Why an Employee Meal Program is Crucial to Company Culture

Allow your employees to choose what to eat, while staying in control of what is being offered.

6 min read
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The way we work has fundamentally changed. With this cultural turning point, employees are rethinking their priorities in life, as well as constantly navigating new sets of challenges with flexible work models. Let’s look at how the workplace culture has changed, how corporate perks play a role in creating company culture, why employees can’t get enough of employee meal programs, and how DoorDash for Business can help your organization.

In the midst of the Great Resignation, what do employees want at work?

The new normal has made people reevaluate what they really want out of life and whether their current path at a company aligns with their goals and desired lifestyle. 

According to a 2021 McKinsey survey, only 44% of employees believe their personal purpose aligns with their company’s business purpose. And leaders have realized how company culture impacts retention. In fact, 80% of surveyed executives claimed that employee happiness — including overall wellness, remote support, and flexible leave policies — was important or very important to the success of their organization. 

Employees and businesses alike need to work together to mutually thrive for years to come. Companies have to find that sweet spot where the “we” overlaps with the “me”. In the new era of work, it’s not just about work/life balance, but also creating a happy, inclusive, and prosperous space while employees are at work. 

How does an employee meal program build company culture?

As The Great Resignation and employee retention continue to be hot button issues, HR professionals are reassessing their benefits program and exploring new ways to attract and retain talent. Companies are leaning on employee meal programs and corporate food delivery to make that happen.. In fact, a recent DoorDash survey found 88% of companies believe food helps employees feel valued and 82% of those surveyed said they’d feel more satisfied at work if they received rewards,  like corporate gift cards. 

Endless studies show food builds stronger bonds. Organizations that want to enhance team performance and create a strong company culture often have a strong meal program in place. For instance, a Cornell study found firefighter platoons who eat meals together have better group job performance compared with firefighter teams who dine solo. 

According to Kevin Kniffin, a professor at Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, “From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplaces. [...] Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together. That intimacy spills back over into work.” Given the findings, organizations that want to enhance team performance should seriously consider offering food benefits to their employees.

How does an employee meal program differ from other benefits?

While some benefits, such as travel, can help employees reset periodically, food impacts employees’ every day: whether it’s their productivity, happiness, or overall health. Even though the human brain is only 2% of our body weight, it's the primary consumer of glucose in the body, using 20% of glucose-derived energy. If your employees are skipping meals, this could also mean they don’t have enough energy to focus on work. 

For instance, skipping breakfast reduces short term memory and cognitive performance and there's a 66% increase in the likelihood of employees experiencing lower productivity because of unhealthy eating. And with the ease of food delivery, employees can take a restful lunch break, recharge, and eat healthier. In summary, food is what fuels the mind as well as the body throughout the entire day, and making it simple for your employees to eat can have a serious impact on their daily wellbeing.

To help your employees avoid wasting time on meal prep or dishes, ordering meals from nearly anywhere in the U.S. has never been easier than with DoorDash for Business. The company’s national coverage makes ordering Employee Meals accessible to organizations across the country. In fact, DoorDash reaches 85% of the U.S. population. With work models constantly changing, these meal solutions are designed for any work need. This makes it easy to ensure benefit equity. 

With DoorDash for Business, office employees receive the same benefits as those traveling or working remotely. Whether your team is working from home, at the office, or on the go, offering DoorDash for Business helps you increase employee happiness, improve wellbeing, and attract and retain top talent with a meal benefit they’ll love.

What is DoorDash for Business?

DoorDash for Business is a comprehensive meal ordering platform for the modern workforce that supports all types of on and off-site business needs, including recurring meal programs and standalone meal events. 

By tapping into 450,000+ DoorDash partner restaurants across the country using the #1 food and drink app on the App Store, DoorDash for Business is designed to maximize your meal expenses budget, save time, and keep your team happy. These highly customizable meal budgets allow you to set locations, times, and days when budgets are available giving you total control. Basically, this in-demand meal solution raises the bar on food experiences at work. Specializing in end-to-end delivery for every work food need, DoorDash for Business delivers unparalleled food service and quality for every company and every occasion, no matter whether your employees are working from the office or remotely.

