7 Benefits of Providing Free Meals to Employees

Nov 16

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Providing free meals to employees takes a little time and money upfront, but it’s so worth it! Offering employee lunches to your workforce comes with benefits like:

  • Increased Employee Focus and Productivity
  • Increased Employee Retention
  • Wonderful New Hires
  • Strong Social Bonds
  • Positive Company Culture and Loyalty
  • Cost Savings
  • Community Involvement

Below we review each of these benefits in more detail!

1. Increased employee focus and productivity

Employees find it easier to focus and be productive when lunch is provided by their employer because it means they don’t have to worry about what they are going to eat. When food isn’t on their to-do list, they can focus on the task at hand right up until lunch is served.

Ordering lunch for your employees also means your employees are more likely to eat, and they are more likely to eat healthy food. Employees who might have skipped lunch or grabbed a burger and fries will have more energy to focus in the afternoon when things like soup, salad, or sandwiches are provided in the office.

2. Wonderful new hires

Free food at work can be a great way to entice new hires to come work for your company because it’s a perk people actually want. It means they don’t have to worry about what they are going to eat for lunch, but it also speaks volumes about how management treats everyone in the office. Offering free lunch shows that you care about your employees, and people want to work for a place that cares about their health and wellness.

3. Increased employee retention

Employee turnover costs money and time. Not to mention, it causes plenty of headaches.

Providing free lunches is one of the ways to tackle the employee retention problem. Companies that offer free food for employees have happier employees who are more satisfied with their jobs. According to one study, 67% of employees who have access to free food say they are extremely or very happy with their current job. That’s up from 56% of employees who say the same thing, but don’t have food provided by their employer.

Employees are even more likely to be satisfied with their job when they feel like the people in charge care about them as individuals. Poll your employees on their preferences so everyone gets to eat a lunch they are excited about.

4. Strong social bonds

If you want employees to collaborate openly and comfortably, they have to get to know each other personally – not just professionally. Food is a great way to do that!

Employer-provided meals encourage employees to stay in the office to eat, which means they are more likely to socialize with each other. It gives everyone a chance to talk to their coworkers about things like hobbies, vacations, and families, but it also gives them a chance to socialize with people in other departments they normally don’t get to see during the day.

5. Positive company culture and loyalty

Free lunch is a great way to increase engagement, and in turn, you’ll enhance your company culture and employee loyalty as well. It creates a culture of gathering together over a meal, and that kind of culture creates loyal employees who are likely to speak highly of your business to customers, professional connections, friends, and family.

6. Cost savings

Think buying meals for employees is going to cost a lot of money? It’s true that it costs money upfront, but it ultimately ends up saving you money. The average off-site lunch is an hour, while an on-site lunch is just half an hour. That means your employees can go back to work faster. With affordable catering options, the cost savings per employee could be significant.

For example, the cost breakdown of buying an office worker a lunch in New York might look like this:

  • Average off-site lunch duration: 1 hour
  • Average on-site lunch duration: 1/2 hour
  • Time savings: 1/2 hour
  • Average office worker salary in New York: $20 / hour
  • Price of catered lunch: $8 / person
  • Cost savings per employee: $2

You could potentially save even more with a recurring meal plans. Thriver’s Food and Kitchen services allow you to curate lunches from your city’s best food providers, customize options based on your company’s values, and more.

7. Community involvement

Great businesses support their local communities. By ordering meals to your office, you can support restaurants in your area!

Looking for a simple way to increase productivity, save some money, and make everyone in the office a little happier? Consider providing free meals to your employees. Once everyone gets used to the convenience of having free food in the office, and you see how it impacts your bottom line, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

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