Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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38 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • OCTOBER 2018 company events, host festivities and more." And rather than reserve the build- ing's top floor for senior executive offices, Salesforce turned the San Francisco building's 61st floor into what it calls its Ohana (Hawaiian for "family") floor. The open event space includes an exhibition kitchen, barista bar and 360-degree views. Habits Shift, Tech Enables Approaches such as Salesforce's point to shifting demand in some segments that impacts both facility design and foodservice offerings. As 9 to 5 gives way to plugged-in-anytime availability and as Millennial and Gen Z employees continue to redefine workplace ideals, corporate dining programs keep evolv- ing to meet their needs. Vega sees design as a key part of that evolution, with cafe spaces being reimagined for broader use. "The cafe is becoming a more integral experi- ence," she says. "Seating areas have become conference rooms, huddle spaces, thought-incubation centers. It's no longer about sitting down at a four-top in a designated space down- stairs to have lunch with colleagues. You now have open spaces with flexible soft seating, workstations and charging ports everywhere; spaces that can easily be segmented into different functional rooms and used for after-hours events. Employers are encouraging employees to get out of their offices and do their work in the common area. That's when team members interact and network and support ideas and each other. Orga- nizations see that as improving morale, boosting productivity and the com- pany's ability to attract and retain talent. How dining and the physical spaces work together plays a key role in that." Operators continue to change as well, extending defined meal periods of the past or supplementing meal periods with on-demand, convenience-driven corporate dining initiatives. "With technology, workplaces have become 24-7," Vega notes. "That's changing the types of operations clients are looking for. While all employees might not go down to the cafe, there's growing interest in solutions such as honor pantries, micro markets, coffee bars and pop-up restaurant concepts or chef's stations. They might be posi- tioned on several floors, or on the other side of the building from the cafe. In- creasingly, we're bringing these types of options closer to the customers, making them both compelling and convenient." For corporate dining operators to pursue such strategies, mobile, self- venting equipment and small-footprint, multifunction tools such as combi ov- ens are mission-critical today, she says. Souccar agrees, noting flexible, mo- bile food options that satisfy customer demands for quality and convenience represent strong opportunities for cor- porate dining programs, particularly as they strive to compete with the street. He suggests restaurants and retailers have raised the bar significantly on grab-and-go, for example, leading on-site operators to follow suit. "Today, you have everyone from the Pret A Mangers of the world to Whole Foods enticing customers with quality grab-and-go programs," Souccar says. "Even pharmacies like CVS and Duane Reade have stepped up their game on grab-and-go. So that's an increas- ingly important piece for our clients. The same is true with coffee. In many locations, even if we have just a small footprint to work with, a barista bar fitted with sleek, artisanal coffee equip- ment and offering a limited menu of fresh sandwiches, soups and snacks can become a focal point. Or maybe we do a flexible cold action station for focused takeaway items like sushi or poke bowls." A full spectrum of dining op- tions exits for employees at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., but among the most successful aspects of the company's program has been the c-store-inspired Market@ Stores concept, launched in 2013. More than 25 Market@ Stores operate across the Microsoft campus, each measuring just 150 to 250 square feet. All provide high-quality, grab-and-go fare that fuels employees any time of day or night. Stocked with fresh sandwiches, snacks, beverages and microwaveable entrees, the stores are located within and adjacent to cafes, operating during and after hours, as well as in farther-flung sections of campus where access to cafes is less convenient. Top-selling items include bulk trail mixes, nuts and chocolates, whole fruits, string cheese and packaged sandwiches sourced from select local vendors. Instead of dining halls, the new offices at Sales- force in San Francisco include social lounges on employee floors. They're flex spaces where em- ployees can relax, recharge and collaborate with easy access to a variety of snacks and beverages. Photo courtesy of Salesforce WORKPLACE HOSPITALITY A New Value Proposition

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