Corporate foodservice provider Sodexo has acquired restaurant aggregator Foodee to deliver more flexible meal options to hybrid office workers, according to an announcement earlier this month.
Foodee’s platform aggregates more than 800 restaurants in 14 cities across the U.S. and Canada and plans to expand to New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and Montreal in the next year.
Sodexo traditionally contracts with companies to run their corporate cafeterias and retail foodservice programs. But in the hybrid post-pandemic workplace, employees may work part of the week from home, at the office or in a third place—like a Starbucks or hotel lobby.
“With the population down in office buildings, especially on Mondays and Fridays, we don’t need a full complement of [foodservice] staff onsite,” said Mike Gillespie, President, Corporate Services West, Sodexo North America. “Foodee focuses on independent restaurants in the local community and brings real variety to workers.”
Starting at $6.99 a month, companies can invite employees to the platform, which allows them to order meals in advance or the same day. The meals are then delivered to a central location. Foodee can fulfill orders for as few as 20 people and up to 600 but does not currently deliver meals to a single employee or a small team working remotely.
The partnership also delivers benefits to the independent restaurateurs on Foodee’s platform. Mom and pop restaurants can now join Sodexo’s entegra Procurement Services to leverage its purchasing power on food and other supplies. “When you roll these small restaurants into one platform, it works like a GPO (group purchasing organization) and brings discounts to the members,” said Gillespie.
Although workers are trickling back to corporate offices post-pandemic, many companies are not requiring employees to come in every day. More than 14% of employed Americans continued to work remotely in June, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With the number of businesses promoting hybrid workplace models, employers are looking for alternative solutions to the fully staffed corporate cafeteria.