In a competitive hiring market, great employee perks can set your company apart, both for attracting new applicants and retaining existing employees. As you’re examining different options, group meals are worth considering—implemented correctly, they can have notable benefits for employees and the company itself.

Benefits of providing group meals as an employee perk

Free meals for employees are one employee perk that many companies are introducing. They can be as simple or complicated as time and resources allow. There’s no need to bring the entire team out to a restaurant; a shared lunch in the office break room or kitchen can be just as effective.

Before you decide whether to provide group meals, consider the ways they can benefit your company.

Builds camaraderie
Dining together tends to build stronger relationships between team members, and friendships can create a more positive and enjoyable work environment. Over time, you may even notice a positive shift in the corporate culture. This is particularly true if your lunches include people from different teams and departments. Tighter bonds have practical benefits, too; they help boost collaboration and positive interactions outside of meal times, which can improve the overall productivity and innovation of the company.

Increases job satisfaction
Free food is a highly desirable employee perk. According to one study, employer-sponsored meals are among the top six employee perks workers want most. Other research shows that social eating can lead to a stronger sense of well-being, engagement, and overall satisfaction. In other words, group meals may help your employees feel happier at work, even in times of stress.

Supports recruitment efforts
When your HR and hiring teams are recruiting new members, group meals can be a wonderful selling point. To prospective hires, this employee perk is more than just free food—it holds the promise of community and friendship. Candidates know they’ll have opportunities to get to know people in a social setting, whether they’re new graduates or seasoned professionals.

Improves focus

Employees may be able to focus better after they eat a satisfying lunch. In fact, if you have an important meeting or a major brainstorming session set for the latter half of the day, providing a meal beforehand can be a great way to bring the group together and set up the team for a productive afternoon.

Shows your appreciation

If you’re like many employers, you’re always looking for ways to make employees feel appreciated. Group meals are an effective and efficient solution; you can provide a small incentive to the whole workforce at once.

How to streamline office meal planning

Meal planning can be complicated, particularly if you have a large team. Use these tips to make your group meals more manageable:

  • Emphasize the group setting. Instead of handing over meals for team members to consume independently, focus on dining together. You’ll create time for socialization, and employees won’t feel like they need to spend their lunch breaks working.
  • Accommodate dietary needs. Ensure each of your employees can access a meal that suits their dietary restrictions. The best solution? Allow every person to choose their own food. With Grubhub Corporate Accounts, this process is a breeze—you can allocate individual budgets or enable employees to select their own meal in a group order. And since everything goes on a single invoice, there’s no need to chase down receipts or file expense reports.
  • Use a delivery service. Help employees maximize their lunch breaks by having meals delivered to the office at a predetermined time. Services such as Grubhub Corporate Accounts make planning and scheduling seamless.

If you’re looking to add group meals as an employee perk, Grubhub Corporate Accounts can help you build a streamlined program that reduces administrative overhead. Grubhub makes it easy to order from a variety of local restaurants and caterers, and with customizable ordering rules and budgets, you can even include remote employees.

To find out how we can support your company’s group meals, get started with Grubhub Corporate Accounts today.