Perks: Food & Drinks for Staff


Today, many companies are offering their employees the perk of free food and drinks. Google, for example, offers sushi and fresh espresso. Google helped spark the idea of catered meals, and it has now spread to other Internet companies such as Facebook. Most of these companies go to local restaurants to provide catered lunches. Many non-tech companies are now trying to implement catered lunches and provide free food and drinks in order to attract employees and retain employees, who may hear about these job perks from their friends who work at these tech companies. Local caterers still stay their business is dominated by the tech industry, but this is beginning to change, and new clients are beginning to emerge. While tech companies still make up 75% of its client base, this is down from approximately 95% a year ago. This may continue to decrease, although if economic conditions worsen, these non-tech companies will not hesitate to cut the catering program. Since it is so ingrained in the tech world, it should continue to remain as a staple employee perk.

Advantages to Employees

Fully stocked kitchens, free food and drinks, and catered lunches are a great privilege for employees. It means they do not have to bring a lunch from home, saving them from having to go to the grocery store to buy various items for lunch, ultimately saving them money. It also saves time, as employees do not need to make their lunch the night before or in the morning. This allows them to spend more time with their family, and potentially sleep in a bit longer in the mornings. They also do not need to worry about other employees eating their lunch, either by accident or on purpose, at work. Thus, a catered lunch can create a trusting work environment and develop stronger employee relationships. Some employees who are not offered free lunches or food go out for lunch rather than making their own from home. While this saves them the time in the morning or the night before, it is more expensive than making their own lunch, thus costing them more money. This also requires employees to leave work. If they choose to drive, it costs them more in gas. It also takes time out of their work day. By eating a catered lunch, employees can continue to work and eat at the same time if they choose to.

Advantages to Employers

There are many advantages to employers who offer free food and drinks to their employees. By offering a catered lunch, usually at set time each day, it fosters a sense of team culture by allowing employees to eat together and take breaks at the same time. This allows them to interact and talk about work or non-work related subjects. It allows employees to manage their workday better, since they do not need to waste time or effort seeking out their food options on a daily basis. This makes for a more productive employee, which benefits the company. Catered lunches also help offer healthier food options to employees. Many employees who go out for lunch will ultimately end up at fast food restaurants, most of which offer poor healthy food selections. By providing healthy food options, it not only keeps their employees healthier (making them more productive on a daily basis), it gives them more energy later in the day. This could make the difference between a sluggish group during an afternoon meeting and an energetic team that is full of ideas and motivation. It is also a very nice job perk, which gives employers a better chance of recruiting and retaining employees.

Pros & Cons

When looking at possible job opportunities it is always a good idea to write down a pros and cons list. This can help you to determine what aspects of the job you might like and what aspects you may want to change.

Some important job aspects to consider include possible travel, team outings, casual attire, flexible hours, working from home and more.

Workplace Culture

A workplace culture can have a big impact on your everyday life. If you enjoy work you will be more likely to perform better and stay interested in the tasks at hand.

Some of the ways that companies today are helping to foster a positive work environment is to allow employees access to free food and drink, showers, gym memberships, nap areas and gaming rooms.