If you thought that workplace benefits are all about health insurance, casual Fridays and 401(k)s? Think again. One of the innovative new perks of joining a corporation these days is corporate dining. Yes, you read correctly. Workplace benefits like health insurance, casual Fridays and 401(k)s occupies, while necessary, are so passé when it comes to attracting the younger generation of employees. Corporate dining heads the list of perks that companies use to attract and retain top-notch talent and to improve productivity.
Instead of boring old lunchrooms, today’s corporate dining programs sizzle with innovation, culinary and design sophistication, and on-trend offerings that rival, if not surpass, what employees might find at commercial operations down the street.
Some of the powerful forces that have contributed to this change include:
- A redefinition of the role of corporate dining professionals to encompass broader responsibilities, such as health and wellness programs, among other in the office environment.
- Macro changes in consumer demands, eating habits and food preferences.
- Increased competitiveness for Millennial and Gen Y workers, who’s expectations for and approaches to both work and food are dramatically different from those of older workers.
- A growing recognition by companies that when it comes to creating great corporate culture, attracting the best candidates, retaining a happy workforce and boosting productivity, food matters.
According to Sabrina Capannola, senior project manager at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and current president of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM), “The dining facility is, more than ever, the hub of the organization…(They) are using that space or those spaces more strategically to impact their corporate culture and productivity with some pretty dramatic results.”
Hi-tech companies like Google, Zynga and Twitter have led the charge in affecting the biggest changes in corporate dining. They feature multiple on-site cafés, restaurants, coffee bars, snack bars, kiosks, in-office delivery and catering services that every day feed hundreds if not thousands of employees — at no charge to them — from early morning through happy hour and evening dinner service. Check out the article to learn how these innovative companies are keeping their employees’ tummies happy. (image via Shutterstock)