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HR Trends and Insights

Meals are a popular incentive to get employees to the office

By June 3, 2022No Comments

Would you head back to the office if your employer was paying for at least some of your meals? That’s what’s happening in New York City. Free or discounted meals (43 percent) were the second most popular incentive employers offered behind social activities (50 percent), transportation subsidies (13 percent), and childcare services (10 percent).

The Partnership for New York City surveyed local businesses about return-to-work topics and found that many are using various incentives to get employees back into the office. The Partnership for New York City found that 78 percent of companies will use a hybrid office model post-pandemic. For employers who required mandatory daily attendance in the past, 77% say they are using the hybrid model now.

Why meal benefits?

Any meaningful benefits are sure to impress employees, but meal benefits are certain to be a big hit for many reasons, especially because everyone needs to eat. Here’s a look at why employers use meal benefits as a return-to-work incentive.

Adequate nutrition

Having a meal benefits plan that gives your workers access to nutritious and nourishing food options contributes to their healthy living. After all, they need energy in their bodies to get the work done.


Not only will a meal benefits plan encourage your workers to return to work, it will also show them that they are appreciated and that you have their interests at heart. When workers know that you have their best interest at heart, they are more willing to return to the workplace.


With appreciation comes happiness, which ultimately becomes a source of motivation. Humans generally love to be appreciated and are motivated to do much more when they are. If you want your workers to be more excited about returning to the workplace, try offering a flexible employee meal benefit like Edenred’s Ticket Restaurant that allows them to get meals on the company’s account using prepaid cards.

Increased productivity

Your workers want to be productive. What matters to them is not just the paycheck. They care that they are making an impact on the company and would prefer to retain a position in which they feel more productive.

One of the reasons many workers prefer to retain remote work is that they feel more productive working from home. Employee meal allowances are added as an incentive to workers, encouraging them to do more. When they do more, the satisfaction of being productive pushes them to become even more productive.

Attraction and retention of your top talent

Meal benefits are the type of employee benefit that can have a huge impact on your workers. You’ll reduce your turnover, increase the chances of current employees recruiting for you, and have stronger cooperation amongst your team.

Use meal benefits to get your staff back to the office

Edenred’s Ticket Restaurant is a meal benefits program that can be customized to your business. It gives employees the freedom to buy meals when they want and allows your company to control where the purchases are made. Employees can purchase food from restaurants, grocery stores, and food delivery service providers.

Ticket Restaurant is an excellent benefit for your employees. Meal benefits save your workers time and money, plus they don’t have to find and cook food themselves. It can give them a big boost when working extra hours. Your employees will also eat healthy. Rather than grabbing food that’s bad for them, they can have their choice of healthy options in the area. They’ll be less likely to skip meals too.

Meal benefits are also very different from catered meal plans. In a hybrid work environment, a catered plan may not work well because of your remote staffers and the revolving door nature of employees in the office. A prepaid card like Ticket Restaurant gives all employees a fair experience to enjoy company-sponsored meals.

Your engaged workforce

Another great reason to provide a meal benefit like Ticket Restaurant is that it gives you a greater chance to create an engaged workforce. With hybrid and remote work, it will be harder to have engaged employees for many companies. Providing a meaningful benefit like a meal card shows your company cares about your employees. In return, they’ll be more productive and loyal to your business.

With happier employees come other benefits. Your employees will not only be more loyal, but they’ll refer their friends to work at your company. A meal benefits plan is also a savvy way to counter an offer with a higher salary than yours for one of your top candidates.

Are you looking for a great benefit to add to your company? Ticket Restaurant is the right meal plan if you want to impress your employees but have complete control over the program. Schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to give you more information.