There are more reasons to provide food and beverages in the office than there are reasons against it.
Ever get the munchies in the midst of a brainstorming session? That’s when a quick snack could come in handy.
Or what about when you’re at your desk come 3:59 pm. Ever think about grabbing a cold beer to pull you through the last of your dreaded tasks for the day?
Office beverages and snacks encourage employees to spend less time out buying food and more time on things that matter.
It doesn’t have to be fancy nor does it have to make your company’s wallet cry tears of regret. If you’re not a big company like Google with money to hire in-house chefs to serve full-blown meals, there are ways around spending so much on snacks and beverages.
Here are some things to consider when you’re debating on mid-morning snack options for the company.
Why In-House Beverages Became Common
Why did offices start offering beverages in the office, to begin with? There must be a reason why it has become so common to offer something as simple as free water in the workplace, right?
Nowadays it’s a common courtesy to offer employees simple pleasures like soft drinks, tea, coffee, etc.
There’s a reason for everything and for workplace beverages, that reason is a water cooler. Yup, we have the water cooler to thank for changing the way Americans take their breaks.
At the time of invention, safe drinking water was not common so the water cooler was a way to remedy this issue. It provided purified, chilled water that eventually made its way into offices across corporate America.
Its design was simple, efficient, and made it easy to give a simple refreshment to people of the workplace.
The water cooler became a prime location for employees to talk to one another. Hence where the term ‘water cooler talk’ originated from.
It became synonymous with not only its function but what it represented: an actual break.
Evolving from this point, fancier more high-tech devices come around. Throw not only heated water into the mix but also vending machines and coffee.
And now you’ve got a revolutionized ideology of what it means to take a lunch break.
What Kind of Snacks & Beverages Should You Provide?
We all get the munchies. You’ve been there!
If that 10 am meeting left you physically drained but it’s too early to take a lunch, grabbing something quick can be a big help.
Now we can’t speak for the entire workforce population. Yet, we can speak for a good amount of those behind the desk who would appreciate something to quiet the hangry mood swings.
Hey, it’s normal, we all need brain food to keep our bodies functioning and to keep ourselves mentally sane.
And that’s precisely the kind of stuff you should be providing your team: healthy options.
This means providing nutrient-rich snacks with enough protein, vitamins, fiber, and healthy goodness to keep a person running through their day.
Plus, who doesn’t love free food and beverages?
Now there are two very powerful words to keep in mind. These are the only words you need to know if you want to get everyone’s ears to perk up and that’s ‘free coffee’.
Yes, people love free stuff in general. The more useless it is the better.
However, coffee is one free thing that most will agree is better than cheap key chains or light up trinkets. It’s the universal work drink for corporate offices across the nation.
One study even shows that 37% of Americans prefer free daily coffee over an annual holiday party.
The caffeine boost and health benefits alone should warrant the need to have coffee in the office. But if you still had your doubts about it, take a look at some of the ways that you can make coffee the best part of your day.
Reasons to Include Snacks & Beverages in the Office
Manage Your Appetite Better
No longer will you suffer insane bouts of hunger.
Moderate snacking throughout the day can help take the edge off when your stomach starts to protest.
The goal is to offer healthy food alternatives that will not only fill you up but will provide much-needed fuel for the day.
Of the many studies done and articles written on the matter, you’ll find that a large chunk of the American population skips their breakfast.
According to a Morning MealScape study done by The NPD Group in 2011, 1 in 10 adults tends to skip breakfast every morning.
So much for the most important meal of the day right?
Since it’s the most important meal of the day, we should place a little more weight to what we eat before noon.
For those of us who regularly skip meals due to a lack of effort or time, having snacks in the office will remedy that no problem.
Give Yourself A Break
If you need another reason why you need something as simple as coffee or fiber infused snacks, here’s another one for you.
They give you a much-needed break from work.
Think back to the grand times of the water cooler. When people needed to let loose for a bit what did they do? They had a drink and hashed it out with coworkers.
