Nutrislice is fortunate to have clients across many different sectors of foodservice, so, we’re constantly listening and observing what other forward-thinking operators are doing. Like you, they’ve been an inspiration to many as they’ve tackled seemingly insurmountable challenges with gusto and have prepared for the road ahead.
Nuances definitely exist, yet, in general everyone is striving to provide the best dining experience possible in spite of the challenges thrown their way. “Tell us something we don’t know,” I’m sure you're thinking. However, we’ve identified some interesting shared themes across all sectors you may not have considered that could prove helpful to keeping your operation up with the times - or ahead of it!
We’ve narrowed it down to 3 principles, summarized in this 6-minute read, that we observed in other industries (higher education, healthcare, senior living, and corporate dining) that are beneficial to K-12 operators, like you!
1. If you are not re-engineering your operation -- you are behind.
Everywhere we’ve turned, operators have simplified their services. Everyone was forced to ask themselves, “What are the mission critical things I need to operate amid a pandemic?” Everything was analyzed and if it didn’t make that list, it was paused.
For many, this actually has been a positive during the pandemic. Tasks, processes, meetings, and more that were found to not be vital were backburnered or totally abandoned. Operators were empowered as life adjusted … for the better.
The best operators have asked themselves this question: What things did I stop doing during the pandemic that I should never do again?
We think this is an inspired question and one that every successful operator should be asking themselves.
So, what things did you stop doing during the pandemic that you should never do again?
2. The vision never changed. It was always focused on the future.
Great operators, in any sector of foodservice, are thinking 2+ years ahead. The pandemic definitely didn’t slow down that process.
If anything, it helped that planning become clearer.
Especially in other sectors of foodservice, the focus of great programs has always been on the customer experience. For many, the pandemic has forever linked the companion concepts of convenience and flexibility. A great experience for your customers will have varying levels of flexibility and convenience.
However, the best operators have worked hard to create this experience without sacrificing their operators' experience.
This means that the job hasn’t taken the soul out of your team. Your team’s passion for providing exceptional service shouldn’t be dampened by rigid and inconvenient operational solutions.
If you’re feeling the pain of trying to deliver a great customer experience at the expense of your team, it might be time to revisit your processes and solutions with an eye towards a more complete vision. It’s never too soon to work towards bringing equilibrium to the needs of both your customers and your employees.
So, does your operational experience need revamping to keep up with your customer experience?
3. Everyone is mastering the digital experience.
For your customers, it’s nearly impossible to provide flexibility and convenience without great technology. The best programs have technology that works for them and not the other way around. Nobody wants to be held hostage by their technology platform. During the pandemic, we observed operators dial in their customer communications with a variety of digital tools:
Digital signage - mastering the ability to communicate at the point of service
Dining reservations and other features that provided safety, confidence, and trust
Text alerts and mobile app notifications to help communicate outside the primary point of service
The best operators had technology that increased their confidence in being able to successfully re-engineer their program and provide an outstanding customer and operator experience.
So, are you providing the digital experience your parents, students and staff have come to expect?
Those are just three principles but there’s a lot that can be learned across the broader foodservice market. Hopefully these themes, and follow-up questions, will give you some ‘food for thought’ and additional momentum as you continue your quest in providing exceptional experience for your students and staff.
What’d we miss?
If you’ve got observations or things we’ve missed - let’s discuss! Contact us here, or drop a note in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!