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Food at the Office: Silicon Valley Trend or Smart Business Decision?

Food at the Office: Silicon Valley Trend or Smart Business Decision?

It may have started out as a trend among the big names like Google, Facebook and Amazon, but the culture of offering food in the workplace is seeping into and across all industries, big and small.                   

5 min read 

It could be as simple as a coffee machine and a replenished pantry, or a full service restaurant, but the trend towards offering employees food options at work is undeniable. But why? How could it possibly benefit a business? And is it right for your company?  Here are three reasons for you to consider :

 1. Increased Productivity

We’ve all been there. It’s 10 o’clock and your stomach’s growling, regret over skipping breakfast kicks in, you promise yourself you’ll start making overnight oats for the 50th time. You think it’s too early to eat your lunch now but you know you’re not going to make it until 12. So, time to gather up the crew and make the trek to the closest Timmies.

A business owner can appreciate what just happened here. 3-4 employees just walked out for 15-30 minutes to grab a snack, resulting in up to 2 collective hours of lost productivity. And what’s that productivity going to look like in that hour between when they stagger back in and lunch? Extrapolate this across the whole company, and over the course of the working year, and you can see there’s a major productivity drain happening that could easily be plugged by having access to quick and healthy food options within the office.



Studies show that promoting a culture of exchange and socialization between employees boosts productivity as well. By providing a food and snack area, businesses promote a culture of collaboration and idea sharing, where employees can take a break to unwind, bounce ideas off each other, bond, and come back to work refreshed and recharged.


 2. Boosts employee morale and health

Nothing is as demoralizing as having to work while you’ve got a lawnmower revving up in your stomach, or being so bloated that you enter into a state of food coma by 2. By having something as simple as a fruit and vegetable spread in your office kitchenette, you’re offering an accessible, free alternative to what your employees might normally lean to, which is more often than not, unhealthy, calorie rich and detrimental to their health. Who knows, maybe your office fruit and vegetable spread would be the only time in the day they eat fruits and vegetables. At any rate, it’s undeniable that a healthy team is a happy team. If that’s not enough for you, then research has shown that healthy employees use less sick days, spend less on health insurance, and are overall more productive.


 3. It’s where the job market is going

This last point may not apply to every company, but more and more, food in the workplace is becoming less of an exception than the rule. If your competitor has provisions like free snacks, weekly team lunches, or free breakfast at work, your employees will start to notice. Being the first in your industry to implement something like this could seriously add incentive for potential talent to flock over to you, or if you’re late to the game, could give your team another reason to stay.



It’s not just for Facebook and Amazon anymore, as the competition for attracting and retaining talent in every industry revs up, something as simple as an office kitchen could be the make or break for many potential candidates, and is definitely something to consider when discussing ways to give your company a competitive edge over others.


Bottom line, it all comes down to a business decision and a hard look at the cost/benefit of a stacked office kitchen. But a food supply and delivery service might just be the right move for your office in 2020. The studies are there and the results speak for themselves across all industries. Employees like having free food, and businesses benefit from the added productivity that happy and healthy employees provide.


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