Aramark | LifeWorks Restaurant Group

War for talent: why there’s no such thing as a free lunch

How far are companies willing to go to attract and retain the best people? As the war for talent intensifies, what will we see next? Aramark looks at the implications of Free Food Programs (FFPs) and offering additional employee services to stay relevant

From cleaning employee homes, offering complementary grocery shopping and dishing out free food at work, companies are going to great lengths to attract and retain top talent.

Aramark looks at what organisations can do to become strong contenders in the war for talent. In today’s competitive climate there is an increasing demand to create employee experiences – a substantial paycheck is no longer enough to attract the very best.

Data produced by Aramark states that two thirds of college graduates would take a pay cut if they felt they could go to a company where their work would make a difference. Creating a great place to work must be the number one corporate strategy for companies to thrive in this era.

While there is no ‘quick fix’, organisations can strengthen their position by providing attractive amenity packages for potential and existing employees to earn loyalty and boost productivity. The package should consider work environment, space, culture, employee amenities and convenience.

Coming at a cost

However, while offering free food is a big advantage for businesses, it comes at a cost. The risks of adopting free food programs are high and the benefits not immediate and difficult to measure. Therefore, it is a luxury usually reserved for financially affluent organisations.

There is also an issue with the internal politics of running an FFP surrounding who takes responsibility and ownership for the program. Therefore it is not a decision businesses should take lightly. Aramark recognises that there are other avenues to explore that are less financially risky, but achieve similar ends.

Although the concept of using food and dining experiences to attract employees dates back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it remains an attractive addition that organisation can use today to increase the productivity and loyalty of employees.

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Industry Insights- Winning the war for talent 

Industry Insights- Free Food or Not Free Food. That is the question