#HR Trends and Insights

Free food: Luring workers back to the office

September 21, 2021

Companies bring workers back with food

A way to an employee’s heart is through their stomach. That’s what many companies are banking on as they continue to get employees back to the office. While free food was once a popular benefit mainly at tech companies, businesses of all shapes and sizes are offering meals or food subsidies as a work perk to get people to commit to going back to the office.

Companies believe food brings workers back

Goldman Sachs began offering free meals last year because many of the restaurants nearby had closed, according to CNBC. Others are going ahead and promising free food to get people to come back to the office, even if the bill of feeding everyone is high. Working remotely has scored high on various surveys and polls, so companies are compelled to find new ways to get employees working at the office full time or with a hybrid schedule.

There are many benefits to offer, but one that has almost universal appeal is food. Employers believe having people in the office will boost in-person collaboration along with other benefits. Food helps create a sense of community among coworkers. It can also help employees skip long lines and avoid situations that may put them at risk for COVID-19.

Poor eating habits during COVID

Before COVID, about 32 percent of companies offered free food to employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. It’s a perk that pays off, with 67 percent of employees saying they were very happy at their jobs, with another 48 percent saying it would help them decide where they wanted to work, according to Peapod.

Since the pandemic began, eating habits have trended downward. Workers are eating more in general and having pre-packaged foods more than they did before. Poor eating habits have been linked to a drop in productivity, with one study showing a 66 percent drop when people ate poorly.

Ticket Restaurant provides many food choices

Edenred’s Ticket Restaurant can provide several food options to benefit employees and your company. Ticket Restaurant acts as a virtual cafeteria for your employees. The company provides the funds on prepaid cards so employees can use the funds in local restaurants, grocery stores, and even in food-delivery apps. Best of all, you have complete control over how the money is spent.

Do you think adding food perks to your benefits packages will bring your employees back to the office? If so, book a meeting with us so we can help find the best option for you.

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