Chewse’s first eBook, The Benefits of an Office Catering Program, came out earlier this month. In it, we look at recent studies about office connectivity, and how office catering can help your office culture thrive. To download the free eBook, click here: 

To accompany the eBook, we’re writing previews into what you might learn (though the eBook is much prettier, we promise 😉). You can check out a preview of the first half of the ebook (even though it’s 100% free!). Today, we’re diving into the second half: Office Catering is an Investment.

You’re a business! You have to make money! But feeding your employees – and, more importantly, fostering a culture where they can connect and build community – is the best investment there is. Office catering can reduce turnover and increase retention, because it creates happier and healthier employees. It’s what your employees want (to learn why, read our first preview, or download the eBook!).

There may be several reasons why you haven’t invested in office catering yet. Maybe you haven’t found the right fit, maybe you tried it and were burned (food pun intended?). But the benefits outweigh the costs. Here’s why:

If you say “Our admin organizes office catering.”

Food management may be part of your admin’s role, but these office superheroes are the biggest culture-creation forces in your company, and they have much more to offer. With support and buy-in from business leaders, admins can create community, make people feel welcome, and elevate your company to a new level. There’s a reason this position has so many titles! In fact, at Chewse, our admin is our Office Love Manager – since love is one of our two pillars of culture

And with any corporate catering company, your admin will still be the liason. The proprietary Chewse platform takes a lot of the work out of catering, but admins can choose how to be notified, make adjustments through Slack and Google Calendar, and even request new restaurants. We aren’t cutting them out of the picture; just making time for other culture-building tasks.

One of the things our Office Love Manager does, for example, is set up a culture-building conversation opener every Friday during our catered lunch. These slides (which we upload to LinkedIn every Friday, by the way) encourage us to move past small talk and really get to know the people sitting next to us in the break room – especially when they might not be coworkers on our teams. Your admin could do the same (or something totally different!) in the time they’d usually be spending wrangling the finer details of catering for a group.

If you say “I don’t want to worry about delivery and tipping.”

You don’t have to! Hospitality is one of our service pillars – we make sure we take care of our customers as well as we take care of ourselves. Your catering operations specialist will pick up your food from one of our local restaurants and bring it to your office. They’ll even set it up for you, no tipping required, no “white glove service” package needed. Unlike many other catering delivery companies, we pay our employees per hour – not per delivery. With Chewse, you’ll never see any hidden fees in your charge.

If you say “We want a variety of restaurants.”

So do we! At Chewse, we work – exclusively – with local mom and pop restaurants. We proudly serve everything from comfort food (BBQ anyone?) to healthy catering, with a hefty dose of exciting cuisines mixed in there. Have you ever tried Nepalese momos? How about Uzbek mati? 

Chewse isn’t a commissary kitchen – our employees are foodies, not chefs. We’ll do our best to find local favorites, hidden gems, and new delights, no matter what meal you’re catering. We can go fancy with artisan parfaits or keep it classic with breakfast burritos for your breakfast catering, and we provide the same options for every other meal period. 

Not only does variety keep your employees coming to the table every day, but it’s also a healthier alternative. Most American workers have a grab-and-go lunch with half-a-hand on the keyboard. They might snag a protein bar or (*gasp*) some soylent. But with a catered meal for lunch, you’re offering healthy options anyone can opt-into. That’s why the majority of Chewse lunch meals come with a salad, and always include healthy veggies on the side. Variety + healthy options = happy employees.

If you say “Why pay for a service we can handle ourselves?”

At Chewse, we believe everyone should have a seat at the table. The healthiest and happiest teams eat like family – and that includes your admin, too. When you have an employee handling catering, they’re de-facto excluded, which can reduce the community in your office. Corporate catering allows everyone to sit down and enjoy the meal, together.

Chewse office catering is also more than a delivery service. Through our Chewse to Give program, we recover and donate your leftovers to local folks in need. We work with food recovery experts at Copia to find non-profits who need the food most, in real-time.

If you say “In my experience, corporate catering is more of a hassle than it’s worth.”

We’re sorry to hear that – and we’re here to change that. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting so your experience can be as hassle-free as possible. During the Chewse onboarding process, your dedicated Account Manager will learn your Taste Profile, including your office’s food restrictions and dietary preferences. Then, our proprietary algorithm will match your office with food that works for you – taking the work out of the equation. The only thing you’ll see is healthy, tasty food that works for your needs in the office every day. 

If you say “Is office catering really that important, though?”

Honestly, yes.

Office catering doesn’t just make employees happy while they’re eating. 90% of employees report feeling refreshed and ready to go after a sit-down lunch, rather than a eat-at-your-deask meal. Employers who offer corporate catering report that, as a result, their employees work harder and drive new ideas. 

Not only does catering help foster engagement – it’s also the loudest and clearest way you can tell your employees what your company values. Currently, 1 in 5 Americans worry that their boss and coworkers will think they’re lazy if they take a lunch break. Encouraging your employees to take a lunch break does a lot of good. But the best way to tell your employees that lunch doesn’t equal laziness, in anyone’s mind? Offering lunch for them to enjoy, together.

Catering is a catalyst for community building in the workplace, and food is the universal human connector. Employees want this benefit, and investing in corporate catering is the best way to drive up culture in the workplace.