pushing up the bill for Compass.

Shares jumped 5.7pc after Compass' full-year results marked a return to dividend payments, with cost-cutting measures lifting profits even though revenues lagged.

Have you been enticed back to the office in part for the food on offer? Tell us in the comments section below

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting