Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Is Catering Lunch the Right Decision for your Business?

Many companies are now providing lunch for their employees at least a few times per week. There are many reasons to do so.  At Above Property, we cater lunch five days per week and employees tend to really enjoy it, but variety is key. Below are some simple ways that will help make catering easier as well justify the decision to cater lunches, especially if you’re a technology startup.

 

  • First, find some catering companies that cater lunch in your area and ask them some questions, such as whether they deliver.  For those restaurants that don’t deliver, we use, http://www.lunchbox.fm/orders to organize a lunch order.  It’s really easy for the lunch organizer to enter a restaurant with it’s menu into LunchBox, and send out an email to the employees notifying them of the restaurant choice of the day, with a link to order. For the employees, they review the menu, enter their choices and save their lunch order.

 

  • To add variety to your lunches, find companies that offer delivery services for different restaurants that don’t deliver.  For example, you can order multiple meals from them, but they don’t deliver the food. We use, http://www.naplesexpressmeals.com in our area.  Another delivery service offered around the country is, https://www.ezcater.com They provide a list of participating restaurants that they offer pickup and delivery services.

 

  • Create a spreadsheet with all of the restaurants; whether they deliver; their phone number and address; what types of food offered; their website address; if they have a minimum; and take some notes, such as, who to ask for when placing the order, and if the food was well liked by you and your employees. Sharing the spreadsheet with everyone in the office allows others the option of adding to the list.

 

  • Like most things in life, variety is also key with catered lunches because your employees will quickly get tired of the same foods.  We’re still adding to our list as often as we find new restaurants. When you or your employees are out shopping or out with their family on the weekend, ask them to take note of restaurant options.

 

There are many reasons why it’s a great idea to offer lunch each day. Here’s just a few.

 

  • Employees appreciate getting a variety of lunches brought in for them everyday. If everyday is too much, even a couple of times per week are great! Well fed people equals happy and productive people.

 

  • When you and your employees have to come up with eating choices every day, that eats into (no pun intended) everyone’s time. Therefore, productivity goes down, especially in a startup software company where producing software is key. “Every time a programmer has to stop what they’re doing in the middle of a programming session, they get ‘out of the zone.’ It can be difficult for them to get back ‘into the zone,’ according to Aaron Shepherd, CEO at Above Property, a long time programmer for many years.

 

  • Some catering companies and restaurants will send you discounts or coupons if you order frequently from them.

 

  • It gives employees, managers or owners a chance to chat, ask questions or discuss projects with each other while eating in a casual setting, which might not happen otherwise.


So, if you’re thinking of starting to cater lunches for your company and you have the extra cash flow to do so, just start. It’s a great morale booster!

 


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