Whether it’s a constantly stocked stash of biscuits, a lunchtime feast every Friday or a partnership with a local cafe, if you run your own business and have employees, there are many benefits to be had from providing your team members with free a supply of food.
In this article, 1st formations – the uk’s premier company formation agent– look at why you should ensure that your staff are well fed. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
1. Save your employees some money
Lunching doesn’t come cheap. According to a 2024 survey from Instantprint the average person spends £1,092 a year on their lunch. A huge amount of money – especially when you consider we are in a cost-of-living crisis.
As a business owner, you will want to do everything that you can to make sure employees are focused on the job. This includes removing any stresses that you can, such as financial.
Of course, the most immediate way you can positively impact your employees’ monetary situation is to pay a good, fair wage. However, you can also alleviate some financial pressure by hosting regular team lunches, saving your employees the significant cost of their afternoon meal.
2. Keep the team in the office
As the day wears on and lunch is but a distant memory, the hungrier members of your team may be inclined to slink away from their immediate tasks to satisfy their rumbling stomachs. How far they need to travel to do this, and the time it takes, depends on you.
With a fully stocked snack cupboard (healthy snacks, obviously), their foraging should take no more than a minute or so. But, if you have neglected to provide free tasty treats, a trip to the nearest supermarket will be in order – which could take… who knows how long.
Prevent non-official breaks and illegitimate dalliances away from the office. Ensure food is always on hand when your ravenous employees want it.
3. Reduce absence with healthy food
The latest data from The Office for National Statistics shows that 185.6 million working hours were lost in 2022 because of work absence, a record high. This is a big problem for UK SMEs.
Your employees will get sick from time to time, and whilst there’s nothing you can do to wholly prevent this, you can improve the chances of them staying fit and healthy by providing them with smart food choices throughout the working week.
By offering up an unlimited supply of fruit, nutritional lunches, and healthy snacks, you can steer your team away from fast, unhealthy food – that will ultimately do more harm than good – and towards more nourishing fare that will help them keep in good physical condition.
4. Feed a team
Eating with other people is a bonding experience. By putting on free food and encouraging your team to get together on their breaks, you can help foster an inclusive team environment that will take your company culture to the next level.
It gives staff members a chance to interact with colleagues in a way that isn’t focused on work and allows people who don’t normally connect during the working day to come together in a relaxed environment.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, eating communally can boost morale and allow team members to get to know each other away from their official roles within the business. Food is a leveller, use this to your advantage and build a team that works and socialises brilliantly together.
5. A fundamental benefit
In this competitive job market, you need to do everything you can to retain your top people and attract new talent to your business. As well as your core job offering (the position and the salary), the perks that you are able to offer play a fundamental role in doing this.
And whilst it may not be top of the perks list (hello generous holiday allowance, bonus schemes, health insurance and subsidised gym memberships), free food – in any form – is a fantastic benefit that you can offer your employees and prospective employees.
People take their food very seriously. By arranging complementary meals and unlimited snacking opportunities, you are demonstrating that you care about the individuals who work for you by giving them one of the essential things they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
6. Give them energy
People get tired. Food provides energy. It’s as simple as that.
When running your own business, you should do everything you can to allow your team to do the best possible job. This might entail buying the latest piece of equipment, providing cutting-edge training, alleviating factors that stop good work, and yes – helping your team maintain the energy levels that they need.
Food is the elemental way that we get energy. Giving sustenance to your team, as and when they need it is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to getting the best from your people. One of your key roles as a business owner is to provide the tools that assist people in doing their jobs. Food is one of these tools.
So, there you have it.
That’s 6 delicious reasons why you should provide free food to your team.
There are many ways that you can provide food for your employees. Regular team meals, breakfast supplies, fruit bowls that are constantly topped up, cupboards stocked with healthy snacks, in-house cookery sessions (a great team-building activity if you have the facilities!), and group trips to local cafes and restaurants. There are as many opportunities as there are types of cuisine.
We hope this article has given you an appetite for ensuring that free food is available to your team as and when they want it. Thanks for reading.