If you are familiar with coworking offices and collaborative spaces you will likely be aware of the idea that eating and drinking – and environments where these activities are going on – can be integral to helping start-ups and individuals finding and working on new ideas. Indeed, as readers of our post Future Working: Five ingredients that go into a perfect co-working space will know, one aspect which coworking spaces differ from traditional offices is by the lengths at which they go to include coffee shop or cafe type areas within their premises in order to give members an authentic atmosphere universally regarded as being perfect for coming up with ‘the next big thing’ – perhaps even more so than the office itself!
As the trend towards coworking offices and similar spaces continues, it is fair to say that over the last few years there has been something of a renaissance in terms of the food we see being consumed in all kinds of offices. At first glance, it is arguably as much due to an increased awareness about how the food we eat affects our health but as we go into more depth it is fair to say that technologies – old and new – are affecting what we eat at work.
More fresh fruit
With the importance of the health of staff becoming an ever-increasing obligation for managers and business owners, fruit which is fresher and of a better quality than that which is found on the supermarket shelves is more often finding its way into our offices. London-based fruit suppliers such as Fruit for the Office and Fruit for Thought pride themselves on being able to deliver diverse types of good quality fruit to offices across the capital – and with no additional cost for delivery. However, it is rarely the value for money nor the quality of the produce which is seen as the biggest benefit of buying in food in this way. Instead, it is how fresh fruit promotes wellness, boosts morale and subsequently increases productivity which highlights its true worth for modern offices.
Using old distribution channels in new ways
Companies such as Fruit for the Office are great for inner-city offices where managers are keen to please a team of employees, but what options are there for individuals? Are they destined to pop down to Tesco Express, or worse, McDonalds to grab a bite to eat? Not anymore. Unique service Graze was founded by seven friends eager to enjoy the food they liked at work, and their healthy snack mail order service took off soon after. Graze offer one person snack boxes which include four different foods sent by post direct to your office. The blend of old technologies (i.e. the postal service) and digital (users login to the Graze website to select the foods they like, so they always get something they enjoy – but can still be surprised) is a fantastic use of traditional and new media and an exciting and pleasing way to avoid eating junk food in the office.
Social media as food delivery tool?
While Graze and the fruit companies we’ve seen are embracing online technologies, in the US social media is becoming integral to a new crop of gourmet food providers. Mobile Mexican food provider Comida use their website, Facebook and Twitter feed to update office workers in the Boulder and Denver area as to where the truck will be visiting that day in an effort to avoid the area’s tough street vending regulations. By being able to keep potential customers updated just in case the Comida truck is passing by soon, the business has not only seen roaring trade – but they have also become something of an influence on other food truck start-ups seeing that there is niche in the market for quality food delivery with a social media presence.