The epidemic has changed the usual order in many areas. One of these changes was the widespread use of the hybrid operating system. In a sense, this necessitated a change in offices. With the new office layout, changing employee requirements and increasing costs have made lunch expenses a heavy burden. In this context, employers have been looking for an alternative for a long time, where they can solve the lunch problem with less cost and at the same time make their employees happy. Seeing this need, Meal Box brought the concept of “Office Restaurants” to Turkey. The company, which transforms traditional dining halls into restaurants where employees can eat whatever they want, communicate and network, aims to generate 65 million dollars in revenue by taking a 1 percent share from the corporate food market with the said model. The cost of the change is 250-300 thousand TL Speaking on the subject, Meal Box CEO Murat Demirhan said that they opened the first of the model in Premier Kampüs Ofis, and that they will increase this number to 10, including outside of Istanbul. Demirhan related the origin story of the model in question as follows: “With the beginning of the return to offices, we have seen that employers who want to solve their lunch with less cost have reopened their cafeterias, which they closed during the pandemic. However, workplace cafeterias are not found attractive by employees with their general characteristics. Table d’hote dishes made in large pots are seen as tasteless and careless. For this reason, the employee who does not go to the cafeteria and wants to meet his lunch needs by himself, makes extra expenditures out of his pocket, inflicting losses not only on himself, but also on his employer due to the food service that is not consumed but paid for. Our goal was to find a solution that would make both parties happy, and it did. Thanks to the delicious meals in these restaurants, lunch breaks are once again more enjoyable.” According to the information given at the meeting, the cost of transforming a cafeteria varies around 250-300 thousand TL. In addition to fix and a la carte menus, the wages per employee in the new generation cafeterias where there are options from world cuisine are around 70 TL, including à la carte, if paid with MailPay, MealBox’s own card payment system.
Returns to home service
Meal Box, of which Hasan Aslanoba is among its investors, is starting its home-cooked package service, which it ended in 2017, as of next year. Explaining that they are in cooperation with a corporate company for this, Demirhan said that the food service services to corporate companies also continue and that they have 4 thousand subscriptions in this context. On the other hand, the company also carries out social responsibility projects. In this context, the company collaborating with the Soupda Tuzun Olsun Association has mediated the delivery of 41,250 meals to those in need since February 2020.
“We will earn 65 million dollars”
“According to the Food Manufacturers’ Associations Federation (YESİDEF), Turkey’s workforce today consists of 29 million people. The food service industry in Turkey is a gigantic industry with an annual turnover of 6.5 billion dollars, with catering, on-site catering, catering and takeaway services. Today, 4,000 companies provide services in this field and employ 1.5 million people. The food industry has grown even more with the opening of businesses after the pandemic. A 10-15 percent increase in capacity is expected by the end of the year. CEO Murat Demirhan said, “The Office Restaurants system will bring us an extra $65 million in revenue. Premium Office became our first restaurant. From now on, we will activate new office restaurants according to the demands. Next year, we will transform at least 10 more cafeterias and increase the number of office restaurants in Istanbul.”