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5 Reasons The Free Office Lunch Is A Win-Win Strategy

SmartBite is the easiest way to turn your humdrum office meals into memorable bonding experiences for the team!

The pandemic has definitely changed the way we work. And as more people head back to the office, companies and employees may find it a challenge to transition back to in-person or hybrid working arrangements. One easy way a company can entice employees back to the office is by providing free food at work. 

Yes, the free lunch is a surprisingly effective and simple way to ease people back into the office. SmartBite, a food delivery service operating in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, conducted a survey of 1,200 employees to understand the value of catered lunches in the workplace. The findings revealed that a staggering 47% of employees considered the free lunch as one of their top two work perks, surpassed only by getting six extra vacation days. One in four respondents considered the free lunch the most crucial perk and said it influenced their decision to work on-site more frequently.  Here are the top five benefits of offering free meals at work. 

Free lunch is good for company morale! | SmartBite

1. It’s good for morale. 

According to SurveyMonkey, employees rank food as one of the top five most meaningful perks a company can offer — right up there with medical benefits and flexible work hours! Providing free and high-quality meals for employees is great for morale, making them feel valued and appreciated. A workplace with high morale is great for productivity, as people become confident and motivated to work hard. Plus, the simple act of gathering together to share a meal can really build rapport. Even serving free lunch once or twice a week will do wonders to boost team morale. Something as simple as offering free lunch every Monday can really start off the week on a high note. 

2. It helps ease the back-to-office transition.

After years of working at home, it can be tough for employees to transition back to working in the office. They now have to sacrifice some of the flexibility and autonomy they’ve grown accustomed to, plus deal with the hassle of the dally commute. Offering them free lunch is a good way to welcome them back into the office and is a nice perk to ‘compensate’ for the adjustment. 

During the pandemic, some companies have also had to eliminate a number of perks due to financial and safety reasons. Free food is one way to offset these lost perks. 

If you’re serving lunch, it’s also much easier for you to implement health and safety protocols at mealtimes, which is a big plus.

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3. Free food is a great way to attract and keep top talent. 

According to this survey, 48% of workers said free food was a deciding factor in whether or not they accepted a job offer. And since you definitely want to work with top notch talent, this is an easy perk to offer! The bonding and camaraderie that occurs at shared meals also boosts happiness at work, which factors in people wanting to stay at their jobs. A Glassdoor survey revealed a huge number of reviews saying free food was one prevalent pro to consider at work. 

4. It helps reinforce company culture. 

A shared meal is an enjoyable way to reinforce core values in the company, and is a visible way to show you care about people's well-being and satisfaction. Hold parties for employees celebrating their birthdays that month. Celebrate team wins with a special dinner. Create fun and memorable company events that will boost employee bonding.

5. It’s a surprisingly affordable benefit.

Even if you don’t have the space and financial resources for a canteen complete with kitchens, staff and dining spaces, it can be surprisingly easy and affordable to provide free meals for your employees. SmartBite provides an easy solution, providing  corporate catering services that lets you order all kinds of meals from their network of restaurants and caterers, from company parties to packed lunches.

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A one-stop shop for all your company’s food and dining preferences, SmartBite takes the crazy out of corporate meal planning. No need to stress finding the right dishes for your particular event — with a portfolio of 200 vendors, SmartBite can provide the meals you need for your particular event, whether it be for a board meeting for just a few people, or a huge company event like town hall. No need to coordinate with multiple vendors or worry about logistics. They can even provide for the serving setup, should you prefer a catered event instead of packed meals. 

Next time you need to plan a meal at the office, let SmartBite handle it for a stress-free, memorable and fun experience. Visit the official SmartBite website or follow @smartbite on Instagram.