The pandemic is changing the work day in Food & Beverage

Even before the pandemic talent attraction and retention for this industry was challenging. People have preconceived ideas about the food processing industry–hair nets, factories, draconian processes–that sort of thing!

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Meanwhile, the food service/restaurant world is deemed as one that you enter while at school as a stop gap, on the path to join a different industry once school is over. The reality is, the food service industry offers ‘careers’ not just a part-time job. Well paid, meaningful work that leads to a fulfilling life, we have proof!

RelatedAddressing the talent attraction issue might be easier than you think.

The pandemic has forced all businesses to adapt. It forced people to work from home for the first time in many cases. While this subject has been discussed for years across the boardroom table by senior management as a ‘perk’ to attract talent. For many the idea was ‘shelved’, until now. Its amazing what can be done as a matter of survival….

Pepsico just announced the end of the 9-5 traditional work day.  The global food and beverage giant has removed official start and end times to give employees autonomy around how they structure their day.

This is all about the modern workforce, “What we’ve managed to achieve is a fundamental shift to complete and utter trust in our people – and I truly believe this has to be a leadership mindset” said HR Director Anita Patrick.

This is a massive step forward for the food industry and I hope this paves the way for other organizations to follow in their footsteps. Of course, like in other industries there are positions that can’t be done from home–important roles that are fundamental to the running of a food plant–but is there a way to give these employees autonomy over their work day, to show them ‘trust’, the same as to the ones performing their duties at home?

The food industry is such an important one–we all eat–and there is so much work to do in public health, sustainability, food waste just for starters.

We need young, smart, ambitious people to explore the career paths in the food & beverage industry. I think the pandemic is forcing the industry to explore its options regarding workforce planning and this will support our mission to attract and retain talent.

What do you think?

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