Nothing has changed except for the fact that we upped our game in the food and beverage department.
The accessibility of having office snacks and beverages takes the pressure off of everyone involved.
What we mean by this is that you won’t be limited by your food options, a lack thereof, or an inability to find a food source.
And of course, it’s not like there isn’t a Starbucks around every corner.
But when you’re pressed for time you may not have the luxury of walking a block away for your favorite acai bowl. Particularly when you have a very important meeting in 10 minutes.
So next time you have to postpone lunch for a meeting or deadline, think about the benefit of having something nearby to quell the cravings.
Offering snacks and beverages in the office says several things about who you are in the eyes of your employees. Their thoughts can range from ‘Wow they care’ to ‘Wow they actually know their employees exist.’
The takeaway here? Having snacks and beverages are a way for the company to show their employees that they care!
Ultimately it’s a way to keep them engaged.
Employees have unmet needs and offering something as simple as coffee and snacks is a simple way to acknowledge and meet some of those needs.
For more ways to improve employee satisfaction, here are a few ways on How to Create A Motivating & Satisfying Work Environment
In-house snacks and beverages aren’t solely for your employees benefit either.
If you’re trying to make a good impression and be courteous to visitors, you want to offer them refreshments.
This can be helpful in swaying others towards your business. Offer someone a hot cup of coffee and they will automatically hold your company in higher regard than those who don’t.
Increased Productivity & A Positive Work Environment
Giving employees the option to stay within the company minimizes the time spent venturing out to buy something. That means more time spent getting things done.
Offering healthy options can also influence your employees to create a routine with a healthy diet in mind.
Remember we mentioned something about water cooler talk? It’s that comfortable space that allows people to open up and communicate with each other.
Having a designated area for snacks and beverages is a great way to socialize with coworkers.
It creates an open environment perfect for fostering a cross-functional working culture. If people genuinely enjoy the work that they do then they’re going to want to talk about it with others that they work with.
Is There a Reason to NOT Include Snacks & Beverages in the Office?
To Drink or Not to Drink is the Question
OK, you might be thinking about what else to add to your break room or how to improve upon what you already offer.
If you’re still on the fence about whether to include alcoholic beverages as an option, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Moderate (and we stress moderate) alcohol intake can improve problem solving and creativity.
- Alcohol serves as a way to release the tension in your body and offers an easy way to relax.
- There are some very mild health benefits to mild alcohol consumption, wine in particular.
- Even when increasing creativity, alcohol will impair a person’s ability to reason or focus.
- Issues may arise if alcohol is inhibiting employees from getting work done or if they develop unhealthy habits.
- Other legal issues may arise if the employee involved themselves in an accident after consuming alcohol.
If you’re still not convinced and you decide to exclude alcohol in the office, no big deal. There are other healthy options that you can offer like coffee, tea, kombucha, or other soft drinks that people will enjoy just as much.
A Break or a Distraction?
Raise your hand if you have ever found yourself snacking because you were bored. Let’s all hang our heads in shame for a bit because not one of us is innocent of this crime.
The downside to offering snacks and beverages in the office is that people take advantage of them for the wrong reasons.
The first being that they use it as a distraction from completing their work. The second being that people will overindulge in times of stress and high emotions.
The free label gives people in the company a power that they can abuse, although a power that they can control.
There are ways in which you can tamp down those undesirable eating habits and pin them to the wall. The first step is to identify the habit for what it is and take the steps to control it.
Here’s a tip so you don’t start to use snacks as an excuse to teak breaks.
Set up a set schedule of your day to complete everything that is at the top of your to-do list. That way you can reward yourself with a snack break every time you complete a major task throughout your day.
Location is also a crucial part of having snacks and beverages in the office.
Out of sight out of mind.
If the free stuff is not right under your nose, it’s easier to control the urge to overindulge.
Lastly, focus on providing better options. There is no use in providing food and beverages if you’re fueling your team with junk.
