Fosters Event Catering has developed a new initiative to help feed workers safely
Chloe Shakesby

Life After Lockdown: The caterers making workplace meals safer with a new initiative

As the country emerges from lockdown, it’s a very different landscape for a lot of businesses.

Bdaily spoke to business owners across the country about how they’re changing their ways of working, and what innovations they’re adopting permanently after lockdown.

Catering company Fosters Event Catering has developed a new initiative which it says could help provide a safe and efficient way of fuelling the workforce.

The initiative - called Desk Dining - will be based at Fosters’ production kitchens where experienced staff will be creating thousands of meals each day.

Neil Lodge, chief executive at Fosters Events, commented: “As a large-scale, quality hospitality catering business, well-versed in delivering dinners for one thousand people or more at any given time or location, Fosters has been thinking about how and what we can do differently and what, for the time being, our ‘new normal’ could be.

“Great food and service comes in many guises and this is why Fosters is developing and producing high quality, locally sourced and seasonal pre-packaged meals in sealed containers which can be delivered direct to workplaces, offices, colleges or schools.

“That will help office staff or students to avoid busy restrooms or canteens and will also mean they don’t have to leave the premises to purchase food or snacks in places where they might run the risk of picking up the virus.

“Instead, they can collect their nutritious meal and take it to a place where they can socially-distance, confident that their meal has been safely produced.

“We can even provide everything that an employer, college or school will need to create an onsite catering facility, including refrigeration to keep the delivered meals chilled until required and the equipment to reheat the food, where appropriate.

“It’s all about adapting to what is being called the ‘new normal’.

“Our new normal means that for the time being there are no large gatherings like sporting events, gala evenings or weddings where we would be doing the catering.

“Our new normal has meant that, although we’ve had to furlough 90 percent of our staff, 25 of them have volunteered to come in and provide 300 meals a day for front-line NHS staff through the Food For Heroes programme.

“But obviously many other companies and establishments are facing a ‘new normal’.

“They want staff to come in to work or students to attend classes - and that means people have to be fed and sustained throughout the day.”

“While the pandemic continues, the call to work needs to be done safely - and Fosters is the first major catering company in the UK to come up with a solution.

“Desk dining could become the ‘new normal’ for quite a long time to come… It stands to reason that we are ideally equipped to provide this solution - we have large central production kitchens where we can scale-up to feeding 1000 or 2000 people day.”

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