For thousands of years, food has brought people closer together. It’s given cultures a sense of identity and brought comfort to humans despite any situation. Simply put, people like to eat and are better off when they adequately fuel their bodies.

In recent years, companies have started to feed their workers, and it’s paying dividends. Here are eight reasons why you should provide food for your employees.

1.   Boosting Productivity

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? It might be for your office if your work hours begin in the morning. Giving your employees food can help boost their productivity and cognitive performance.

If you want your colleagues to start the day well, give them natural carbohydrates like fruit and whole-grain foods. Carbs are your body’s primary energy source, and you can find them in fruits, bread, pasta, oats, quinoa, and more. Feeding these to your employees can bring a great start to the day.

2.   Looking Out for One Another

In the United States, about 84% of adults eat breakfast daily. Your office likely reaches close to that same number. Even those able to eat breakfast daily may occasionally have hectic mornings and are unable to feed themselves a good meal. Maybe they had an emergency for themselves, a significant other, a child, or something else.

Many things can happen in the hours between shifts, so having food available at the office could be what an employee needs to get a better start to the day.

3.   You Are What You Eat

“You are what you eat” is a saying dating back almost 200 years and still holds today. What you eat affects how you think and can shape who you are. The foods you eat influence your gut and your brain’s chemicals. You’ll produce serotonin for your body if you consume good, nutritious foods you enjoy.

Serotonin is a chemical that affects your mood and plays a critical part in the central nervous system. After eating, your serotonin levels are higher and you’ll be a happier, friendlier person. That’s why some people say they feel hungry and angry (“hangry”) before a meal and happier after they’ve eaten.

4.   Building a Culture

When attracting new talent, the workplace culture is one of the top priorities for prospective employees. Having a job beneficial to your life is as important as the pay. One-third of the employees who switched jobs during the pandemic took a pay cut to get a job that made them more content.

With telework becoming increasingly common, giving employees a reason to choose an office job over one they can do at home is imperative. Providing food at the workplace is an excellent start to entice these prospects.

5.   Keeping Employees Around

Hiring new talent is tremendous, and the next step is to keep these people around for a long time. Food is one way to do just that.

About 81% of business leaders say that free food is the best way to get people to show up for work. Food makes people happy, and providing free snacks and free meals throughout the week may be what your office needs to keep your employees where they are. About 67% of employees who have free food at the workplace say they’re happy at their job.

6.   Promoting Healthy Habits

People look up to you when you’re a boss, parent, teacher, or any leadership figure. They admire you and some want to follow in your footsteps. Giving food to your employees can set an example in a couple of ways.

First, it shows that you care about your colleagues. Showing compassion and helping people nourish their bodies goes a long way in building bonds. Secondly, you can use the opportunity to provide healthy foods that promote a productive diet. An assortment of fresh fruits, nuts, yogurt, and vegetables will give your employees healthy and tasty foods to choose from throughout the day.

7.   Supporting the Community

There are multiple ways you can feed your employees at the office. You can have a steady supply of snacks like fruits and vegetables purchased from the store. You could order food from a restaurant and have it delivered through your building or call a catering service and have them serve food at the workplace.

If you’re going to support restaurants in the area, try ordering from local businesses. Someone in your office may have a family member or friend who works at or operates one of these places. Buying from small businesses could be an outstanding way to make your employees happy and support their loved ones.

8.   Saving Time and Money

Feeding your workers is more than money spent in the name of goodwill. You can also see it as an investment. You save time and money when you supply your employees with food at the office. Eating at the office means they’ll return to work sooner instead of spending an hour or more at a restaurant.

There are monetary incentives, too. Providing food at the office could qualify your office for tax deductions under IRS guidelines for deducting business meals.

Food for Thought

Food fosters a sense of happiness and community among people. Nourishing your body with good food makes you feel physically and mentally content. It gives you the energy to complete whatever tasks lie ahead.

If food makes you feel this way, your co-workers will likely feel the same. Feeding your employees snacks or meals throughout the week boosts productivity, makes them happy, and keeps them around for a long time.