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TRENDING — 07.05.2020

The pandemic forces organisations to revalue their entire business structure. This includes the company restaurant, the coffee bar, the pantry and the contract with the caterer. What are the changes and how can you deal with this as a company?



Shift in corporate culture 

The entire corporate culture is examined. Strong teams with socials contact limitations create new challenges. An essential part of the daily social connection is having lunch. Because you often eat and drink together. Having lunch or chatting at the coffee machine forms interest, understanding and a connection. 


The company restaurant and coffee machine are therefore the office's social ties. The place where you can meet everyone. If employees have to keep more distance (or work at home more often) and there is no longer a central lunch place or pantry to connect, how is the culture, team feeling, and connection between employees guaranteed?




FLOORPLAN 1,5m after COVID 06/05

On the maps above it shows a contrast of peak moments in the company restaurant during the pre-COVID-19 situation (+/- 0,63 person per m2) and in the current situation (+/- 0,14 person per m2). The 1,5 meter measure ensures that in addition to the seating area, serving, the method of payment, the service level and the product range must also be evaluated. 

Two concepts

Two weeks ago, we asked our network to respond to two scenarios for the company restaurant when it comes to using offices again. Concept 1: use the lunch are as a social distance work and meeting place and organize lunch in a different way. Concept 2: you develop a COVID-19 proof serving concept with a better supply and make use of shifts.  


The reactions show a great preference for concept 1, in which the restaurant area is used for a work and meeting place, and where lunch is arranged in a different way. 


What problems or issues does a company experience now through (the measures of) corona? We will take you through a number of scenarios that companies can or will face in the times of COVID-19, in the field of corporate catering and services. The responses we have had have been included and incorporated into the protocols. 


The social distance restaurant
and flexible workplace

Many companies lack space to accommodate personnel 1.5 meters apart. In this scenario, the company restaurant is temporarily used as a workplace outside lunchtime. People are used to working in other environments now, so a new and flexible working method within the building can offer a solution. Most company restaurants are spacious in terms of floor space and are therefore relatively easy to temporarily convert into a space with a different function. Purely from the 1.5 meter idea, a solution that can be deployed quickly to still create extra capacity in the office. 

  1. New layout
    The space will be decorated differently and will have a different function. This will differ per office. The starting point is that it is not a lunch place but a flexible meeting and workplace. A kind of work café in a spacious arrangement. However, acoustics, working conditions and infrastructure must be taken into account to facilitate working as much as possible. 

  2. Limited menu 
    This is in line with the enbiun philosophy, that supply should in any case be more limited and more focused in the office. The restrictions that are applied accelerate the roll-out. Depending on a possible shift layout, this menu does not have to change daily. 

  3. Smart ordering system
    Lunch is no longer done jointly at tables but in the workplaces. Lunch can be pre-ordered and even paid for via an app or website. The app also helps to get an indication of how many people want to have lunch, so that an estimate can be made in the kitchen. 

  4. Pick up or delivery 
    The caterer can process the requests in time slots in which employees can pick up their lunch (or it is brought to them). This gives the caterer more control over the lunch peak and prevents places with a high density of people, such as queues at serving and vascular stations. 

program app4


Een COVID-19 proof
serving concept

A more obvious scenario is adjusting the way of serving. We already see many options arise for this, in which the routing, serving, supply and payment are organised differently. 

  1. Having lunch in shifts
    Because we no longer can have lunch at the company restaurant at the same time, shifts will be implemented. 

  2. Communication
    How does it work, what is expected of you as an employee and how can tou have lunch now? Opening hours, the menu and the rules must be communicated clear and widely.  

  3. Clear routes
    In and around the business premises, it will be taken care of that people will not bump into each other on their way to the counter, toilet and/or lift. 

  4. Adjusting serving and packaging 
    Narrow down the choice and serve meals. Provide ready meals only if they can be packed individually. Think about packaged salads and sandwiches for example. This will reduce row formation and fewer (minimal) actions are required. Large buffets where people create their own meals are a thing of the past. 

  5. Payment
    Fixed menu prices can be chosen to limit contact moments. An option is to facilitate payments through an app where employees also place their orders in advance. 