So find some ways to optimize your office for healthy habits. Offer healthy snacks only or offer a limited amount of the heavily processed stuff. Remember, having too much of a good thing will never end well.
How To Start Stocking the Office Kitchen
First, why are you choosing to bring snacks and beverages to the office?
Is it simply to please your employees? Or are you also doing it to compete with every other company that’s providing free food and drinks?
Both reasons are perfectly plausible but remember there are smart ways to go about it.
If you really want to go above and beyond for your employees (and for yourself as well!) think about different ways to stock your office. Find a way to please the majority of your employees while also keeping costs at a minimum.
Know Who Your Employees Are
It’s as simple as asking a question! Who are your employees?
What if most of them were on their 6th month of sobriety. Are you going to bring in booze, right under their nose to tempt them?
Others need to maintain a certain diet either because they’re diabetic, allergic to dairy, etc. Seeing that a company offers snacks in line with their dietary restrictions is good for the person, but good for the company too.
They earn major brownie points if they manage to please even the religious vegan of the team.
An idea here is to email a survey to the rest of the company and ask everyone’s opinion on what they want to see in the office.
Do they want something a little more health conscious? Or would they prefer high-quality coffee over some other costlier options?
Set A Budget
If the budget is what you’re worried about, think about it this way. Spending money on snacks and beverages is like an investment.
You’re investing your time and money for your employees. The company gains as much as your employees do.
Let us remind you that employees are a company’s greatest asset. Knowledge is power and a person’s knowledge won’t matter if starvation is always killing their train of thought.
In the short-term, it might cost more to spend on snacks and office beverages. But in the long-term, productivity and satisfaction will improve with something as simple as a free cup of coffee.
Create A List of Needs to Consider
Every office has its needs.
It’s at this point where you want to clearly establish those needs so you can find the best way to fulfill them. Here are some examples to get that list going:
- What are the primary items that you want to keep stocked that will satisfy everyone involved?
- If you’re considering beverages then does that include alcohol? Are we talking kegs of coffee, beer, wine, or all of the above?
- Create a schedule. Consistency is key to maintaining a steady workflow routine so how often do you want to restock the office pantry?
Look for an Office Beverage and Snack Delivery Service
The final step to completing the optimal office space is to look for a delivery service that caters to all your office needs.
Rather than climbing Mount Everest, going to the ends of the earth like a corporate scavenger looking for their last meal, realize that we live in the 21st century.
It has never been easier to get the ‘goods’ for an office than a time like now. A quick phone call, a click of a button, and you’ll have someone knocking at your door with full boxes and kegs of your favorite snacks and coffee.
There are plenty of alternatives for office coffee services and even home deliveries.
And no one knows more about coffee and snack services as we do at Office Libations. So we understand how important it is for an office to get what they need and keep everyone happy.
God forbid the company should ever run out of everyone’s favorite brand of tea or coffee.
Whatever you’re looking for, it’s out there. All you have to do is know what you want and start looking.
Recognize that there are inexpensive ways to stock your office. Food and beverage service doesn’t have to complicate anything.
Don’t consider food and beverage for the office as an unnecessary luxury. Though some companies may make it seem like a luxury, it doesn’t have to cost like one.
Lunch breaks are an important part of the day and not only for nutritious reasons. It’s a mental break!
It’s an employee’s time away from work to unwind, power nap in the corner or down a few coffees before trudging back to their computer.
Set aside a reasonable budget, look into your options, and consider the benefits of snacks and beverages in the office.
You don’t need to serve organic lemon wedges alongside your beers. But when mints are no longer cutting it, think about what simple pleasures can do for balancing a person’s work environment.
Make sure to share this article with anyone you think could use it!
When you find yourself in need of wine, coffee, kombucha, tea, beer, or snacks for your office or event, shoot us a message!
This article was brought to you by Office Libations, your San Francisco Bay Area office coffee, keg delivery, and snack service. Delivering top local brands and kegs of cold brew coffee, kombucha, beer, and wine.