Localimus survey: while mandatory telework is back on the table, company lunches are at 70% of their pre-pandemic level


Localimus survey: while mandatory telework is back on the table, company lunches are at 70% of their pre-pandemic level

Since the Codeco meeting on Tuesday October 26th, the number of company lunches has fallen by 12%

In the run-up to today’s Codeco, Localimus, the start-up that has developed a digital company restaurant, has drawn up the trends in so-called “external” company catering. It shows that corporate catering via external caterers is currently operating at about 70% of its pre-pandemic level. In March 2020, when the lockdown was imposed, Localimus saw an overnight drop of over 91% in the number of lunches ordered. 

Localimus drew these trends based on orders placed with its digital company restaurants. To compare current trends with pre-pandemic trends, the start-up relied on an anonymised database of customers from before the crisis and today. Localimus’ catering solution is mainly used by companies with more than 100 employees. The company manages the orders of 70,000 employees and relies on a network of some 130 external caterers. 

The impact of decisions

In February 2020, just before the lockdown, Localimus had a record number of corporate lunch orders. After 18 March, the rate of use dropped overnight to just under 9%. “During the severe lockdown, our users were only from key sectors, such as pharmaceuticals,” explains Morgan Vanderelst, founder of Localimus. Today, compared to the pre-pandemic period, Localimus is seeing a corporate lunch order rate that is roughly 70% of the pre-corona era. 

Last October, Localimus was even seeing an order rate of up to 84% of the pre-pandemic level, but this has dropped since the Codeco on October 26th. “We can almost instantly see the impact of our government’s decisions on teleworking. The number of lunch orders, for example, has already fallen by 12% since the end of October,” says Morgan. 

A difficult time for some caterers

Today, Localimus works with some 130 local caterers to serve lunch to its customers. Before the crisis, there were 150. “Unfortunately, some of the caterers in our network have had to close the books. Paradoxically, other caterers were able to increase their turnover last year because they took over the clients of colleagues who had decided to close temporarily,” says Morgan.  

The ham and cheese sandwich, unchallenged

On a positive note, Localimus analysed a sample of 1,879 orders from September 2021 to establish a top 3 of the most popular lunches. The ham and cheese sandwich is by far the most ordered lunch (9.8% of total orders), followed by the Caesar salad (5.2%). The top three is completed by the américain préparé sandwich (4.6%).

About Localimus

Localimus is a young, fast-growing Belgian company that has developed a digital company restaurant. This innovative solution allows companies to offer their employees fast, complete and varied catering. Localimus takes care of the entire process of corporate catering, including the administrative follow-up, from ordering to payment, including the management of caterers and the organisation of menus. 

Advocating local, varied and sustainable catering, Localimus brings companies closer to local caterers. Founded in 2013, the Belgian start-up has grown by 120% per year and now has more than 100 clients among the largest companies. For more information: https://www.localimus.com/