Does A Subsidized Breakroom Really Work?

Subsidized Breakrooms | Employee Benefits | Company Culture

Does A Subsidized Breakroom Really Work?

Written by Emily on June 23, 2022

Many companies offer employees a subsidized breakroom with free food and drinks. A small business might offer free coffee to employees. A larger facility might provide a no-cost cafeteria. But do these amenities really appeal to employees? Is the cost worth the reward? Read on to find out.

Perking Up Employees

Studies show that employees like getting free food. A company that provides free meals and/or drinks through a subsidized breakroom shows employees they’re appreciated. Staff feels valued, cared about, and more integral to the organization. Does that mean you need to open a free cafe with lunches made to order? Not necessarily. Human resource professionals are finding that while employees value free-food perks, they don’t expect it to be the same across all employers. At smaller firms, employees will be looking for upgraded free office coffee or tea options. These companies can earn bonus points with affordable office pantry service that includes snacks or water filtration stations. Of course, if you have a larger facility, you will want breakroom amenities on a larger scale to match.

While employees may not demand extravagant breakroom refreshments, they will notice when it’s overlooked. Cutting back on free items or offering only value brands will send a negative message. Instead of feeling important, employees may feel unappreciated. Alternatively, they might wonder if the company isn’t doing well. Either way, it means they might start the search for a new job.

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Driving Productivity

Everyone has heard the term hangry. It is that unfortunate level of hunger that produces a short temper, lack of focus, and irritability. It happens all the time in the workplace. It lowers productivity and the effectiveness of your team. This is why on-site food and drink are so important. Vending machine service and micro-markets are great options. However, since both are employee-pay solutions, they may not be utilized to their fullest extent. People watching their budgets might avoid amenities they need to pay for. Alternately, people might also be looking for something other than standard breakroom fare. This forces them to leave work. It takes away time from their day and what they can accomplish. Enter a subsidized breakroom. The cost may be covered by the increased energy levels in employees alone. Plus, you might get a bit extra from the reduction in the time they spend off-site during working hours.

Subsidizing healthy options further enhances employee productivity. More and more employees are looking for healthy refreshment solutions. Therefore, when they are offered free by an employer, it doubles the perceived benefit. The employee feels even more supported and appreciated. Plus, eating and drinking healthier may lead to improved employee wellness, fewer sick days, and a reduction in insurance benefits paid out.

Another type of breakroom benefit worth mentioning is wellness incentives. Investing in programs that help employees live healthier can provide great benefits. Encourage employees to sign up for smoking cessation programs by offering them free. Coordinate a walking club at lunch or pay for gym memberships. Not only will employees be healthier, but they will also feel supported in their wellness goals.

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Retaining & recruiting

Research shows it can cost thousands to hire a new employee. Even more, if you’re in an area where there is a shortage of workers. One way to combat this cost is to retain your valuable talent. How? You guessed it. A subsidized breakroom. Spend the money on free lunch or snacks in an office pantry. If you are concerned about the expense, a partially subsidized micro-market might be your answer. This is where the employer covers most of the cost of the items, but employees are charged a nominal amount. Most refreshment service providers will work within your budget and goals for both services. They invoice monthly, handle inventory, and have their staff restock your breakroom.

Employee retention is not just about what’s offered in the breakroom. It is also about the breakroom itself. An attractive breakroom makes employees feel great about where they work. They won’t want to give it all up. This reduces turnover. Also, if you do find yourself looking for a new hire, a beautifully designed breakroom will influence the decision of the new recruit. In many cases, a company that doesn’t invest in the breakroom is putting itself at a disadvantage. If basics like an employee breakroom are subpar, potential employees will wonder what else is being skimped on by the employer.

Subsidizing at work

As you can see, a subsidized breakroom with delicious food and beverages and an inviting atmosphere serves many purposes. It makes the employees at every level feel valued. In turn, this leads to higher productivity, morale, and ownership of common goals. It helps employees be their best selves. It can also be a deciding factor in employee loyalty and recruitment. Coolbreakrooms believes a well-planned and executed subsidized breakroom can assist your business. If you want to explore subsidized breakroom offerings or other services, don’t hesitate to reach out. Get in touch via our website or call (800) 795-6799.