Local Restaurants Boost Return to Office

As fall approaches and kids are returning to school, more and more companies have become increasingly determined to have employees return to the office. Currently, 69% of mid- to large-sized employers say they require, or will require, employees with jobs that can be done remotely to be at work for a set number of days, according to new survey data from business consulting firm Gartner.  

“As COVID becomes a more manageable risk, CEOs are eager to have more people back on-site,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

Relaxing COVID protocols, maintaining schedule flexibility, and increasing perks and amenities are some ways companies are luring employees back to the workplace. Earlier this week, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on Squawk Box stated, “If you’re a job creator, it’s all about what you do for the people you serve. It isn’t about how much money you give – it’s about what you do for your people to make their lives meaningful and measurably better.”

Offering great culinary amenities, including menus from local restaurants, supports the community and boosts the local economy while also improving the lives of employees in the workplace. 

At Compass Group, we have been a proud partner of local restaurants since 2018 through our Foodworks platform. Foodworks is a simple, proven on-site dining platform that creates community through food. By collaborating with the best local restaurants and showcasing them in client spaces, we build connections with authentic, ethnic experiences where diversity is baked into the culture. 

Our Foodworks program currently boasts over 450 restaurant partners in 55 markets and is continuing to grow thanks to its popularity. Foodworks takes time to find and support local women- and minority-owned restaurants, food trucks and culinary startups. Our restaurant partners bring personality, global flavors and interesting menus to our operations through pop-ups, station takeovers and special features. And it is 100% hyperlocal, allowing employees to experience restaurants they might not see in day-to-day working life.

Additionally, Foodworks launched Apron Exchange, a program dedicated to supporting women- and minority-owned food startups. This platform is an incubator that offers our guests a unique expansion of the Foodworks program, supplying a wide array of specialty products from prepackaged cookies to premium hard candies to bottled sauces, and even home goods, such as candles. All proceeds from the Apron Exchange program go directly back to our partners.

Awarding Diversity

In April 2022, Foodworks introduced IGNITE, a community grant program for their restaurant partners nationwide with over $100,000 in immediate grants that enable women- and minority-owned vendor partners to add new equipment, expand operations or achieve certifications. Foodworks’ mission is to celebrate culinary creativity, culture and community. This program reflects their values and demonstrates their focus on supporting authentic and diverse cuisines. 

Broaden Your Employees’ Office Dining Experiences

Gathering together again can be productive and encouraging when foodservice is an element. John Coker, president of Foodworks, believes, “Foodworks-powered experiences bring normalcy and convenience to customers’ lives during these challenging times. We are social beings, and food is a large part of our culture. The need to gather, share ideas and collaborate over food in an interesting, engaging space – that’s always going to be essential to us.”

Interested in how we can help broaden your employees’ office dining experiences? Let’s talk about it.