8 Delicious Employee Perks That Aren’t Catered Lunches
- Lauren Hamer
- 2 Min Read
Unlimited vacation, casual dress codes, and foosball tables may work for many startups, but as CNBC notes free food is still the perk that attracts top talent most often. Food is a great motivator for influencing productivity, engagement, and community. Simply put, the more edible benefits available to your team, the more excited they’ll be to come to work.
People are hard-pressed to turn down free food—especially at lunch time. But there are ways to go beyond the standard catered lunch to something even more creative. How else can you incorporate food-related employee perks into your office workspace? Here are eight fresh ideas you can implement right away.
1) Breakfast Bars
It’s easy to get tired of eating the same old boxed lunch options over and over again. Switch it up with something a little earlier in the day. Catered breakfast bars allow your team to build and customize their own morning meals. Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but as Buffer notes, good nutrition can also affect productivity. Nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate are three foods that will give your brain the most power. They’re also easily incorporated into these types of catered food benefits.
2) Food Truck Lunches
Inviting a food truck to set up shop outside your office is one of the employee perks that works for both large and small offices. Make appointments with a few food trucks in the area and invite them to your location on a weekly or monthly basis. Your team will welcome the different routine as they order their food from the truck and eat outside under the trees. Use feedback from your team to draft a food truck visitation schedule and distribute so everyone knows when to skip their typical bagged lunch.
3) Coffee Mentorship Program
Does your work space have a cafeteria or coffee corner? If so, try creating free coffee or tea vouchers available to employees and colleagues who meet to discuss work or career goals. This way, new recruits gain valuable knowledge through the program while veteran employees build relationships with their younger coworkers. They’ll come for the coffee, but they’ll stay for the networking, professional development, and mentorship opportunity.
4) Office Happy Hours
Weekly office happy hours with snacks can be a great way to build camaraderie among employees. Make each one unique by featuring specialty beer and wine tasting. And give each happy hour a specific theme. Whether you’re celebrating the week’s job successes or Cinco de Mayo, your team will appreciate a way to let off steam together. Pick snacks and munchies that go with your theme. And be sure to include a seltzer or non-alcoholic selection for the non-drinkers.
5) In-Office Barista
Sometimes that same old cup of coffee can seem tedious. But what if you gave your team a chance to try out a fancy espresso or cappuccino. Invite a barista to set up shop in your office kitchen once a month. And then watch as everyone lines up to fill up their mug with something different. In addition to changing up the routine, coffee offers health benefits. Sure it gives you that morning jolt, but it’s also full of antioxidants and can trigger happy and productive thoughts. A barista will take orders and bring something a little different to start your day.
6) Monthly Birthday Celebrations
Birthdays are a great excuse to have a party at work. But meeting in the break room for cake and a singalong every few days will get old fast. Combine all birthday celebrations into one monthly party and mention everyone who had a birthday that month. Since this becomes a more momentous occasion, go beyond the typical sheet cake and order unique foods like cupcakes and cake pops. Or mix it up with brownie stations and ice-cream bars. To make it extra special for the birthday boys and girls, why not let them decide together what they’d like to eat for their celebration?
7) A Snack Fridge
Chances are your employees love snacks. Who doesn’t? But, lots of people would prefer healthier treats over junk food like chips, cookies, and candy. As one of your employee perks, maintain a snack fridge. It’s easy to get those afternoon sluggish feelings, so fill it with snacks like bananas, popcorn, veggies, yogurt, and trail mix to motivate them to finish the day strong instead. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with adding a few tempting treats to the mix. Everyone has cravings, after all.
8) Dinner-time Pick-ups
It can be tough for working families to juggle everything at once. Companies who consider employees home life outside of work do much more to generate loyalty and drive performance within their team. One way you can use food-related employee perks to enlist a caterer to deliver ready-to-eat healthy dinners to the office. Schedule this event on a constantly recurring basis so that employees can plan to purchase meals and take home to their families.
Happiness at work has a direct pathway through the stomach. Food and drink perks can be a great way to motivate and inspire your team, but they don’t have to be extravagant. Consider adding a few of these employee perks into your arsenal of tricks and see how it positively impacts your work culture.
Find local caterers in your area who can help contribute to your office food perks initiative