Office canteens need tech injection to boost customer experience, cut queues and drive footfall


Research from loyalty marketing platform Yoyo and digital ordering technology provider Preoday has found that value and speed are critical to delivering a successful workplace canteen experience, and that technology can help meet this demand.

Employees want more value

When asked what is important during their lunch break, a third of workers with a workplace canteen (32%) say cheap prices  and value for money is critical when buying food from their workplace canteen. Currently a similar proportion (28%) don’t believe they are getting enough value for money – nor are they being rewarded in any way for their regular custom at workplace canteens.

Over half of UK workers (57%) said the introduction of tech-led loyalty schemes that could offer more personalised deals would lead them to visit their workplace canteen more often. At present, only 15% of workplace canteens provide any sort of loyalty scheme to office workers.

Yoyo CEO Michael Rolph said that tech-led loyalty schemes can also put the right customer data into the hands of workplace caterers and open up a whole new world of personalisation. “Usually the closest lunch spots in proximity, workplace canteens have a duty to deliver an experience that will maximise both value and convenience for time-poor workers taking lunch.

“At the same time there is a huge opportunity for caterers to hone in on their customers’ behaviour, address gaps in their current services and deliver enhanced experiences that will increase footfall, bolster customer retention and, above all, strengthen revenue.”


Workers need speed

When asked, almost a third (27%) of workers say “speed” is one of the two most important factors when considering their lunch options – and nearly a quarter (24%) said that queuing time actively puts them off visiting their workplace canteen.

Two fifths of UK workers (40%) also say they would visit their workplace canteen more often if the service was quicker or they could pre order their food and pick it up without queuing at all. However, at the moment, only 17% of workplace canteens offer a pre-ordering functionality to customers.

Nick Hucker, CEO of Preoday, said: “In the UK the desk is increasingly used as a dining table, but this is a trend that causes problems for employers and staff alike. While stress at work is often inevitable, it can be mitigated by taking a proper break. Without one, employees risk taking their stress home with them instead. The convenience of workplace canteens can provide this environment for a break and a good meal. Our report reveals that using technology to respond to demands for speed and convenience can both improve the lunch break experience and help canteens attract more custom.”



This report from Preoday and Yoyo reflects the anonymised responses of 2,003 workers based in the UK with a workplace canteen, surveyed between 12th – 19th September 2018. The survey was conducted by Opinium.