Healthy Meal Delivery Service Finds a Skilled, Reliable Workforce
Amid a restaurant labor shortage, PRIDE Industries provides employees for kitchen and warehouse positions for MealPro, a company that makes healthy eating easy and affordable. Customers can either order from fitness-specific diet plans like keto meals, choose favorites from an a-la-carte menu, or they can create custom meals from scratch. If customers have medical conditions, heart-healthy meals and low-sodium meals, among others, are available
MealPro delivers their pre-made meals to customers’ doorsteps nationwide using major carriers. Customers who live close to one of MealPro’s stores can pick up meal boxes at their convenience, or one of the company’s courteous drivers will deliver the packaged meals.
The Challenge: Restaurant Labor Shortage
Like many businesses in the food industry, MealPro is impacted by a significant restaurant labor shortage, low retention rates, and high absenteeism. The turnover rate in the food service industry hovers around 75 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To get its product to customers, MealPro needs a workforce that is skilled, motivated, and reliable in the kitchen and in its delivery service.
“The restaurant labor shortage is real, and we fish in the same talent pond,” said Andrew Sartori, MealPro’s Founder and CEO. “We need employees who show up on time and take their jobs seriously.”
The Solution: A Reliable, Skilled Workforce
To bridge the talent gaps MealPro turned to PRIDE Industries. PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise with a mission to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The organization is now a vital partner for MealPro in addressing its workforce needs.
“The employees we hire from PRIDE Industries come to work on time and are happy to be here,” said Sartori. “They are very detail oriented. In fact, one of the gentlemen we hired can cross-reference a list with 500 items. He is a phenomenal worker.”
MealPro is so Impressed by PRIDE Industries’ mission and the quality of its employees that Satori extended the partnership to include Chef Dan Catanio’s Culinary Staples Foundation. Chef Catanio developed a program to train youth with disabilities in Sacramento and Placer counties for employment in the culinary field, with a particular focus on jobs in the food service industry.
“Our goal is to help give our students the skills and confidence they need to work in restaurants and other food service businesses,” said Chef Catanio.
The Result: A Delicious Partnership
The partnership between MealPro, Culinary Staples, and PRIDE Industries is generating a reliable talent pool for MealPro and beyond. Contrary to misconceptions, there are proven business benefits to hiring people with disabilities. Research published by the National Institutes of Health found that businesses that hire people with disabilities measurably improve profitability due to lower turnover and long-term retention, reliability, punctuality, productivity, and customer loyalty and satisfaction.
This collaboration not only improved the company’s operations but also inspired it to contribute to the economic health of the region by offering culinary training opportunities to youth with disabilities. The positive impact on employees, business performance, and the local community underscores the value of such partnerships in the food industry.