It’s common knowledge that employees working for Google get free lunch. If you manage an office environment, there’s a good reason why you should start implementing the same strategy: Improving your bottom line.
There’s a common misconception that money spent has a negative impact on a company’s bottom line. The real issue is whether the return on the dollar spent is net positive or net negative. Just like you buy inventory to sell at a profit, or hire an expense analyst to save the company money, what matters most is how much you keep at the end of the year.
So, here’s why you should do it.
Productivity. Employees who stay onsite for lunch are more likely to eat faster, spend less time walking to and from lunch and possibly eat while working. Do not discount the importance of regular breaks from work, but those breaks are better spent in small chunks. Taking an hour for lunch is more than one person needs everyday. By offering lunch onsite, you give the option to stick close and get back to work faster.
Retention. When you offer free lunch, you are giving your employees a bonus because they will spend less money on meals every month. When recruiters approach your employees, or your competition tries to steal them away, they will start asking if free lunch is offered. Since most companies do not offer free lunch, you’ll find your employees are less likely to leave. Retention is a huge cost saver to your company, even if you only keep an employee for an extra six months.
Tax Benefits. Both you and the employee will benefit from your free lunches. Consult your accountant first, but in most cases buying your staff lunch is a tax deduction for your company.
Talent Acquisition. Even in today’s market, finding and hiring the best talent is a challenge. Giving your hiring manager as many perks as possible will increase your chances of snagging hot prospects. The faster you hire the best employees, the more productive and profitable your company will be.
Stronger Teams. Instead of wandering off on their own, employees who eat in one central location tend to spend more time getting to know one another. This brings them closer together, strengthens your teams and boosts your company culture. By offering free lunch, you help facilitate conversations and team building.
It may cost you money on a day-to-day basis, but offering free lunch will actually be a net positive: something we could all use in this economy.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.