The 2024 Workplace: Elevating Experiences with Local Food

Complete with the latest 2024 employee survey data and trends, this guide is designed to help you transform your workplace into one that resonates with the expectations and values of today’s modern workforce.

What are the latest corporate cafeteria trends? It’s no longer about adding to your collection of hot sauces or putting cilantro in the salad dressing. No. It’s more than that. The old-school company cafeteria is  a model ripe for change from both a cost and an experience perspective. Traditional cafeterias can take up huge amounts of valuable floor space and require expensive subsidies to operate. With over 50% of millennials self identifying as foodies, authenticity and quality is critical to the experience today.

As companies around the country are realizing, the evolution of the corporate cafeteria is becoming a reality.

Here are three fresh corporate cafeteria trends that are changing how people eat at work.

1. Variety & Guest Restaurants

Cafeteria food gets old. It’s always the same dishes, made from the same ingredients, and using the same recipes. To solve this, some cafeterias have started to  regularly invite culinary guest stars into the kitchen.Much like they would at a live event, local eateries are creating little pop-up restaurants in the cafeteria itself. This fun concept allows employees to sample great meals from a variety of local eateries, all without ever needing to leave the office. Even better, it comes at little-to-no cost for the host company, since restaurants are happy to sell the high volume of meals and get in front of a fresh new fanbase.

2. Seasonal Menu Items

Cafeteria vendors literally can’t afford to think seasonally. They’re working from a limited set of pre-packaged ingredients shipped from a central warehouse. Maybe they will have fresh fruits or veggies on the salad bar, but that’s about the limit of what they can deliver.Local restaurants have the tremendous advantage of being able to incorporate in-season items into their menus. That means fresh seafood, seasonal fruits, just-harvested vegetables, and even locally sourced meats. In terms of flavor, nothing beats a fresh, seasonal menu.

3. Technology

When a company goes all-in on the idea of bringing variety into their lunch breaks, it opens up some fun new possibilities. Is a guest restaurant going to be taking over the cafeteria later in the week? Why not post their menu to a dedicated webpage, providing a little tantalizing anticipation for the staff?With the right technology, like iOS or Android apps, employees can even check out upcoming guest restaurants and menus. It’s a great option for planning informal lunch meetings, and perfect for people who like to eat healthy or plan their meals in advance.

Fooda believes that these are corporate dining ideas worth adopting. Our award-winning innovation creates a new cafeteria model, and new ways for companies to provide options and perks for their employees in a cost-neutral — or even cost-saving — way.

“The difference between a traditional cafeteria and having the hottest local restaurants brought to you is night and day,” one of our clients recently told us. As the manager of a multi-tenant JLL property, they’ve seen their cafeteria space completely transform using Fooda’s innovative approach. “With Fooda’s solution, we’re offering a much more attractive amenity while saving money.”

Does your cafeteria need to evolve? Learn more about how Fooda can help.