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Free Lunches Are Your Company’s Secret Financial Weapon

Brigitte Xu

October 24, 2023


Did you know that employee turnover can cost businesses up to 33% of an employee’s annual salary? With such high stakes, it’s no doubt that HR professionals are always on the hunt for strategies to enhance the employee experience and reduce these costs. One impactful strategy, often overlooked, is providing meals for employees.

Nutritious Meals Boost Focus

The daily hustle of the corporate world can lead to long hours and skipped meals. But when companies such as Google began offering free meals, they identified a notable increase in employee happiness and productivity. This is backed by scientific evidence, which suggests that nutrition directly affects brain functions, impacting everything from focus to decision-making. Moreover, American workers, who typically take a 30-minute lunch break, are more likely to reduce this downtime if meals are available on-site, leading to more consistent and uninterrupted work sessions. It’s a win-win for employees *and* businesses!

Collective Breaks Foster Employee Satisfaction

Meals are more than just sustenance; they are an opportunity for bonding due to opportunities for increased collaboration. This principle is extended to catered meals, providing a platform for cross-departmental interaction and bolstering team cohesion. On the satisfaction front, perks such as free meals help employees feel more aligned with company values and reduce turnover.

Catering Just Makes Financial Sense

While there are upfront costs associated with catered meals, there are many long-term benefits. For example, paying one delivery fee for everyone makes more sense than individual employees each paying for delivery on individual orders. Whether meals are covered or subsidized, catering leads to cost savings across the board. Furthermore, establishing long-term partnerships can lead to even more cost reductions. When weighed against the potential uptick in productivity, improved team dynamics, and reduction in turnover costs, the ROI of catered meals becomes clear.

The decision to invest in catered meals is multifaceted, touching on various aspects of the employee experience. Companies looking to boost their team’s well-being, cohesion, and productivity would do well to consider this culinary avenue.



“ 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,