Culinary savoir-faire

The new recipe for responsible and tasty B&I catering

Re set
Contract catering is having adapt to new expectations of employees for locally-sourced and seasonal cuisine, that is flexible and convivial; the embodiment of sustainable food, that is good for their health and for the planet. Frédéric Galliath, CEO of Elior’s B&I market, explains what Elior is doing to meet this challenge.

What do B&I employees expect today?

Frédéric Galliath Our guests want gourmet meals that are healthy and made with locally-sourced and seasonal products. They also expect that the staff canteen respects the planet, notably by limiting waste and the use of single-use plastic. 50% of our B&I guests are under 35 years old.Their meal break must be fluid, fast and digital. They must be able to have lunch wherever and whenever they want. 

How has the sanitary crisis reinforced these trends?

FG The increase in teleworking has prompted us to transform our catering solutions. On average, employees will continue to work from home two days a week. Our challenge is to ensure that the three days when they come to the office, they will eat lunch at the Elior restaurant. The self-service is an attractive solution since it encourages teams to come to the office and promotes social ties, that are essential to business life.

In the light of this, how can we continue to attract employees to lunch in Elior restaurants?

FG We have redesigned our entire self-service offering, that is underpinned by the notion to do less, but do better. That's why we launched a new self-service catering solution entitled Re-Set! As a leader in B&I catering, our role is to reinvent our catering solutions.

Our commitments involve cooking fewer, yet better quality recipes that are renewed more often, and which source local products.

In concrete terms, what are your commitments to providing more responsible catering?

FG Our commitments involve cooking fewer, yet better quality recipes that are renewed more often, and which source local products, as well as offering more vegetarian recipes and displaying the Nutri-Score on all our dishes. The Re-Set meal also respects the seasons. For example, off-season tomatoes will not be featured on the menu. In addition, being committed to a circular economy approach, we have decided to give a second life to our old crockery. 

How do guests perceive these changes in their meals?

FG Our guests are delighted to taste better quality products sourced from producers close to their place of work. We also display Nutri-Score nutritional labels to provide greater transparency on the food they are eating. They thus have access to all the information they need to make their choices. Offering simpler recipes made with fewer ingredients is the best way to better recognize taste and qualities. Regarding the origin of the products, the challenge is not to give a percentage of local products, but to reason in terms of production basins. And we explain to our guests what they are eating and where the products come from, via more direct means of communication. This may be the fascinating story of the producer next door or the favorite recipes of their chef that gives value to our dishes! 

This is a real revolution in the kitchen! How do you engage all of your teams?

FG The purpose of Re-Set is to reinforce our employees’ sense of pride in belonging to our teams and to showcase their savoir-faire. We promote kitchen trades. The effort to support our employees exceeds anything we have done in the past, with 600 restaurant managers trained almost simultaneously by way of face-to-face and online training.

What are your solutions to meet the need for flexibility?

FG B&I employees look for the same comfort and flexibility they find at home. This is why we offer meals throughout the day, whether on site or to take away, while limiting the waiting time. And this requires more digital offers. In particular, we launched the Chef&Go click and collect concept. 


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