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2020 Is Here: What’s in Store for the Workplace?

As we enter a new decade, one thing is certain: the workplace is ripe for disruption. The labor market, climate change, and a shifting generation in the workforce are major forces shaping the workplace in 2020. As a provider of corporate food solutions, we at ZeroCater have an inside track on the trends shaping the workplace. Here are our predictions for 2020:

The Employee Experience: Personalized

From a space to fit your needs to flexible scheduling, the workplace is becoming more and more customizable to employees’ lives. Employers are working with experts to personalize their employee experience. According to MetLife’s 2019 Annual Employee Benefits Trends study, 68% of employers think the ability to customize benefits is important to their employees, while 93% of employees call this a must-have or nice-to-have perk. At ZeroCater, we work with customers to curate daily lunches for an office based on its employees’ unique tastes and dietary preferences.

Celebrities Have Riders; Employees Now Have Must-Haves

In 2020, employers will go beyond offering free snacks and subsidized gym memberships and begin inviting employees to outline their must-haves. In this way, employers can ensure that their employees find value in their benefits to stay productive and at their company longer. In 2019, the top five office food must-haves for ZeroCater customers were bananas, hard-boiled eggs, unsweetened Califia Farms Almond Milk, Diet Coke, and Sabra Hummus Singles. And while they may not be the most popular, we also saw some interesting must-haves in 2019, including Hint Watermelon Water, Dang Coconut Chips, and Mind Haze IPA.

Employers Will Use Data and Technology for Good

We know that employers want to personalize their employee experience, but how will they do it? We predict employers will begin to collect and utilize employee data to better understand and cater to their employee’s needs to improve benefits, engagement, and productivity. Accenture found that more than 90% of employees are willing to let their employers collect and use data about them and their work if they benefit in some way. Recently, ZeroCater began offering companies a way to better understand what food employees like and how to ensure their catered meals and snacks are more closely matched with employees’ tastes and dietary preferences.

Continued Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Beyond traditional D&I initiatives, expect employers to infuse inclusivity efforts into all aspects of the workplace, including their office food and events. Watch for a more inclusive schedule of office holiday celebrations and observances. Beyond the annual holiday party, ZeroCater has seen an increase in customers planning office celebrations for Diwali and Pride Month and a desire to see meals from women-owned culinary partners during Women’s History Month as well as black-owned food businesses during Black History Month. Expect to see a diverse array of meals and cuisines as well. Although American and Mexican are the most popular cuisines for corporate catering, ZeroCater has seen an increasing interest in Vietnamese, Indonesian, and European options.

Conscious Consumption

Demands for socially responsible business practices are at an all-time high. Both customers and employees demand companies adopt socially responsible business practices from end to end. Expect to see responsibility guide decisions from vendors and sourcing to waste reduction.

Recently, The Economist reported sustainability will be a guiding principle in 2020, and this trend extends to the workplace. Its clear corporations are taking the planet into account in nearly every aspect of their business, including adopting more sustainable practices to incorporate food programs. For office meals, companies are looking at a number of measures for sustainability. ZeroCater works with companies to ensure perfect portioning for corporate catering and snacks, which means companies have enough food for their employees without too many leftovers. When there are leftovers, ZeroCater’s on-site staff coordinates food donations to local communities in need. In addition, offices are favoring family-style meals over boxed meals and reusable cutlery and dishes over disposables to reduce waste.

The average amount of snacks consumed per employee, per day is $14
The #2 Most Popular Must-Have Snack Item for Employees are Hard Boiled Eggs
“It’s clear corporations are taking the planet into account in nearly every aspect of their business, including adopting more sustainable practices in corporate food programs.”
Megan Palmer
Megan Palmer
Director of Communications

We build better workplace cultures through food

  • Operates in 6 markets including Austin, New York, and San Francisco
  • Offers meals, snacks, and beverages to offices
  • Serves startups and SMB’s to enterprise customers
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