Ever heard the phrase: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”?

As our tech age shifts, and more and more startups begin to flourish, the competition for talented employees is immense. This is why you’ll find ‘free lunch’ on many job ads found in and around London – it’s a standout feature for in-the-know businesses. For many, small perks like a free meal go a long way in influencing how they feel about a company, as going that extra mile to boost morale can mean a lot. This not only helps recruitment but also limits staff turnover – the way to an employees heart could well be through their stomach!

To be fair, there is no such thing as a free lunch as the companies foot the financial bill, but that money spent is paid back in spades when you consider what an employer gets out of it.

Let’s take a look at a few benefits to employer-sponsored meals.

EMPLOYEE FOCUS

“Where shall we go to get lunch?”

“I don’t know, what do you fancy?”

“I’m not sure, maybe let’s just go wander and see”

Does this conversation seems familiar? That’s probably because it occurs in almost every office across the UK. If you offer lunch for your team, they know food is on the horizon and can instead focus on tasks at hand instead of browsing menus online.

When employees leave the office for lunch, they can get distracted or delayed. Offering meals in-office is a great way to encourage them to stick around, meaning no chance of late lunches or exterior distractions.

COME TOGETHER

Perhaps the biggest benefit of communal lunches is just that – the fact they are communal. Serving a shared lunch in one space presents the opportunity for team members to sit and talk with one another, particularly when you’ve got multiple departments who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to interact with one another.

Our favourite part of any meal is the banter that comes with it. The fact it gives people something to discuss other than the work day. You can’t put a price on quality interaction between your team – and a shared meal is the ideal way to start forging those connections. If your departments are starting to feel more and more strained, like different companies operating under the same roof – then an activity that combines everyone from management to temps is just what the doctor ordered.

STAY POSITIVE. BE PRODUCTIVE.

Positive work culture is critical to any thriving business. Employees who enjoy coming to work, work harder. Simple! If an employee feels like a number or unappreciated, they’ll slack. Treating your team to a meal, even once a week, is a simple gesture that goes a very long way.

BALANCED MEAL

A cheeseburger is nice but they can really take their toll if you’ve got team members eating fast food on the regular. And not just physically but mentally as well. Promoting a balanced meal for lunch is a win-win for both employer and employee – as a healthy worker takes less sick days. This needn’t mean each meal needs to be a salad bar, but providing balanced options as opposed to take-away meals is an effective way to encourage proper eating.

ATTRACT THE BEST

If a job ad includes the words ‘free’ and ‘lunch’ on it, you’d click it quickly, wouldn’t you? New talent wants to see your company has a culture, and free lunch says a lot about the way you treat those who work for you.

People want to work for a business that cares about its staff, and a meal on the house is a safe bet that upper management is doing something right! With so many companies out there, particularly in the tech and social space in London – you need as many ways to stand out as possible.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Daily, bi-weekly or even once-a-week lunches for your whole team are indeed a significant investment. However, it’s an investment that has a measurable and significant return. Your employee turnover rate has a direct effect on your profitability. While a free meal does not guarantee retention, it does foster a positive work environment that encourages people to stick around.

At Feastly, we know a great way to attract and retain the best talent is through their taste buds – that’s why we provide fresh, quality and always delicious meals to some of London’s most progressive companies like Buzzfeed and Indeed (to name a few!). Lunchtime should be more than styrofoam boxes and headphones on – it should be an event.

Delicious food in the work week should be the rule, not the exception. Everything is prepped in our kitchen and can either be cooked on site or delivered steaming hot to your door. We take care of everything from set up to pack down, leaving your staff fed, content, and ready for what comes next. Click here for more information, or get in touch.