Have you heard the saying, "There’s no such thing as a free lunch"? Forget what you’ve heard. These days, more businesses offer free lunches to their employees. For many employees, little perks like free lunch really make a big difference in how they feel about their company, and going that extra mile to provide benefits boosts employee relations, increases morale, and reduces turnover rates. Okay, you’re right — technicaly there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the money your company spends on food can easily be made back when you consider the numerous benefits that filter back into the company. Here are five reasons why you should consider offering complementary meals to your team.
1. Free Lunch Boosts Morale and Productivity
Do you want your company to thrive? Then cultivating a positive work culture is critical. Employees who are pleased with their work environment work harder, while employees who feel underappreciated are more likely to slack off. Buying lunch for your employees — even just occasionally — is a simple gesture that shows your staff that they’re valued.
2. Free Lunch Keeps Employees Focused
"Where do you want to go for lunch?" "I don’t know, what do you feel like?" "I’m okay with whatever." Does this conversation sound all too familiar? If you offer free lunches, your team knows that food is on the horizon, and they can focus on the task at hand instead of daydreaming about where they’re going to go and what they’re going to order. When employees leave the office to get lunch, they may get distracted or delayed. Offering on-site lunches is a great way to encourage them to stick around during their lunch breaks, giving them the opportunity to interact with co-workers and get back to work in a timely fashion.
3. Free Lunch Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
Those fast-food burgers can really take their toll on your employees’ physical and mental health, not to mention leaving them dragging all afternoon. Promoting positive eating habits is a win-win for employers and employees, as healthy employees cost less in sick days and health insurance expenses. That doesn’t mean that every lunch you provide needs to be a salad, but providing free alternatives to the junk food options out there is an effective way to encourage people to eat right. After all, free food always tastes better, and saving money can be that extra encouragement that someone needs to take that first step to a healthier path.
4. Free Lunch Helps You Recruit New Team Members
Free lunch? Now that’s a perk that immediately grabs the attention of job applicants! New talent wants to see that your company’s culture is appealing. Free lunches speak volumes about how your company treats its employees. People want to work for a business that treats its employees well, and free lunches are a safe hint that upper management is doing something right to keep employee relations thriving.
5. Free Lunch Ultimately Increases Your Bottom Line
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. While including employee lunches in the budget may seem counter-intuitive, consider the big picture. Your company’s employee turnover rate directly affects its overall profitability. While free lunches don’t guarantee employee retention, they foster the kind of positive work environment that encourages employees to stick around.
If you meet certain requirements, your Canadian business may even be eligible for tax deductions that drastically reduce the long-term cost of free lunches. Even if your company isn’t ready to implement free lunches every day, treating your employees to weekly lunches — or just providing healthy snacks in the break room — is a fantastic way to show appreciation for your team. After all, your staff is the heart and soul of your business, and investing in their health is investing in the growth and success of your company.