Aramark | LifeWorks Restaurant Group

Food for thought: can organisations boost productivity through food subsidies?

How far do free food programs (FFP) go to increase productivity and engagement in the workplace? And at what point do the benefits outweigh the initial costs? Aramark looks at when a free food program is the right move for an organisation

While it may seem like a decadence reserved for tech titans and finance giants, food subsidies in the workplace can be more cost effective for a business than it seems. The long-term return on productivity and engagement can outweigh the initial financial investment.

The challenge lies in what is considered to be the most valuable attributes in employees. Does the company want to boost productivity? Is saving costs the most important thing? Is talent attraction and retention the goal? Each organisation has specific needs and aspirations they want to achieve, so different food programs and subsidy levels are required for each individual case.

Benefits and risks

These Aramark white papers look at how footing the bill for employee amenities can encourage benefits for an organisation in many different ways, but such an approach doesn’t come without its risks and sacrifices.

Aramark has identified five key risks in adopting FFPs – these include consumption increase and a culture of entitlement, IRS assessment as a benefit in kind, risk of health-related claims, once started it cannot be stopped, and the costs becoming greater as the company expands.

It is clear full subsidy is a big commitment, and it is one that could be necessary for some organisations wishing to compete in the increasingly competitive war for talent. For companies that are looking to enhance engagement and productivity, there are also other options that can entice employees.

People at the centre

Organisations can provide food facilities in which employees still pay for their own food, but they don’t need to leave the workplace to run errands or get lunch. Investing in providing employee amenities places convenience for employees at the centre of the agenda and increases loyalty and productivity in the organisation.

The Aramark reports walk through the available options coming onto the market to help an organisation choose the right option for its business.

Download the white papers here:

Industry Insights- Squeezing the Balloon of Consumer Pricing

Industry Insights- There’s no such thing as free lunch

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