staff cafeteria

How to handle employee complaints about cafeteria food?

No hotel can afford to be like Google or Facebook in the employee cafeteria. While you try your best to cater to the diverse community who work in your hotel, you will constantly be getting negative feedback every day.

How should you handle negative feedback about cafeteria food?

Why do we have employee cafeteria?

Employee cafeteria is an amenity which provides great value for money to hotels. Chief among them are improved employee engagement.

As an establishment which provides food and beverages to guest, the idea was that we should also have something for the team members working in the hotel. This gave rise to inhouse cafeteria that offers variations of food.

As a benefit to the employee, who need not pack and bring the food, the cafeteria also provides quicker mealtimes and employees need not get out of the hotel to take a break.

However as employees consume the food, complaints start to trickle down about the food being served. In no particular order, the complaints received will be about

  • Diversity
  • Repetition
  • Taste of food
  • Midnight snacks

How to handle employee complaints about cafeteria food?

Diversity

Among the primary issue we face in a large country like India is the spread of food. Our workforce come from various states and it sometimes can become challenging catering to their diverse taste.

The South prefers Rice while the North prefers wheat. The south is predominantly vegetarians, North prefers non vegetarian.

These regional bias is enough to keep the cafeteria cooks on their toes.

In order to address Diversity issues in the cafeteria, you could do a few things

  • Plan a cyclic menu with dishes from various states
  • Organize a food festival once a month to introduce diverse food
  • Involve a diverse bunch of people in cafeteria committee
  • Gamify the process with voting for favourite dishes etc

Repetition

Repetition of dishes is a common issue which comes up in most feedback forum. This may be because of many reason

This can be tackled by

  • Training the the kitchen team on different dishes
  • Making a longer cyclic calendar menu with a 10 + day cycle

Taste of food

Lets face it. It is an employee cafeteria. It will surely not replicate home food or moms food. However by taking some extra care, cafeteria food can be made really tasty. Crafting the food to the local pallet will work wonders in reducing complaints about food taste. Additional condiments like pickle, papad and toppings can add different flavour to the food

Midnight snack

That meal period when there is no manager to monitor the food. This is usually a very big point of concern for employees in the hotel. Also with the least number of employees around, it is one meal that gets the least attention in the employee cafeteria. Also it may be an extension of evening food chilled and reheated in most cases

In order to cater to this and eliminate this issue you could try any of these points

  • Cook fresh food in the night
  • Provide additional variety of light snack along with a heavier option like biryani
  • Don’t make breakfast dishes in midnight

In conclusion:

While you can never eliminate employee complaints about cafeteria food, you can reduce it to a large extent, improving employee morale.

You can do that by taking care of the menu being served, keeping it diverse, fresh and paying attention to midnight snacks.

What you do feel you can do to improve cafeteria food. Do post your comments below.

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