Lunch and Snacks Ideas
Food brings people together. There’s something in gathering around a table, sharing stories and information alongside a bite to eat. It’s a well-liked habit that can be transferred from the classic family to the office one with a bit of planning and patience.
Offering a free lunch, regardless of what shape it takes, is one of the employee perks that you should consider offering. Don’t rely solely on this, however; the road to making your staff happy and content is long and winding. The trends in employee benefits show that what they’re looking for is a sense of purpose and belonging, both pillars of a healthy company culture.
The first thing to start with is designating a special lunch area. According to a study, 76% of employees prefer the place where they have lunch to be separated from the office. Moreover, another research has found out that a third of British employees choose to have their lunch at their desk, powering through their tasks. Having a lunch area will have a double function, both with heightened practical purposes. On the one hand, it will isolate all the cuisine aromas, on the other it will serve as a gathering location and communication hub, helping people unwind and bond more. Win-win.
One easy way of implementing this employee perk is by making use of the available catering services. To choose the right one, take into consideration factors such as the service’s credentials and offers, your staff’s preferences, and, of course, the available budget. Make sure to do the proper research before choosing the catering company that best fits yours.
Another way to go when delving into the lunch benefit is organizing indoor company events. Sounds a bit too formal, because in fact, these are supposed to be simple gatherings in the lunch area, where everyone is welcome to bring their favourite food. Be it a casserole, cheesy bread fingers, cookies, or homemade baklava, there’s no doubt that everyone will enjoy sharing their cooking skills. Plus, this will once again be reason for increasing communication and strengthen relationships. If you’re intrigued and would like to set up such an event, you can just follow the guidelines for organizing community food festivals.
However, setting up a company event is not a walk in the park, so it cannot be done every single day. If you’d like to form a company habit in the feeding department, it might be a good idea to inaugurate a certain spot for daily treats. Follow the example of the watercooler and set up a snack table, covered with various goodies. This can go from cheese crackers, pretzels and peanuts, all the way to sandwich or party platters. Once again, it all comes down to the people’s choices and your budget.
The way some companies implemented the “daily treat” lunch idea was through the well-liked “fruit days”. This also brings a healthier type of nourishment, that contributes to the physical wellness of the employees, which has a direct link to the mental one. Couple this with a solid healthcare plan, and you’ll be sure to show your employees the importance that they have for the company. A very important thing to mention here is that, besides thoroughly checking the origin of the fruit you’re sharing with your staff, you should also secure a procedure for dealing with leftovers. Considering the amount of waste created nowadays by throwing away produce, it’s vital to put in all the efforts to reduce it as much as possible.
It’s recommended to have a great variety of food available, to avoid the all-present risk of becoming boring. If they’re not enticed by what’s on the table, they’ll most likely avoid it. People lose their interest extremely easily, and that translates, once again, into wasted food. Since we’ve established that that’s to be prevented, a diverse meal plan should be drafted. It’s better to plan ahead than find yourself in a distressing situation.
When writing up said meal plan, an additional aspect that you should pay extra attention to is your staff’s dietary restrictions. Investigate whether there are employees who have conditions such as lactose or gluten intolerance, are vegan or vegetarian, who have to avoid foods that are high in sugar, or have allergies. On top of that, you have to consider the restrictions that certain religions impose (e.g. kosher, halal etc.).
Done properly, a free lunch benefit for a company’s employees can cement relationships inside the business family. Plus, it will represent a sign of care and responsibility from the company towards the people who make it run. It’s definitely worth considering and implementing conscientiously.