#HR Trends and Insights

Food is trending as more companies return to the office

April 21, 2022

3 tips for stocking an office kitchen

As businesses reopen their offices, losing strong employees have become more of a concern than ever before. Many are adopting new practices to make the office more appealing to returning employees.

One popular example is food. Numerous companies are stocking their kitchens with attractive food and beverage options. If you’re an employer focusing on ways to bring your workers back to the office, creating an office kitchen is an excellent option to consider.

Start with the basics when developing a plan to stock the office kitchen and then go from there. Here are some tips on how to stock a kitchen so your employees will love being in the office again.

1 – Set a budget

You may want to budget more than you have in the past when restocking your office kitchen. That is especially true if you try to impress your current employees and want a quality kitchen available to show potential hires.

There are a few ways to impress workers while keeping a realistic budget. Those include:

  • Identifying areas where you can transfer money from other expenses to your kitchen budget.
  • Finding food items that may be low in price but high in appeal, such as unique tea selections and affordable but popular snacks.
  • Investing in equipment that may have a high immediate high cost but can allow you to offer desirable food options for a low price in the long run. An innovative coffee machine is a good example.

Most importantly, remember that you can reassess your budget after creating a new kitchen and stocking policies. If you are spending more than is reasonable, adjust your budget accordingly.

2 – Consider what to stock

You must have food your employees want. If not, there’s no sense wasting money in a company kitchen.

An excellent first step is to assess what is currently available. It’s always good to talk to your employees to get some ideas on what they want. Consider what you can add without breaking your budget. Options to consider include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Condiments and spices
  • Low-cost but highly desirable beverages, such as “fancy” bottled water, seltzer, juices, and milk
  • Cutlery
  • Other essential office supplies

It’s essential to consider your overall office culture and workforce demographics when choosing what to add to your office kitchen. The examples above are standard and basic. When it comes time to decide what you can afford that will make your office stand out compared to others, your employees will be the best place to find answers.

For example, maybe your organization is staffed mainly by younger people. An ice cream machine might be an unconventional item that your workers would appreciate. On the other hand, if your workforce consists mainly of older people who might be more health-conscious, you may be better off stocking your kitchen with healthy snacks and fruits and vegetables.

3 – Invest in equipment

You want to stock your office kitchen with the best equipment possible. When making your initial purchases, it may cost more than you budgeted. But stocking an office kitchen with good equipment can help you save money over time as well.

In fact, many people make the mistake of thinking they can enjoy those benefits while stocking kitchens with cheaper equipment. While an inexpensive coffee maker or microwave might help you save money at first, it could also break or need repairs because of the inferior quality. You could make up for the cheap initial price tag by paying more for repairs or a replacement over the long run. 

Just remember that the goal is to make your office kitchen both appealing and unique. You want to minimize spending while also ensuring your office kitchen is filled with items that distinctly appeal to your workers.

Other food options

While an office kitchen is a great way to connect with your employees, there are other ways too. Employees love to eat at their convenience or within a group, so a meal allowance program would also make your employees happy.

Edenred’s Ticket Restaurant is a meal allowance program that’s a great meal perk to add to your benefits package. Employees will receive a prepaid card that your company funds. You have full control on the amount they can spend and where they can spend it. They can pick from restaurants, grocery stores, and food delivery apps. It’s a low-cost program that allows your employees to order food or groceries at any time. It’s also a great program for all types of workplaces, including those with remote workers.

We want to help you add meal perks to your benefits package. Schedule a meeting with us today.

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