Free Lunch

by Michael Haberman on February 18, 2011 · 5 comments


The other day I made a presentation to the SHRM-Atlanta HR Boot Camp, actually I made two, one of which dealt with the benefit practices of small companies. I took a look at the the 2010 and 2009 companies that were named a Best Place to Work. The list of things these companies did was actually pretty long and pretty varied. But one thing they did very consistently was provide lunch to their employees. 

A couple of days later I received an email suggesting a blog post I might find interesting. I don’t think the events are related, but just joined by chance, however, I thought it was enough of a reason to post. The blog is called I Need A Job Blog, and the post is entitled 10 Reasons Employers Should Pay for Lunches. I am not sure I agree with every reason, such as the one about CEOs Eat Well, but they are worth looking at. So check it out by click on the post title.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy Tedder February 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Employers should buy lunch? I think vendors wanting to sell to the employer should buy lunch, and so do they! Lunch is a nice way to feed yourself, but the most important thing about lunch is GETTING AWAY from the office environment, office problems, thoughts, and politics. At least that’s my take. Those of us who have too many other things in our budgets can bring lunch to work; I do. I think my homemade lunches are much better and more nutritious than a catered lunch anyway.

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Michael Haberman February 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Wendy:
I agree, I see lunch as an opportunity to “get away.” Even the days I work from home I still go some place for lunch to get that “down time.”

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Jay Kuhns February 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

Interesting post Mike. Early in my career I worked for a small mental health facility and lunch was provided to the staff. I never understood how we could afford it, even though we only had 50 employees. Now that I work for an organization that has nearly 3,000 it’s not even on the list of options. A great perk for sure, but depending on the industry and size of the workforce, sometimes the wish list can’t come true.

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Michael Haberman February 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Jay:
Well there are many ways of providing a “free lunch.” Some companies subsidize or provide an inhouse cafeteria. It all depends on industry and profitability.

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Adrianna February 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Actually when I first started working, the agencies I worked for had a bright, usually windowed, common eating area with a solid (non-windowed) door and there were vending machines and a fridge. Granted on beautiful, warm days people were able to go outside, but when you couldn’t at least there was a common area where employees could gather and eat and not worry that a customer or client would watch and think that just because you are talking to a co-worker at lunch still means you are free to assist them. (I have seen some places where the lunch room has a glass wall and door – can we say fish tank?! I am not a messy eater, but I wouldn’t want to be somewhere where I could feel as if everyone were watching me eat!)

Nowadays, what is described as a lunchroom is usually a small cramped room that really doesn’t make anyone want to stay and relax for lunch…espcially when a cubicle has more light and a semi-decent view.

So though I am not all for employer funded lunches all the time, I am a huge supporter for a spacious, bright, lunchroom with (somewhat of ) a view!

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