Survey Indicates Food’s Increasingly Important Role in the Office
SAN FRANCISCO – February 13, 2018 – ZeroCater surveyed 100 employees and office managers to better understand the role food plays in a company’s culture and what matter’s when it comes to office meals and snacks. The following are the key findings.
Employers are using food to improve workplace culture
After a tumultuous year, employers are refocusing efforts around creating a safe and happy work environment for their teams, with a focus on shared food experiences.
- When asked how happy they were at work, 75% of employees said they were at an 8 or higher, with 10 being the highest level of happiness. Nearly the same percentage (74%) of employees polled have access to free meals and snacks in the office.
- With collaboration being a key conduit of productivity, 90% of employers say that meals help their employees build stronger relationships with colleagues.
- Unemployment rates are at their lowest, leading to the recruitment and retention of top talent being more competitive than ever. For employers, shared meals are an integral part of the on-boarding process, with 79% viewing meals as a way for new employees to meet their coworkers; and 67% say meals are a part of their retention strategy, giving employees a reason to stay at their company.
- Efficiency is key now more than ever, with 88% of employers saying meals save their employees time by not leaving to find lunch.
Employees see the value in access to food at work
When looking at their overall employee benefits and office perks, more than a third of employees (38%) rank office food as one of their top three office perks, alongside vacation time and professional development.
- Employees consider it important for their employers to provide food in the office, with 88% considering snacks important and 78% saying the same of office meals.
- Time is precious, with 70% of employees saying office meals save them time venturing out to find lunch.
- With finances on their mind, 76% of employees consider office catering to be a money-saver.
What do employees want?
For employers who are ready to take the leap with a new food program for their office, or even for those looking to reinvigorate their current office perks, the aspects of food that matter to employees might surprise you.
- Employees are more health conscious than ever:
- According to 65% of employees, having access to healthy snacks in the office is very or extremely important, with 53% saying office snacks help them stay healthy.
- When it comes to dietary restrictions and preferences, 55% of employees said it was very or extremely important to have office meals that cater to their preferences.
- 41% of employees want to know where the ingredients in their office meals come from.
- Finances are on their minds:
- 26% of employees say they save an average of $50 or more per week with office meals.
- 35% of employees say they save more than $20 per week on office snacks.
- Variety and rotation matter:
- The quality of the meal and variety of cuisine type are the two most important attributes of office meals for employees.
- When evaluating office snacks, employees ranked variety (56%), full shelves (47%) and healthy snacks (65%) as most important.
Restaurant and food and beverage industries find a new audience with office food programs
Achieving success in the restaurant industry is harder now than ever. Among the disruption caused by delivery and meal kits, rising operations costs, and the opening of more restaurants than ever before, restaurant owners must find additional revenue streams and actively market their restaurants — and office-meal business provides both.
- 63% of employees say they have visited new restaurants they discovered through their office’s meals.
- 68% of employees say they have purchased snacks and beverages they discovered through their office’s snack programs.
- Employees want the latest and greatest in office snacks, with 32% wanting the latest snack trends and 30% wanting to try the newest snacks on the market.
- 73% of companies spend $10–$15 per person, per meal. With an average company size of 248 employees, companies are spending $2,480–$3,720 per meal.
Founded in 2009, ZeroCater is a San Francisco-based food tech startup with a mission to help companies build high-performing cultures through food so they can hire, retain and make top talent productive. ZeroCater makes office catering and snacks simple through dedicated account managers, top-notch restaurant partners and snack brands, and technology that allows for a seamless process and in-depth insight into employee consumption and engagement. Currently, ZeroCater provides office catering and snack services in San Francisco; New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Austin and Los Angeles.