Lunching at the office cafeteria gains a whole new flavour in the new normal


There is “reservation” to be made to dine at the office cafeteria. That is simply the first line to toe, in case you are planning a socially-distanced meal with a colleague. Next comes a timeframe inside which to complete the meal. Warning bells would go off, saying a missed deadline.

The processes have additionally undergone trimming and re-jigging. Self-service shouldn’t be allowed. The menu has undergone adjustments in favour of immunity-boosting meals gadgets.

These are amongst components shared by many office canteens. Besides, every organisation has made different alterations particular to their state of affairs.

TVS Motor Company has elevated the eating areas from 4 to seven at its manufacturing facility in Hosur to test crowding. The canteen employees donning masks, gloves, shields and head gears serve meals not like in the pre-COVID days when self-service was allowed.

Kashayam – an immunity boosting concoction made with ginger, pepper, jeera, pipli leaves, turmeric powder, coriander seed, contemporary coriander and jaggery — is a new addition to the breakfast menu. Items on the menu have a sprint of lemon and ginger.

Digital cafeteria

Most of the firms performing from tech parks or standalone buildings rely vastly on know-how instruments to maintain contact to the minimal.

Bengaluru-based HungerBox, which manages 550 cafeterias in over 20 cities, has switched to a digital cafeteria. “We implemented an AI/ ML algorithm on our platform to ensure there’s no congestion at cafeterias. At any give time, not more than 50% of the workforce will gain access to the dinning area,” says Sandipan Mitra, co-founder and CEO, HungerBox. Employees need to pre-book their slot by means of an app.

Desk supply of meals is one other function supplied at shopper areas the place a small proportion of staff head to office. Here, meals is delivered at the staff’ desk on order. Mitra says that is viable provided that the workforce is restricted in energy. “When you have more than 25% of employees at work, it becomes a challenge,” he says. The chosen meals should be dry in order that there isn’t a spillover at the desk.

How do kitchens nonetheless guarantee meals is protected?

The food-tech firm has sourced a UVC field the place the meals has to clear a sterilisation test earlier than it’s served.

“This is an essential step we follow as food served at cafeterias comes from different kitchens,” says Mitra.

Cash cost is now not an possibility.

“All exchange of currency has been discontinued and the payment is through digital payment gateways,” says Mitra.

Of the 550 cafeteria HungerBox manages, he says, near 130 are actually totally useful and one other 100 have opted for desk supply of meals.

Bring your individual field

There are firms that assume the finest approach to combat the virus away is to encourage staff to to convey lunch field from residence.

The canteen at the head office of Panasonic Life Solutions India in Mumbai is open however has stopped serving lunch and breakfast. The administration has requested staff to convey their very own meals, and the cafeteria serves simply well being juices, tea, espresso and biscuits.

“We have advised employees to bring food cooked from their own kitchens as that will ensure more safety,” says Akash Sangole, Head, Human Resource and General Administration, Panasonic Life Solutions India.

Of the 3,500 staff working in the office, 10 per cent have resumed coming to office. The firm is evaluating such an association for some extra time until issues normalises.

Among different steps taken to make sure individuals don’t crowd at the cafeteria and restrooms, the firm has separate routes for workers to take. The lunch timings are additionally staggered and a diagonal seating association is adopted.

“Only 30% of the seats can be occupied at any given time,” says Sangole, including that the firm has developed an in-house answer for office worker security administration that displays and information if social distancing is adopted at frequent areas.  

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