Food for Thought: Company Break Rooms Should Offer More Than Coffee


We’ve all been there, plugging away at work when you’re hit with an acute, blinding, insatiable hunger. And that’s when you see it … that granola bar on Sarah’s desk. And Sarah’s gone. And you wonder, is stealing food from a co-worker punishable? Or is it just “frowned” upon?

In a world where people love to disagree, we can all agree on one thing: everyone loves free food. It’s time employers realized that free coffee and Splenda® packets will no longer cut it in the company break room.

Break Room Work Perks

A good break room space should have plenty of seating and tables so employees can eat, relax, and chit-chat with co-workers. But going above and beyond with food options is can beneficial, too. According to a survey with ORC International, found that more than half of employees receive free tea and coffee at work, but only 16 percent get free snacks. Companies with free snack options instantly stand out from the competition.

Bye, Hangry Employees

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring happiness—and free food at work makes people happy. The survey found that when employees have free snack options at work, 66 percent report being extremely or very happy at their job. And when employees are happy and not hangry, they don’t steal from co-workers, which is a definite boost to company culture.

Millennials Love Snacks

Companies should already aim to attract and retain a Millennial workforce, and when it comes to appreciating free snacks at work, Millennials are on another level. Compared to employees over age 45, Millennials are nearly three times as likely to value in-office snacks. Plus, if they found or were offered a job with better perks—including the availability of snacks—66 percent of Millennials said they would take the job. 

Healthy Options

When employers offer healthy snack options at work, they’re contributing to their employees’ well-being and nurturing their healthy culture. Employees are less likely to make unhealthy food choices when healthy options are readily available. Don’t forget to make your offerings inclusive by having nut-free and gluten-free options.

Ultimately, a company, its employees, and its culture benefit from robust break room offerings that include snacks. Employees are enticed by companies with good work perks, and they’ll be likely to stay if they’re happy at work instead of suffering from daily hunger pangs. 

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