Workplace cafeterias can be a godsend during employee lunch breaks, especially when that employee hasn’t had the time to pack their lunch before work. A cafeteria at work makes it much easier for many employees who may not want to go off-site for lunch but don’t wish to bring their own food. It’s also a much more convenient way for employees to eat without the hassle of brown-bagging it or spending money at a restaurant. However, the way a cafeteria is designed and operated will play a huge part in whether employees are satisfied with their meal and the overall experience.
Convenience is a Plus
Not everyone has the time or energy to pack their lunch at home, especially full-time employees who juggle work and family responsibilities. They would rather have the option to buy lunch at their workplace instead of worrying about bringing it every day. According to a study done by Right Management in 2010, about 20 percent of employees either eat their lunch at their desk or skip lunch altogether. A cafeteria could change that.
An on-site cafeteria allows employees to enjoy their lunch hour in a place other than their work area. Being able to purchase hot or cold meals right where they work makes it easier for many busy employees who simply don’t want to leave the building. It also saves employees money in gas and parking if they have to drive to find a place to eat. Not only that, but being able to head to a cafeteria in the workplace cuts down on the time that an employee would have to spend in traffic if they left to find a place to eat. For employees who don’t drive and can’t walk to a local restaurant, a cafeteria gives them a place to enjoy a meal that isn’t bagged.
Company cafeterias often offer micro markets, a self-pay food vending option available at all hours of the day to deliver fresh food. Micro markets employee food services allows for contactless and safe food options that deliver convenience and efficiency.
Quality Meals Attract Customers
Employees need more than just a vending machine with candy bars, sodas, and other sugary snacks. They need a close place to get quality, healthy meals that will help them stay productive throughout their day. Luckily, the trend of healthy eating has spilled over to many cafeterias. Many now offer fresh salad bars, fresh vegetables and fruit, and healthy smoothies and drinks. Some now offer gluten-free options and meals geared towards low-carb diets as well as a large variety of coffees, teas, and sodas.
Employees who work for Microsoft and Google enjoy international dishes that are inspired by a number of countries. Many other companies are beginning to follow in their footsteps. Employers are quickly realizing that their employees need quality meals that will help them stay happy and productive during the rest of the work day. Having choices that cater to a diverse staff is also great for morale.
Reasonable and Affordable Prices
While employees enjoy having a cafeteria to use every work day, they still don’t want to pay high prices for the convenience of easy meals. For many companies, this means paying a portion of the employee meals in order to keep them coming back for more. Subsidizing employee meals helps keep the cafeteria operating and lucrative while boosting employee morale. Raising the prices will typically cause employees to simply boycott the cafeteria completely.
Being Comfortable is a Must
The Louisville Courier-Journal published an article on Humana’s upscale cafeteria and how much their employees enjoy dining in it. The report stated that the cafeteria increased not only employee satisfaction but their productivity as well. To do so, the cafeteria was built with comfort in mind. This meant comfortable chairs employees could rest in during their lunch breaks. They also offered a large variety of meal options and a coffee bar. But that isn’t it- Humana’s cafeteria even has wireless internet. The company knows that employees seek out a comfortable, relaxing place to enjoy a meal. This type of atmosphere also encourages social interaction among employees.