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Catering for new generation of the workforce

Nestlé Professional has published a new report ‘Cater The Future’ which explores how the entry of Generation Z into the world of work is evolving the demands being placed on workplaces and how this will play out in the future for contract caterers.

According to the report, by 2020, Gen Z will account for 24 per cent of the global workforce and by 2030, Millennials and Gen Z combined are predicted to account for 75 per cent of all employees. This generation are different from those that have come before, with changing expectations of what the workplace should offer, from technology and social responsibility, to health and wellbeing.

Key areas explored in the report include:

Technology – A core message within the report is the call for contract caterers to embrace technology. Generation Z will be the first generation to have never known a world without technology. Technology is a huge factor in appealing to the workforce, with 91 per cent of Gen Z claiming that technology would influence their job choice among similar employment offers. According to the report, caterers who introduce digital solutions such as apps or online booking tools can help gain an edge over competitors.

Flexible Working Conditions – Generation Z is also motivated by flexible working conditions, with 44 per cent favouring a flexible working environment. Whilst smarter working policies are more environmentally friendly, they can present problems for contract caterers faced with an empty canteen with more people opting to work from home. However, according to the report, caterers can prepare for lower footfall by introducing a delivery option or meal takeaway service to cater for those working from home.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Increasingly, the workforce are showcasing a desire to work with organisations who have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility, with Generation Z counting this as the second most important factor when choosing a job. Organisations making decisions shaped by their employee’s values will be looking to choose carters who reflect similar principles; therefore this is something that caterers should be mindful when positioning their business.

Evolving food trends – Changing food habits will also be a major factor to think about, with 50 per cent of people now considering themselves flexitarian and 30 per cent not feeling positive about the future of the environment. In fact, Generation Z are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

Commenting on the report, Stephen Norris, Sales Director at Nestlé Professional said: “The aim of the report is to provide caterers with the insight they need to connect effectively with the new generation of the workforce.

“We know there are going to be huge changes to the workplace over the next few years and we want to provide caterers with a deeper understanding of what this workforce will look like and what they’ll be expecting from a food and beverage provision. By seeking to understand this generation fully, we can ensure we and our customers are prepared for the future.”

To download a copy of the future of the workplace report click here.


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