It remains important to psychically facilitate connectivity in the office. In the future, employees will come to the office to meet. Make sure that places that are suitable and safe to have an informal conversation, drink a cup of coffee and/or have lunch together are reserved.


Focus on a healthy & easy way to drink and eat 

In addition to a social connection, there is an even stronger focus on vitality.  It is advisable as a company to focus more on the vitality of your employees; to have a clear direction in the type of dishes, with a focus on them being balanced and healthy. It will make your employees more resilient. By offering a limited and clearer range of proportioned meals, it will become a quick and easy choice for employees.  

Offices still have a big job ahead of them. Fortunately, they don't have to this alone and the caterer often offers a helping hand. By making clear agreements and by sketching out a good plan about the new business operations, this can become the new method of working in the time of COVID-19. 


Order App

enbiun and enbiun Program would gladly support you during the development and implementation of these scenarios. We have an ordering app available for anyone who wants to make use of it. It is easy and quick to implement. 

Would you like to know more about this topic or dig deeper into this topic with us? Please contact Jan Willem van de Sande or leave your details. 

Jan Willem van de Sande

Sales Director

+31 (0)6 11 86 80 24


TRENDING — 08.04.2020

In 2011 the Slok family made a trip to Vietnam. That was the moment when Martijn (then 18 years old), Myrthe (16) and Bastiaan (14) fell in love with Asian culture. After many trips, conversations, discoveries and ideas, their dream became a reality: bringing a Japanese ramen bar to Amsterdam! Otemba Ramen was born. Enbiun helps them with concept development, brand strategy, branding, graphic- and interior design.

Otemba Interior
Otemba Logo
Otemba Logo

branding & interior design for Otemba Ramen by enbiun

These new young catering entrepreneurs are taking the step to open their doors after the corona crisis. What’s their view on the current crisis? And how do they deal with it? We interviewed Myrthe Slok.

How are you dealing with the corona crisis?

Although there is international talk of a crisis, we prefer not to talk about it that way. Our goal was to open our doors before the Easter weekend, but this plan is now delayed by weeks, or perhaps months. We think it is very important to remain positive; there are entrepreneurs who are currently struggling way more than we are. We try to think of creative solutions, because many deliveries from Asia have been cancelled. Can we possibly make our own decorations? Start using other ingredients? We want to be 100% "ready to rumble" as soon as the measures are withdrawn. Where other catering establishments have take-away as a "solution", we do not currently see that as an option as a starting restaurant. Maybe we’ll create Japanese cooking videos and share recipes online! Every day we come together to come up with ideas and solutions. One thing is certain, and we keep repeating it: it is a very challenging period of time in which we have to keep on smiling, keep our heads up, and have fun. Nobody can (and will!) take that away from us. 

"2020 should be our year, not corona's"

How did the crisis change your plans?

It was certainly a big setback when we were told that all catering establishments had to close their doors. We've all worked so hard to open in early April, so what’s next? Suppliers that deliver later, interior builders, artists, and other third parties who cannot (and do not want to) be on location with more than three people. Everyone is stressed out. For example, when we try to get in touch with the municipality regarding compensation, we are told that we are likely not eligible for this, simply because we have not had any income from our business, while we are in dire need of it right now. The landlord is also in splits, and like us, has many questions about making choices. Nor does the accountant, with years of experience, have answers to our questions. When you hear Rutte say in the press conference that this is, after WWII, the biggest crisis the Netherlands has ever experienced, you know that he really means business. What will the future look like for us? When can we open our doors? And will this be just as jolly and successful as we hoped? It is the biggest question that comes to our minds every day. 

What do you think the effect will be when you open the doors of Otemba Ramen?

When the time comes, and we are able to open our doors... are we going to throw a big opening party? Because there is a good chance that everyone will dive into his or her own favourite pub first. Or maybe not, because people may be more careful and have less to spend. Can we already sell gift certificates that guests can use later? We are definitely in a very challenging situation. And as a starting catering entrepreneur, it is important to think about the right ‘opening plan’. 

Crisis or not, we must continue to enjoy ourselves. 2020 should be our year, not corona's.