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Food as a Benefit: How to Get Your Company on Board

Brigitte Xu

August 16, 2023

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Open enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s time for businesses to step up their benefits game. As many firms battle for top talent, offering free food for employees has become an enticing lure. Beyond health insurance and holidays, food is a crucial benefit that can foster connection, enhance productivity, and boost overall morale. 

More than Just a Perk: 

Don’t just see it as a “perk” – it’s an investment. Food programs aren’t just a casual bonus. They offer genuine advantages for both employees and the business. With 48% of people factoring in company perks like snacks when job hunting, and a whopping 67% feeling very satisfied at jobs that provide free food, the numbers speak for themselves. 

There are also health benefits to offering nutritious food perks at your organization. Research shows a clear correlation between consuming certain foods and increased brainpower. An energized brain is a productive brain, which translates to better results for the business.

Now, while there are many benefits to food programs, it is another thing to actually sell the program to your company leadership. Read on for tips on how to get company leadership on board!

Pitching the Power of Free Food

To start, you can create a presentation 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 offer free food for employees. 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.”

In addition, 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 catered meals can be beneficial. It’ll make lunch 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.

Smart Budgeting

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! 

Make the Business Case to Leadership

While free food is universally loved, you can make this clearer to leadership by underlining its impact. Compared to other sporadic benefits, meals are a daily reminder of a company’s care. Emphasize the correlation between free food and retaining top talent. When presenting your recommendation to leadership, highlight how it would improve the business. If you can prove that your top salesperson is more likely to come to the office and stay at the company when you offer food, the comparable cost of meals makes financial sense. 

As Ellen K., an Employee Experience Specialist at Frame.io says, “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.” 

Get Feedback From Employees

A poll is a great way to get your employees involved and hear what they think. 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 then be able to better quantify the investment and have a clearer understanding of the employees’ preferences and expectations.

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.

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