We have seen some dynamic changes in corporate catering over the past 20 years nationally as well as locally in Phoenix, Arizona. In the not too distant past, business catering was predominantly events such as Ground Breakings, Retirement Parties, and Holiday Parties.
Without a doubt, millennials and tech companies certainly changed the work culture including how employees dine. According to USA Today, 56% of employees are satisfied with their jobs but that number jumps to 67% when free meals are provided. Studies show that providing catered meals creates a sense of community, creates more socialization among employees, and quite simply put, creates a more fun working environment. It is definitely viewed by employees as a benefit and a “perk” and a benefit that is a consideration in the hiring process.
Start your workday with fresh & fast breakfast catering!
Providing catered meals can run the gamut from the occasional catered breakfast or catered lunch to daily or weekly catered meals. When hiring a corporate catering company to provide meals on a regular basis you want to be assured that the food will be consistently fresh, healthy and that the presentation is visually appealing. Variety and creativity are important so that employees and staff look forward to the meals and continue to view it as a work benefit. The food must be delivered and set up in a timely manner as “time is money” when it comes to business.
With so many dietary restrictions and preferences, these days make sure the corporate catering company offers gluten-free and vegan options and that those items are as fresh, well prepared and visually appealing as all the other meal options.
Searching for “box lunches”? You’re not the only one!
Just as fashion has its trends, so does catering. One of the current business catering trends is the box lunch or sophisticated sack lunch. For more casual businesses, the corporate box lunch serves the need for providing a quick and easy drop-off meal by the catering company. At Creations in Cuisine C, tering we offer a wonderful variety of box lunches, both sandwiches, and salads, which are budget-friendly and perfect for the casual drop-off catered lunch. Looking for creative box lunches? We have them from Asian Bento boxes, casual picnic style boxes and elegant boxes with your company logo.
Of course, corporate events also call for full service catering such as extravagant buffets, plated meals, or chef stations. When it comes to events and meetings, we consult with the business in creating the perfect menu and décor to ensure that the catering is an enhancement to the event from on-time delivery, extraordinary cuisine, and exemplary service.
With 20 years of corporate catering experience, we have provided thousands of catered breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for Phoenix, Arizona businesses and beyond. Hiring a professional catering company is a wise investment in providing healthy, flavorful meals for staff and for creating a happy workplace environment.
Is Providing Catered Meals In The Workplace a Cost Savings?
While many companies are cutting back on expenses, providing catered meals such as breakfast or lunch and snacks in the workplace is considered a good investment for myriad reasons and considered a valuable perk to employees.
According to career site Glassdoor, more than half — 57% — of all workers say that perks and benefits are among the top things they consider when deciding whether to accept a job. And it’s not just companies in New York, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley who are offering free food, it’s embraced by companies across the U.S.
Catered meals offer healthy eating, camaraderie, financial savings and time savings and therefore many companies are embracing the positive aspects of providing meals for employees.
Additionally, many companies are offering snacks with a recent survey showing that drinks such as La Croix, specialty regional coffee, Kombucha, and Honest Teas rank as the top non-alcoholic beverages. Free snacks run the gamut from fresh fruit and protein bars to animal crackers, Cheez-its, and Fruit by the Foot!
Healthy Catered Meals
Research continually tells us that healthy employees perform better. And of course by eating healthy meals, employees’ overall health improves. When providing meals and snacks, consideration should be given to offering choices and working with a catering company that offers special meals such as gluten free, low carb, vegetarian, vegan or any other special dietary meals. A Gallup Poll estimated that sick employees cost businesses in the United States over $153 billion annually in lost productivity so it behooves companies to assist employees in staying as healthy as possible.
In a survey of employees at the Silicon Valley company, Survey Monkey, employees ranked food in the top 5 of what is most meaningful to them along with medical benefits and work flexibility. The younger generation is often lured to employment with benefits and perks. Companies in particular, who have expectations of long work hours are inclined to offer such perks.
Camaraderie Among Employees
It’s a known fact that eating together is a bonding experience. A catered meal doesn’t necessarily have to be a working business lunch. It can simply serve as a social time for employees to share a meal, get to know one another, share stories, etc. For those employees who typically eat their meals at their desk, it’s a good departure from that habit if encouraged by managers or HR professionals to step away and take a meal break.
In a more formal environment of having employees dine together, it’s a great opportunity to encourage employees from different divisions in large companies who wouldn’t normally interact with one another to sit together.
Catered Meals Help Employees Save Money
Even bringing breakfast or lunch to work instead of dining out, is a cost to employees and a time commitment to prepare the meals. And going out to lunch or purchasing food for a mid-afternoon snack is certainly a big expense. Employees are grateful for catered meals and free snacks as a cost savings to them. As mentioned earlier, free meals and snacks is ranked food in the top 5 of what is most meaningful to them in the work place. Often, free will sway a potential employee in the decision whether or not to accept employment.
Catered Meals Save Valuable Time
The amount of time it takes to go out to lunch is significant. A good portion of lunch breaks is spent traveling to and from the restaurant and waiting for the meal regardless whether it’s counter pick-up or sit-down. This can become a source of stress for the employee and lost of a productive employee’s time for the employer. Providing a catered meal reduces the amount of stress and the employees have time to relax and enjoy a meal.
If you currently are not offering meals at your business, we suggest implementing the program with one or two a month (perhaps one breakfast and one lunch) and increasing the frequency slightly each month. Analyze the benefits after three months. Assess whether you are meeting the dietary needs of employees, work with your caterer to provide the most healthy, affordable meals and ultimately enjoy the benefits of a happier, healthier workplace . . . . for you and your employees!