When HqO extended the opportunity to publish a guest post on their blog, we jumped at the chance to do so. Not just to celebrate the excitement of recently launching Zuul Market on the HqO platform, but also as an opportunity to continue a conversation that we love to have: an examination of which elements need to be considered when introducing a tech-enabled food and beverage platform to commercial properties, during COVID and beyond.
As such, we thought this would be a great chance to share the framework that Zuul Market uses when developing our products, partnerships, and services. By doing so, we hope the information can help property managers navigate F&B platforms when seeking to fulfill their tenants’ needs and optimize their building’s operations.
Keep reading below to find a description of the elements to consider when introducing a F&B program that can solve traditional operational challenges, encourage tenants to return during COVID, and provide long-term solutions that ensure operational success and tenant retention in commercial buildings.
1. Operational Needs
Tenant Safety, During COVID-19 and Beyond
Starting with what’s at the front of all of our minds, the most pressing challenges that commercial buildings face today are related to getting individually-packaged food delivered to our buildings while limiting the courier foot traffic traditionally associated with lunch time.
As it is, individual couriers entering and exiting buildings to deliver single meals isn’t a sustainable solution given the operational complexity associated with keeping tenants healthy and fed. Tech-enabled food and beverage programs that can carry out individual ordering and consolidated delivery of individually packaged meals — like Zuul Market on the HqO platform — provide the best opportunity to offer safe and exciting meals during both certain and uncertain times.
No longer, either, is there a need for a one-size-fits-all solution for the complex and unique challenges of getting food into your buildings — and the question of where it goes once it gets there. Seek F&B partners that are able to build your needs into their operational and logistical practices, partners that are excited to solve for your unique challenges as part of their implementation process.
Zuul is able to solve these challenges by focusing on adaptive methodologies that can drive the most impact. For example, these practices start by offering thoughtful meal packaging and safety protections on every order, but continue through every step of the operational journey — all the way through to our white-glove logistics providers that require only one courier per delivery and enter your building through freight entrances or your other preferred practice, every time.
Affordable Logistics, at Scale
When incorporating a building-wide program that empowers bulk ordering and consolidated delivery, you also enjoy the benefits of reduced delivery costs thanks to the logistical scale. This is a victory that can be passed on to tenants, or property teams can earn an easy win by choosing to cover the extremely reduced costs of their building’s meal time deliveries.
2. Technological Advantage
Making the Most of Modern Tools
It’s not an understatement to say that technology has completely upended the ways that commercial buildings can fulfill their food and beverage needs, and the time to begin introducing these transformational tools to your buildings is now. Transitioning to a tech-forward solution like the HqOS operating system and the Zuul Market platform pays dividends when considering the ways that automation and personalization can save you time and money — be it through increased efficiency, less manual intervention, or daily positive tenant experiences. Don’t forget either that these recurring positive tenant experiences are an easy way to achieve your largest motivation — tenant retention.
You can’t underestimate the value of putting your brand first when it comes to high-value amenities that tenants will use regularly. Zuul Market made it a priority to allow property teams and their tenants to offer our F&B platforms in their own branding. This is no small feature — white-labeling our ordering sites allow you to take the credit for everyone’s favorite time of the day: meal time.
Another benefit allowed by platform technology is the ability to easily keep track of what goes on in your buildings and enjoy insight into the experiences of your tenants. Access to the data provided by tech-enabled F&B platforms can allow for property teams to better understand the role that mealtimes play in their building ecosystem and find new and better ways to provide value to tenants.
3. Tenant Experience & Value
Among the most noticeable impacts of technology-enabled food ordering in the workplace is the ability to reject traditional catering — ordering food for many people in bulk portions — in favor of individual ordering, from a user’s personal device, aggregated and delivered together.
Let’s face it — customers are used to getting what they want when it comes to ordering their meals online. Technology has enabled that in their homes, and now it can enable it in their places of work. Individual orders can be placed on a user’s personal device and be delivered together, alongside the orders of their co-workers, in one drop by one courier — providing a high-value and enjoyable experience for your users.
And for the situations where traditional catering is still important, don’t worry — Zuul Market can handle that, too.
Another benefit of the technological shift that has reached office F&B programs is that it is no longer necessary to be limited by a single restaurant offering in one meal order — a massive shift from the 1:1 experience that is traditional office lunch ordering. Modern capabilities have enabled Zuul Market to utilize technology to network many restaurants and brands together in one menu to maximize options and diversity, while still delivering meals that are hot and fresh.
At Zuul we call this the Virtual Food Hall — only experienced on the Zuul Market platform. As opposed to being forced to choose one restaurant over another, commercial buildings and their tenants now have access to many restaurant brands at once, arriving together in a single delivery.
Any robust office ordering platform must include functionality that allows employers to offer traditional office benefits like meal per-diems and other promotions for employees. These benefits go a long way in providing employee value, but also revolutionize the experience of office administrators by being able to easily create, apply, and track a program’s implementation.
The last consideration, and potentially the most important, is finding a true partner — one who will collaborate with you to find the appropriate solution for your specific circumstance, and implement it to solve for your needs. In the complex process that is implementing a food and beverage program in commercial buildings, Zuul has found that the best outcomes come from filling the role of a true partner that shares your goals – working together to provide value to your tenants and ensure operational success in your buildings.
And we’re always looking for new partners! Speak to your HqO account representative about enabling the Zuul Market integration in your buildings, or reach out directly to [email protected] to get the conversation started.
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