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Industry Insight: WFH gains a new meaning

Fresh pasta dish

If there was one acronym to summarise the last year, it would surely be ‘WFH’. With lockdown, there was certainly no FOMO. And not much to LOL about either. But, user behaviour towards our food pods has highlighted a potential new meaning for this contemporary shorthand staple: ‘work food, home’.

When looking at how workplace staff use our food lockers, we expect to see busy periods around breakfast, lunch and tea time. And for factories, distributors or healthcare settings, increased activity from night shift workers too. However, in addition to these regular slots, customers are accessing the pods just before it’s time to clock off – a trend that first emerged at the start of the pandemic, and has continued ever since.

On closer inspection, it’s become clear that many workers are purchasing fresh food from the workplace to take home and enjoy after their shift. And there appears to be multiple reasons for this.

Subsidised service

Firstly, many workplace catering facilities offer a subsidised service. So, purchasing meals at the office could work out much cheaper than bringing them in – saving on a weekly shop and expensive takeaways.

Top class chefs

Secondly, who wouldn’t like their own personal chef at home? To cook their favourite dishes fresh, every day, ready and waiting for them when they finish work.

Time savings

Thirdly, pandemic or not, we’re all time-poor. Picking up a nutritious, freshly made meal from work to eat in the comfort of the home can save time on shopping, preparation, cooking, and, most importantly, washing up.

Safety first

And finally, with government guidelines advising us to steer clear of any unnecessary journeys, shopping trips have become few and far between. Not only that, but many people are still a little wary of visiting supermarkets for fear of picking up germs.

With Pre Order Pods, caterers can offer a safe, contamination-free environment for customers to order, pay for and collect a ready-made meal in a virtually contactless way.

Although this trend might allude to the shunning of retail and restaurant dining – our insights show that people have reserved the weekends for venturing out. But during the week, convenience and nutrition are their top priorities.

For caterers looking to extend their hours of operation, without any added daily overheads, using Pre Order Pods to cover the home-time shift could boost profits and save on food-waste. A win-win for both the business and the hungry workforce it serves.

Photo by Lisa from Pexels