Please select your region  
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
Global contacts

We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

View contacts
News
food-wellbeing-blog-464

Food and wellbeing

Why you should encourage employees to quit ‘al desko’ dining for their own good
Improving employee wellbeing has become increasingly important to organisations of all sizes, and services today need to provide a greater level of human care and compassion. But with so many factors contributing to the wellbeing of an individual, where do you begin? With over half of UK office workers lacking a dedicated space to eat lunch in the workplace [1], I believe you should start with the dining room.

Food is at the heart of cultures around the world, and the dining table provides a meeting place for families and friends alike. Enjoying a meal gives us the opportunity to relax, catch up and nourish our souls as well as our bodies. The same applies in the workplace – so if all we think about is providing a meal, the collective approach to food service is flawed. A survey has shown 69% of employees said they feel they work less productively as a result of not taking a lunch break, a staggering percentage which shows we must encourage a proper break to increase the efficiency of our workforces [1].

Our meals should be something we look forward to, they should also make us feel good. Only 24% of British office workers always take their lunch break [2], so we need to find a way to encourage more to step away from their desks. People are not all stamped from the same mold, therefore employees don’t come one size fits all, so we are challenged to provide a varied service that will appeal to a wide demographic. Whether that’s serving something they might not have tried before, empowering them to make a healthier choice or just reminding them of home. Whatever tastes you are catering for, the food served needs to be well thought out and prepared with care, so that our employees feel cared for. Simply listening to and acting on feedback will let employees know you are thinking about their wellbeing, or small gestures such as providing complimentary fruit. 

It’s not just about what’s on the plate, food service is about the whole experience, and the environment is just as important. The food could be excellent but if the dining room is drab and the service poor, people won’t leave feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of their day. Every sense needs to be considered, from when they enter to when they leave. We need to imagine it’s a cartoon, with the scent of the food beckoning people to come in and taste it. Once they’re in the dining room, everything they see should make them feel welcome and happy to spend some time there. Dishes needs to look enticing and taste amazing. Tables should be clean and spacious, with room for colleagues to eat together comfortably and have a conversation.

Investing in service and social areas doesn’t just mean more beneficial breaks. As companies adopt more informal styles of conducting business – associated with organisations such as Google, it’s becoming clear that sometimes the best business comes from not doing business. By providing a space where people feel good about themselves and the environment they are in, we help move towards a greater social focus, which in turn encourages more relaxed and productive meeting styles. Research suggests we are having 75% less conversations in person to 20 years ago; online connections increase correspondingly by 500% [3], so it is important to encourage as much face to face social interaction as we can.  The benefits of having a space on site where people can have informal meetings over lunch or coffee promotes a more natural flow of conversation, meaning they feel less pressured and ideas come more easily. 

If we consider every part of the customer’s journey, we can ensure that their experience is a good one. Eating ‘al desko’ will always have a place in our working culture, but it shouldn’t be the norm. People should be encouraged to get away from their screens, take a proper break and eat a balanced meal as often as possible. When asked what features respondents would like to see in their office, 76% wanted a designated lunch area [1]. If we can provide great food employees want to eat, and an environment they want to dine in, they are much more likely to forego that supermarket sandwich eaten over their keyboard. Taking a real break away from their workstation to eat and relax will allow employees minds and bodies time to recalibrate, which makes for a more productive and positive time at work.
 
[1] https://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/office-employees-lunch-workplace/ 

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/working-lunch-hour-productivity-office-uk-a8843136.html 

[3] https://mailchi.mp/epmagazine/is-there-enough-love-and-leadership-to-go-round?e=6daa0cbf49

Get in touch...

mark-davies-contact-224

...with any ideas or suggestions on this and other food services blogs

Please email us