There is no such thing as a free lunch. Which is why providing good quality meals to your employees is a big investment to make. Does it really give you the kind of value that can make up for the costs? Does it really make your employees better at their jobs? Well we’re going to take a look at what studies have shown are the benefits of providing food as a perk for being a part of your company.
#1 It makes them like you more
Employee retention is often an issue for businesses today. With the kind of competition there is in the markets, and the time and effort that goes into training or finding employees with the skills and experience you need, keeping them around can be a bit of a task.
Enter, the perks system. Creating value beyond a salary can go a long way with employees, and according to a study of more than 1 000 individuals in multiple industries, the favourite is food. Employees who get a free meal as part of their perks are 54% more likely to stay with the company; they feel more appreciated by their employer and more productive and capable of performing their duties.
60% of employees said that they’d be happier where they worked, if the company provided them with a meal during the day. Companies that already do this, get a 70% increase in the likelihood that their own employees would suggest them as a great place to work. So far this sounds like a pretty good deal.
#2 It really, really improves productivity
The same study looked into whether or not free and regular food makes employees work better. Well aside from the fact you’ve now already made your people happier and like you more, there are plenty of reasons why this is true.
From taking sick days due to illness, to sugar lows a lack of available food and nutrition can adversely effect how people work. With accessible meals being provided onsite, employees spend less time fetching or organising food while working and with regular energy have shown a 46% increase in focus on projects.
With more time and better focus, companies with a meal plan have shown to have far more productive employees than ones without. Workers who where providing their own meals, and in some cases skipping them completely, showed a 49% increase in productivity once their employer had added a meal plan and started providing a free lunch as one of their perks.
#3 The ROI is huge
So what does this all accumulate into? After all organising one or more meals on the company’s dime, everyday, is going to be a costly endeavour. Happiness, increased productivity and an increased retention rate are great but this can cost more than it brings in, right? Well not exactly.
At the end of the study, the researchers looked at what the end result of all the accumulated benefits of providing meals was, and it came to a 150% Return on Investment. That is massive, not a number to be sneezed at and definitely changes the way you might look at implementing something like this.
While every business is different, people all need to eat. There is no reason why you can’t capitalise on this need, while making everyone just a little bit happier.