Cafeteria Management Insights

Café Services Revitalizes Corporate Dining at Element Financial in Sparks, Maryland

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Café Services Revitalizes Corporate Dining at Element Financial in Sparks, Maryland

It’s been two months. Yet employees at Element Financial are still raving about the annual summer picnic in July, catered by Café Services, a corporate food service management provider to Maryland businesses and locations across the mid-Atlantic and New England.

“It was the most creative and well-orchestrated corporate event I’ve seen,” says Element Director of Administrative Services, Christine Clifford. “The barbequed beef brisket was unbelievably tender, and everything—the cornbread, salads, watermelon and grilled chicken…was all so fabulously fresh.”

Diners at Element can get used to this—the food quality, service and creativity, that is. Because for Café Services, Element’s new corporate food service management provider since June, wowing diners isn’t just a task reserved for special occasions—it’s an every-day priority.

“Café Services associates take a lot of pride in what they do, no matter what their role,” says Café Services field supervisor for the mid-Atlantic region, Stephen Cotoni. “Their desire to impress is reflective of our corporate culture, which emphasizes exceeding expectations, not just meeting them.”

Since opening doors in 1993, Café Services management has put a premium on attracting highly motivated culinary and service professionals with the right training and experience; but also a passion for food and customer service that’s a corporate hallmark. The payoff is the company’s remarkable ability to create lively, hospitable corporate dining environments that draw crowds and support customers’ business goals.

Need for Change Triggers Search for New, Corporate Food Service Management

Bigger lunch crowds and better business value was exactly what Christine Clifford wanted when she began looking at Café Services as a potential corporate food service management provider.

“When I started talking to Café Services, participation in our dining program was on the decline. At the same time, our subsidy was rising,”she explains. “Employees would walk into the cafeteria, take a look around, and walk right back out. It was time for a change.”

Visits to a few existing Café Services business accounts convinced Clifford that Café Services had what it takes to bring positive change to Element corporate dining.

“The difference in the demeanor and attitudes of the Café Services staff was clear as day,” says Clifford. “They looked empowered...the enthusiasm was palpable. It was obvious this was no ordinary food service management company.”

For Element, Café Services Improves Food Service Quality, Variety, Service and Value

Café Services officially became Element’s corporate food service management provider on June 22, 2015. Three months later, Clifford is pleased with the change.

“Partnering with Café Services is one of the best management decisions I’ve ever made,” says Clifford. “The food quality has increased 100-fold, the variety is amazing, and the staff is extraordinary. In the short time Café Services has been on board, we’ve cut our subsidy in half.”

One of the most noticeable changes at Element is the steady stream of diners that fill up the café at breakfast and lunch. Since Café Services joined Element, participation in food service has doubled.

Clifford says one of the biggest attractions is the food presentation. “It has bowled everyone over,” she says. “The food looks so good, many employees, including me, have started purchasing extra food to bring home after work for dinner. With the added revenue to the company, it’s been a win-win all around.”

One of the most popular spots in the café is the salad bar, which Café Services stocks daily with a different variety of fresh fruits, greens and proteins. Clifford has been especially impressed with the creativity of the prepared salads and freshness of the staples—like the tomatoes and salad greens.

“I look forward to going to the salad bar every day,” she says. “Everything is so appealing and there are so many choices…I have a hard time deciding what to eat!”

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