New Trend: Several Major Companies Offer Employees Elite On-site Mealtime Experiences
In the past several years, many top US companies have begun offering state of the art cafeterias that are better and much larger than college cafeterias or mall food courts. These companies have shifted their focus to increasing productivity by increasing their employees' health and satisfaction. The belief is that if great mealtime experiences are offered, then employees will be more productive when they are in the office.
Companies that offer cafeterias with elite dining experiences include Hertz, Google, Chico's and Bloomberg. These companies have invested millions of dollars to upgrade their employees' lunchtime dining experiences. Some of have moved into larger facilities in order to accommodate the size of their new on-site cafeterias. They are willing to invest so much so that their employees are happier, healthier, more engaged and more productive.
Common Cafeteria Features
Food Variety with Many Restaurants Represented
These on-site company cafeterias offer a great variety of food selections from many popular restaurants such as the Melting Pot Cafe - much like a food court at the mall. Employees can choose from a wide variety of food offerings from day to day. There are offerings for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Some companies even offer employees the option to order food ahead of time so that it is ready when they are. On-site cafeterias are so convenient that it isn't necessary to go elsewhere to eat during a meal break.
While most of the cafeterias' restaurants offer healthy food, there are also other options for eating healthy. Some offer free fruit in the morning. Others offer nourishing pre-packaged items like hummus and chips, bottled water, and salads. Smoothie and salad bars are popular as well, providing a custom selection of fresh and plant-based fare.
Benefits of On-Site Work Place Cafeterias
Convenience and Affordability
Trying to figure out where to eat for lunch can be stressful for many busy professionals. While restaurants may be nearby, it takes time and planning to decide where and what to eat, leaving little time for relaxation or connection with coworkers.
Having a wide variety of dining options on-site is much more convenient. Employees can just walk to the cafeteria and choose from a wide selection of cuisine. Micro markets and vending options with healthy food alternatives are an efficient way for employees to provide efficient food service. Some companies even offer the ability to order food ahead of time so it is ready upon arrival.
And while external restaurants may charge quite a bit, the average cost of a meal at an on-premises cafeteria is just $2 to $6, leaving extra room in the budget for an afternoon snack. There are even some free options like fresh fruit, coffee, or donuts in the morning.
Better Communication Between Supervisory Staff and Employees
Many businesses are using on-campus cafeterias as meeting places. They might offer catered training events or have a mini web-based meeting over the large screen during lunch. In this way, large corporations find it easier to communicate with a large number of employees, ensuring everyone is on the same page and stays engaged.
Better Working Relationships
Eating together can forge closer relationships between peer and supervisory staff alike. It can often be daunting to get on the same page with coworkers to eat lunch together at the same place.
On the other hand, when an on-site cafeteria is used, workers are able to choose what they want to eat, even if each employee desires food from different restaurants. Once they've all ordered their food, they can then sit down together and talk or collaborate over lunch. This promotes much more of a relaxed team atmosphere, improving work productivity and job satisfaction.
Business cafeterias are becoming a growing trend because of the convenience as well as the wide selection of healthier food offerings at affordable prices. The growing focus for many businesses is on creating a truly supportive community to improve overall staff wellbeing, productivity and teamwork. On-campus cafeterias help them do just that.