ROTTERDAM - Even with the pandemic behind us (sort of), employees are continuing to work partly from home and companies are occupying less office space. The absence of employees in the office is having a huge impact on company canteens and corporate catering. That is why New Fork, a corporate caterer based in Rotterdam, is experimenting with a new proposition: New Fork pick-up points for business lunches.
New Fork pick-up points?
According to New Fork, the process is easy. Every employee (whether working from home or in an office) can order their own lunch until 9:30 in the morning via the New Fork app. Later on, at noon, they can go grab their lunch at a pick-up point. According to New Fork, all their pickup points are no more than 15 minutes walking distance, from any location in Rotterdam. It's definitely an interesting concept, as businesses can provide their hybrid-work employees with a paid-for canteen lunch experience; a perk that many have gone without while working from home.
Yorick van Baarsel of New Fork states: "In this way, home workers feel involved in the office and eat a quality healthy lunch like at the office. We call this smart catering. There is also the choice of where the lunches are to be delivered: the office or the New Fork pick-up point. We expect smart catering to be the future, which is why we are experimenting with this type of concept, because if you don't dare, you don't win."
Why this Rotterdam experiment?
The hospitality industry in general has had a rough ride in recent years. But entrepreneurship, according to Yorick, is not about "throwing in the towel and giving up in difficult times. We think that hybrid work will continue and that is why we are rolling out this proposition in Rotterdam, because you can learn from experimentation. If it proves to be a success, the rest of the Netherlands is at our feet."