Because of ongoing high inflation, households are being forced to spend $371 more each and every month on the same goods and services they did last year. That means that you are waving goodbye to $4,452 in unplanned expenses this year.
Food inflation has skyrocketed to levels unseen since the 1980s, and it's emptying even the best budgeters. While overall “food at home” sits at an extremely high 11.8%, inflation levels on crucial everyday items like eggs (up 59.9%) and butter (up 35.3%) seem like a personal insult.
And if these prices are forcing you to ‘pick and choose' which items you really need from the store, or are forcing you to buy less overall, you're not alone. In a recent survey, it was found that
72% of adults are buying less food in response to food-inflation.
For many, decisions like these (cutting back, or choosing to buy less and therefore eat less) can cause great mental strain. And in the workplace, this translates to distraction, less productivity, and irritation.
Inadequate nourishment leads to the exact reversestatistic– a 20% decline in productivity. If you've ever skipped a meal and tried to continue working but found yourself unable to concentrate, then you know this to be true.
There are two ways to help your employees fight inflation right now
Luckily, there are ways to remove the sting of food-inflation, and boost your employees' happiness in one go, and that is by providing them with a weekly at-work meal allowance and at-home grocery stipends.
Now, more than ever, employees are looking for their employers to show them empathy through their actions (according to a recent survey, a whopping 96% of your employees are looking for this). Not only does showing empathy create a healthier working environment, but it also leads to a lower rate of turnover and increased productivity.
Or, if you'd like to look at it from a fiscal perspective. Your employees are paying $4,452 more this year for common expenses, much of which is food. It costs far more than that to replace an employee who leaves for a company with better benefits. Whereas well-fed employees are 54% less likely to quit, and 70% are more likely to recommend others to work at your company.
No matter your vantage point, providing a meal allowance allows you to stay competitive in retention and hiring while also greatly assisting your employees.
This is where Edenred can help. Our #1 goal is to make it easy for businesses like yours to offer competitive benefits by removing your two top barriers: compliance and administrative burden.
- Weekly at-work meal allowances. We will supply each of your employees with a prepaid card that can be reloaded weekly or monthly with a meal allowance. It can be swiped at any eatery, grocery, restaurant, or used for food delivery apps. Or, if you desire, it can be limited to eateries of your company's choice. For example, if your company's values healthier food choices, you could disable certain merchants based on the kinds of food they serve. This program will work for both your in-office staff and work-from-home staff.
- At-home grocery stipends. Though both benefits center around the purchase of food, they are treated differently by the IRS as it relates to fringe benefits. This is where our expertise in regulation and tax compliance comes into play. However, your employee will notice no difference, they will simply see their allowance and understand that it can be used to buy food at the grocery store or at local eateries (or limited types of eateries should your company so chose).
- Gold star administration. Not only do we educate your employees and staff about their benefits, but we also run the entire program. Your employees can access their funds through their prepaid card, online portal, and mobile app. Our customer support team is always available to field your employee's questions – which, of course, frees you and your staff up to concentrate on your business.
Many times, when companies see “meal benefits” they might think “I'm not Google, I'm not big enough to offer a benefit like that.” The simple truth is: Any amount helps. It's all about your budget. The goal is to help your employee remain secure and productive in their employment. And as 96% of your employees might express: a little empathy and understanding of their situation goes a long way.
We'll meet you where you're at
If you're wondering how to get started ASAP or just want more information about how to offer meal benefits at your company, let's talk! Schedule a meeting with us today so you can get started.