5 Benefits of Free Team Lunches

The important role food plays in building committed teams

We are living in truly extraordinary times. And now it is more important than ever to ensure that our team remains engaged, productive and motivated. Whilst due to obvious health and safety related concerns (this article is being published in February 2021 when we are in a third UK lockdown) companies are not able to invest in team building activities outside of the workplace, there are still viable and proven options you can consider. One of those is providing an opportunity for the team to eat together. 

Proven and tested

2015 study from Cornell University highlights the relation between eating together as a team and team productivity & performance. The findings form the basis for research and practice that focuses on ways firms can enhance team performance by promoting eating together. 

In his article for Forbes: "The Key Role Food Plays In Building Team Spirit" Adi Gaskell advocates that opening the lunch hour up and inviting people from outside of the office, for example potential candidates, can have great benefits in getting to know one another in a more relaxed environment. 

Harvard Business Review brings up the same study to point out that "companies would do well to think carefully about investing in and facilitating where, when, and how employees eat at work."

Some of the best performing companies around the world, Google being a leader in that aspect, provide free lunch opportunities for all their employees. But it is not just about free lunch that would be consumed at your desk. It is about bringing the team to eat together, to socialise, talk, exchange ideas, jokes or concerns in a comfortable and relaxed environment. What benefits we can expect from that? Here are just 5 of them, I am sure you will be able to think of more based on your own experience.

1. Better team retention

Offering a free social meal in a workplace, even on a weekly or forthnightly basis make people feel more appreciated and valued. As a result they are much more engaged in the company's life and less likely to move elsewhere. 

2. A closer team

Ability to socialise with different departments, leadership or support team are allowing them to get to know each other on much more personable level. There is therefore increased cooperation, exchange of ideas which leads to better solutions. And people are more likely to stay in the business and work more efficiently when they work with people they know and can be friends with.

3. Accessible leadership

Sharing a meal and a casual conversation with a CEO or a head of HR allows your team to see that we are all just people that have a common goal of making the business a success. It has highly positive results when analysing the levels of trust towards the management team but also engagement in company's vision. 

4. Increased productivity

All of the above makes people feel more welcome, appreciated and valued. As a result it motivates them, often subconsciously, to give their best at work. It may mean going the extra mile for a client, staying longer after office hours to finish off a project or helping someone else in the team to get their job done faster.

5. Positive ROI

It is no secret that you will need to invest in creating the Free Team Lunch events. Working with a reliable and commercially viable catering firm that offers corporate services will allow you to coordinate regular events in line with your budget, keeping your investment on a comfortable level. A wealth of research has confirmed that increased productivity = better financial performance and improved team retention = cost saving on recruitment (just to point couple of the benefits). Combined with improved leadership trust and higher team morale, you can be certain to end up with a positive ROI.

Schedule your team lunches with Kidbay Parties

Kidbay Parties offers a range of corporate catering solutions, all with 5* rating and quality. Together we can develop a well balanced and engaging team meals, cooking classes, cook-offs, pop ups, lunches, dinners and drinks that will fill your company's social calendar in the most delicious way. Drop us a message or call +44(0) 7828507061 to start the discussion.