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An on-site business cafeteria is rapidly gaining popularity as an employee benefit well worth offering. It is not only an inexpensive convenience to offer to the employees, it also provides benefits to the company while it can encourage employees to make healthier choices for themselves.
Unlike the sidewalk vendor outside offering chili dogs, a business cafeteria can offer healthy, balanced meals to the employees. A good food service manager can choose menus that are both tempting and good, healthy food.
An employee who has a nutritionally sound lunch is going to be more productive in the afternoon than an employee who lunches out of vending machines. This not only tends to enhance productivity, it will help reduce sick time taken by employees. Both sides win, here.
It is unfortunately common for people to skimp or even skip breakfast on their way to work, citing lack of time as a reason. Virtually every nutritionist will point out what a mistake this is, both for long-term nutrition and for the day’s available energy levels. A business cafeteria that offers a healthy, nutritious breakfast will help counter this tendency, and the business that offers this choice will reap solid benefits for doing so.
If every member of a working team eats in the same place, it’s convenient for them to eat together. Shared meals are a social event, and the team will either discuss a work project or chat about non-work topics. Either way, it builds the team, and this enhances team productivity.
An employee who regularly socializes with their coworkers will encounter much less job-related stress, an important factor in their health and job satisfaction. Shared meals being a factor in bridge-building is a tradition that goes back thousands of years. This also feels more natural and unforced than rope-climbing exercises or weekend retreats usually do.
Employees That Feel Valued Return Value To The Company
Human psychology leads most people to value reciprocity; they naturally want to return what they perceive as good treatment. It’s no secret that employees who feel valued by the company are more motivated to work for the good of the company as part of their own self-interest.
When employees have easy access to low- or no-cost meals, they can’t help but feel valued by the company who is providing this food service to them. This may motivate employees more than an employee recognition program does.
Employees who feel pressured by a deadline may be tempted to work through lunch, skipping the meal entirely. This is not good for either the employee or the company.
Ignoring a mealtime can lead the body to go into famine mode, or ketosis, where it limits the available energy to preserve fat stores against the perceived food shortage. This is harsh on both the employee’s health and their productivity. It can also lead to cravings for high-energy foods after work, which often go along with poor nutrition.
With all of the benefits to the company that in-house food service provides, it’s an option well worth looking into.
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