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Meal Programs as a Benefit: How to Get Your Organization on Board

Shawna Westmoreland

Shawna Westmoreland

August 18, 2022

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With open enrollment just around the corner, many companies are evaluating their benefits options and reviewing budgets to see which health insurance packages and employee perks to offer. Food programs and catered meals for your team is a great benefit that allows for connection, increases engagement, boosts productivity, attracts new talent, and keeps employees happy. Notice that we said “benefit”, not “perk”. That is because meal programs are bigger than just a nice to have. They ultimately “benefit” not only the employee but also the business by creating a stronger company culture and consequently a stronger organization. In a survey, 48% of respondents said they’d consider company perks like snacks when looking for a new job and 67% of people who get free meals at work report being very satisfied with their jobs.

If you’re running a People Team and are exploring health coverage and wellness platforms for employees, you can go even further by bringing on additional benefits that also allow your team to care for themselves. Healthy workers can give their all every day, which translates to better results for the business. There are obvious health benefits of offering nutritious food perks at your organization. Research has shown a clear correlation between consuming certain foods and increased brainpower. In essence, an energized brain is a productive brain. 

We know how challenging it can be for business owners and senior leadership to find effective ways to improve workplace culture and employee engagement. To meet the needs of their employees, businesses are searching for new innovative benefits that foster an engaged, productive, connected, collaborative, and overall thriving work environment. Providing free food through office catering, snacks, and shared meal experiences is one easy benefit solution to help address those needs.

Now, while we may have touched on why food programs have great value as part of your company benefits program, it is another thing to actually sell to your company leadership on why they should invest in meal programs. Read on for tips on how to get company leadership on board!

Share The Benefits of Catered Meals

To start you can create a presentation or proposal that explains what meal programs can do for the company and the value they bring to employees. It’s essential to be confident about what you’re saying, so do your research on other companies that have succeeded in their free food initiatives. Take it from Bret Bonnet, co-founder and president of Quality Logo Products in Chicago. “Food is love. And since we love our employees so much, we make sure they’re all well-fed” by giving each department a food allowance. “Cater2.me has been able to get our employees from all different departments together, to get away from our desks, recharge, and be able to return to our work, happy and full.” —Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist, Frame.io

Use data and insights to your advantage since it is proven that there is a correlation between catered meals and employee satisfaction. You can also mention these top benefits of catering meals:

Organize a Lunch and Learn

Having a company lunch and learn is another way to show off how delicious catered meals can be beneficial, plus it’ll be more engaging, and your senior leadership team can experience it for themselves! It’s also a good opportunity to share how food brings people together and strengthens relationships. To prove your point, throw an amazing catered backyard BBQ with your executives and colleagues. They’ll see how food creates strong bonds and even sparks creativity! What’s not to love about amazing weather, great people, and good food? In a survey, more than 55 percent of respondents said food in the workplace makes them feel appreciated. There’s no doubt that catering meals to your team is a great way to build a strong company culture and bring the team together.

Analyze Budgets

Making plans for catered meals can be tedious, especially when you’re working with a strict budget. However, when you know your company’s spending limit on employee perks and benefits, everything is easier and more manageable. Based on the budget for the year, provide suggestions on which catered meal program would work best for the company. Cater2.me Group Ordering has both fixed and flexible pricing options, allowing you to choose what works best for your team and budget. This means you’ll only pay for the meals you need, making it more convenient and cost-friendly for you. You can also include one-off events and celebrations in your budget for employee milestones and times like Christmas or Thanksgiving. This is a great way to get the team together, reward your staff and get them excited for the holiday season! 

Get Feedback From Employees

A poll is a great way to get your employees involved and hear what they think. The employees are the driving force behind a company, and without them, a company can’t succeed. Knowing how they feel and what they want is important when it comes to retaining them. Employees can vote on what kind of cuisine they like, or if they prefer breakfast, lunch, or both. You can also gauge their satisfaction level with current food offerings or benefits to determine any gaps you may need to fill. Leadership will be able to better quantify the investment have a more clear understanding of the employees’ preferences and expectations.


It’s clear that offering catered meals to employees has many benefits. Being confident, researching, and analyzing budgets are great ways to approach leadership about meal programs. As you approach your open enrollment period, consider a Cater2.me meal program that will positively contribute to your company culture, boost morale, and provide a sense of community. Click here to get started!

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“Cater2.me has been able to get our employees from all different departments together, to get away from our desks, recharge, and be able to return to our work, happy and full.”

—Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist, Frame.io