With every passing month, the evidence is clear: hybrid working is here to stay for many companies. But plenty of employees still need to be persuaded of the value of office life. So when they come in, why not make the food great with a daily office catering service that fuels workplace culture, team spirit, and high-energy collaboration?
If you’re a workplace manager tackling the challenge of restoring the office experience, it can feel like there are potential roadblocks at every corner.
- Maybe you’ve already tried shaping your office to focus more on wellbeing…
- Perhaps you’ve introduced a series of initiatives to encourage workplace attendance…
- … or you might feel like you’ve tried everything to make the office environment more social, but somehow the numbers still aren’t increasing in the way you’d like.
If you’re struggling to get your team back into the office, food might be the key to building a thriving ‘feel-good’ office culture that helps to avoid the friction seen at companies that have simply mandated a full-time return to HQ.
The role of food in building teams and relationships
Whatever your view on homeworking, the future isn’t about making employees’ homes more like offices. Instead, the reverse approach is likely to offer the largest rewards. Make offices more homely and welcoming, and your chances of employees willingly attending will significantly increase.
And what’s at the heart of any good home? Food.
Since man’s earliest civilisations, sharing food has been the centrepiece of bringing together family, friends, and even romantic partners. Chatting around the table creates deep emotional bonds. It promotes respect, strong relationships, and a shared understanding.
So why not bring those qualities to the workplace? Food is an intrinsic part of the wellness ecosystem and a great way to incentivize people to come in and collaborate.
Good daily office catering programmes can help encourage people back to the office for the right reasons – being together as a team – rather than the wrong ones (such as the threat of disciplinary action).
In turn, people being back in the office promotes stronger internal collaboration and better communication. Organic interpersonal connections begin to grow and thrive. Workforces begin to innovate and collaborate more frequently and more effectively – all of which is a far more appealing proposition than disparate working patterns and WFH days.
Here’s why food aggregators don’t incentivise people back to the office
Despite all this, understanding that food provision is key is only the first step of the journey. The real trick lies in identifying and then implementing the most suitable office catering programme for your business. Settling for an aggregator is almost certainly the wrong choice for larger offices.
Using an aggregator doesn’t promote a shared dining experience.
Employees make a quick order from a takeaway menu, grab the delivery from a disinterested driver or collection point. With this method of foodservice, employees often scuttle back to their desk to do the infamous eat-while-working combo.
Using an aggregator isn’t effective at team building or shaping a collaborative company culture
Even if you can break the habit of people eating at their desks, are your employees actually stepping away from work to chat with, and get to know, their fellow colleagues?
Using an aggregator doesn’t have the same perceived value as a full delivered-in solution.
Using aggregators doesn’t help build long-lasting habits for teams to share meals together. Excitement about eating at work comes from varied menus where employees get plate-up with a vibrant choice of mains, sides, treats and salads (hot and cold). Aggregator deliveries can’t beat the thrill of a professionally displayed buffet or match the reliability of office catering.
Here’s why contract catering does incentivise people back to the office
To build a healthy and productive workforce, workplace managers need to foster a positive office culture. In one comprehensive and holistic service, contract catering services can help you:
- Drive employee satisfaction and engagement
- Offer a great incentive for employees to choose the office
- Optimise the operations of the workplace
In a recent survey, free lunch was listed as one of the top perks that matter most to employees. Virtually two-thirds (65%) of hybrid workers say they plan to work on site based on complimentary lunches. And almost a quarter said they’d return to the office full time if workplace catering lunches were available.
- Contract catering creates an office buzz like no other. It offers a daily shared experience that’s fresh, vibrant, healthy, and enjoyable.
- When people have a reason to leave their desks and eat their lunches together, the resulting conversations quickly help to develop a strong sense of team purpose. People can collaborate on projects and get advice from their peers.
- Contract catering can also be one of the components used to create the strong sense of community that helps to make resignations less likely.
Eating together also helps to stave off the destructive consequences of isolation and alienation that can come from employees consistently eating alone.
The benefits of daily office catering from Fooditude
If you’re looking to engage your workforce and persuade more of your team to visit the office more often, you’ve got to capture hearts, minds – and stomachs. Good food programmes, like those offered by Fooditude to clients all across London, are built on an ethos of flexibility and fun.
- Themed menus generate office excitement and interest, as well as outstanding employee feedback. By collaborating with your catering partner to keep your menus fresh and lively, you create a consistent buzz around each week’s choices. In just three months, one of our clients went from requesting meals for 50 people per day up to 500 per day!
- Fresh food sourced from the highest quality local London suppliers helps our chefs to cook tasty and nutritious dishes from scratch, day in, day out.
- Healthy options that cater for a full range of dietary needs and preferences keep your team energised with the best possible fuel. Clear and extensive labelling also provides complete transparency in every dish.
- Cost-effective options mean different budgets can be covered with ease, whether that’s a simple meal at lunch time or a full-service menu operating across breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a daytime snack provision.
- Inherent flexibility means you can scale your order up or down in line with the ebbs and flows of workplace attendance.
Why every modern office should prioritise top-notch office catering
Whatever the future holds for your company’s London office, we cater for it. We know that every workplace is different and we can adapt accordingly beyond our daily service. Throwing a party to celebrate a key milestone? We’ll be there.
Our motto is ‘feeding people happy’ precisely because we know the positive impact of great food on the health of both teams and individuals. And we know how much quality shared meals are a highly effective way of amplifying an innovative and collaborative working environment.
So if you’re looking for a way to give people a better workplace experience and bring teams together under the same roof, daily office catering can help you make a compelling case to your team that the office really is where the magic happens.