They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but maybe there should be. More and more businesses are beginning to make free meals a part of their employee benefit package, and it’s not just an issue of altruism. Offering free lunch to your staff can have numerous positive effects on your business model. Here are four reasons why a meal program can benefit your bottom line.
It Can Provide a Boost to Your Company Culture
Creating a sense of community among your employees can be a great way to improve your company’s success, both in terms of productivity and drawing in the best new staff. Employees are going to be more likely to give their all when they know that a successful job will make their friend’s life easier, and there’s no better way to develop friendships than breaking bread together. When you offer on-site meals gratis, you’re encouraging your staff to engage with one another outside of meetings and email chains. You might even consider establishing scheduled family-style dinners to maximize the effect.
It Can Make Your Workplace More Efficient
Scheduling a lunch break or coffee run doesn’t just involve the time spent at the destination but the time wasted on transit as well. If your employees are on salary, you’re losing valuable time and money, and they’re forced to sit in traffic when they could be doing something productive. Having options on-premises like hamburgers made with grass-fed beef and Kaiser buns means that your staff can reduce their frustrating downtime. They’ll also have more leverage to make lunch breaks work on their schedule.
It Can Improve Your Recruitment Success
By 2020, almost half of the work force will be composed of millennials, and there are some indications that what they look for in a job is different than the expectations of their parents. For millennials, smaller perks can make a big difference on what job offer they decide to pursue. A study found that 48% of millennials could be persuaded to a company’s hiring pitched based off of smaller perks like free snacks, and 67% of employees whose employers provide them with free food say they’re satisfied with their jobs. It may be a small thing, but it could be the little boost you need to get the best staff.
It Can Help Employees Cross Department Lines
A free workplace lunch can help employees whose jobs directly affect one another to build stronger bonds. It can also facilitate creative channels between different departments. Different disciplines support different methods of thought, but understanding these fresh perspectives can help your teams bring new and fresh ideas to the table. The creative juices can flow more freely when social circles expand beyond the normal business hierarchy.
There may be an upfront cost to bringing free lunch or snacks to your staff, but it can pay dividends in the long term. You just have to think about the nature of your business and come up with a plan that suits the needs of your company.