Jon Forkerudseter has an interesting background. He studied marketing communication at BI (Norwegian Business School), has worked as a financial adviser and, not least, he founded and ran Gastro Catering for ten years. In 2019, he and his partners sold the company to 4Service, and today Jon Forkerudseter is sales director for business development.
“I’m lucky enough to have a job in which few days are the same. My ideal working day includes meetings with people internally and out in the market,” says Jon Forkerudseter.
Besides meetings, his job includes everything from sales pitches and contracts to customer follow-up and development.
“Our broad customer portfolio makes everything even more exciting!
Another exciting aspect of business development is the opportunity to influence the development in both jobs and cities, since we’re constantly working to understand what everyday life will look like in five to ten years’ time,” Jon Forkerudseter explains. How will people live and work? What and where will they eat during working hours? Where does the line go between work and leisure time? Quite naturally, no one can give 100 per cent correct answers to these questions. The secret, in order to get close to an accurate picture, is to think broadly and not to focus on predetermined answers or wishes.
2021 was a year that will be hard to forget. With restrictions on food service, regular frequent use of home offices and little travel, it was difficult to separate trends from vital necessities.
“As human beings, we’re social animals. This is part of our DNA; as we’ve always shared stories around the campfires. That’s why the question wasn’t whether we were going back to the office or not, but rather what we would be going back to.”
4Service has always met the future with open arms. The company has invested where others have hesitated and benefited from the opportunities this mindset presents.
“I’m pretty sure that the future is flexible,” says Jon Forkerudseter.
This flexibility particularly concerns the office landscape.
“The meals eaten at the many offices in Norway will no longer be limited to lunch. For some time, we’ve seen how breakfast is also served, and I think this will be a rising trend in the years to come. People will eat whenever they want, with a preference for food that is healthy, tastes good and, not least, provides the right energy to complete the working day.”
This creates exciting opportunities for a service company like 4Service.
“We can see how Monday and Friday are becoming the big working-from-home days. We therefore need extra focus on these days, to give people a real kickstart to the week. We want them to prioritise going into the office, even on these days. Mondays don’t always have to be blue,” he chuckles.
Good planning is essential to ensure that our offers match customers’ requirements. Traditional weekly schedules are important, of course, but the digital opportunities are just as interesting.
“We use an app to manage the day-to-day schedules of large and small office workspaces.” Technology is naturally not a trend in itself, but using it to make the user experience better, and not just adding technology for its own sake, is a current trend that will be further amplified in the future.
The app can be used, among other things, to pay for and order whatever you need, there and then.
“We consider it important to treat the data we collect through the app with respect, while considering the opportunities it will give us. It goes without saying that the more we understand about what customers really need, the better we can help them.”
A naturally inquisitive internal culture has been of great benefit to 4Service over the years. It will be just as vital in the years to come, according to Jon Forkerudseter.
“We’ve always been open and willing to test new opportunities. I’m therefore convinced that we’re the best in the industry when it comes to adaptability and using technology for the benefit of our various clients.”
When it comes to the future, sustainability is just as important as technology.
"We’re good at using raw ingredients today, and in future we need to be even better at using fruit and vegetables. That said, it’s important not to impose a diet they don’t want on our customers.”
Fortunately, Norwegian palates are changing. Trends in the restaurant industry support that claim:
"Some of the very best and most exciting restaurants divide the year into the four natural seasons. They operate with military precision and take their guests on a journey in food, time and positive experiences. There’s nothing to prevent this from becoming the norm for our office complexes in the future,” concludes an optimistic Jon Forkerudseter.