Research shows that DoorDash for Business can increase employee happiness, make your team members' lives easier, and ultimately help companies retain top talent. In a 2021 survey of DashPass for Employees users, 76% stated that food delivery increased their happiness and 82% stated that food delivery saved them time. By implementing DoorDash for Business as one of your benefits, you save your team the stress of daily meal prep and enable them to better focus on work. 

A distraction like meal prep is not only stressful to your employees but can take a toll on productivity. According to Gloria Mark, an expert on digital distraction at the University of California, it can take about 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.

How can Employee Benefits be used to support your employees?

At this cultural turning point, attracting and retaining talented employees can be a challenge without the right tools. By offering free delivery and reduced service fees on meals and every day essentials, you show your team you care about their wellbeing. And feeding your team has never been easier with our comprehensive meal ordering platform, enabling you to easily onboard employees, allocate budgets, schedule meals ahead of meetings, and track expenses in one place. 

Here are a few resources to make your employees feel valued while boosting productivity:

What is DashPass?

DashPass for Employees is a sponsored perk that allows eligible participants to subscribe and enjoy the full benefits of unlimited deliveries from thousands of eligible restaurants with $0 delivery fees. DashPass users save an average of $4-5 on every order while supporting thousands of local restaurants and enjoying meals that fit their health and dietary needs. 

This employee benefit will not only help you boost your bottom line, but also increase wellness in your organization. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 156 million people spend the majority of their waking hours working, which is why more and more companies are focusing on wellness. When your team feels well, they perform better in all areas of their lives. So it's no wonder that DashPass for Employees is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after HR benefits. 

Investing in your employees' wellbeing as well as your company's ensures everyone continues to thrive. In fact, 63% of companies with a robust employee meal program have seen a positive impact on company culture, showing the significant impact food benefits have. It’s a meaningful way for companies to show they truly care for the welfare of their team members.

DashPass for Employees can fundamentally change the way we work. Over 57% of employees said they’re too busy to take a full hour lunch break, but studies show taking a lunch break can improve job satisfaction, efficiency, and the likelihood of recommending an employer as a great place to work. When dinner time rolls around, employees are tired from a long work day and opt for easy, unhealthy options.By offering corporate food delivery to employees, they can spend their lunch break and evenings recharging.

This is why Fortune 500 company, Synopsys chose to add DashPass into its benefits package: "We got the most positive feedback ever when we launched DashPass, it was one right after the other, people really appreciate it, saying how this has helped them so much. And it's such a nice benefit to have. We're really glad that it's been doing really well. I've seen the numbers since our launch, and a lot of people are taking advantage of this benefit that we have.”

What are Employee Gift Cards?

Showing gratitude shows employees you appreciate their hard work and time. Ultimately, showing your employees you care will increase engagement and productivity at your organization. Simply put, happy employees are more productive employees. Even small tokens of appreciation, such as providing corporate meal delivery, can show you care. 

DoorDash employee gift cards show employees you care and appreciate all they do for your business. If you are an administrator, office manager, or HR professional, corporate gift cards are a great way to increase job satisfaction and show employees your appreciation. Managers can also send them to members of their team as a thoughtful gift to let them know they’re doing a great job.

Here are a few benefits of DoorDash for Business Gift Cards:

  • Bulk Pricing: Buy more, pay less. Minimum order of 25 gift cards and only available in the U.S. & Canada.

  • Convenience: With an optional personalized note, gift cards can be bulk ordered and delivered directly to your employees’ inboxes

  • Flexibility: Whether working in-office or at home, your employees can choose their favorite local place from over 450,000 restaurants

  • Lasting appreciation: Gift cards never expire, so they can be enjoyed wherever, whenever

How can Employee Meals reduce stress and burnout?

When your team thrives, your company thrives. In fact, 90% of business leaders say feeding employees helps build stronger relationships at work. By leveraging our all-in-one platform to feed your workforce, you can save money, increase productivity, boost employee retention, and automate reporting. Here are a few recommended resources for a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce: 

What are Expensed Meal Credits?

Expensed Meal Credits enable you to set a food ordering budget for employees to expense meals anytime, anywhere — from desk lunches to late-night snacks. When you implement Expensed Meal Credits into your benefits program, your team members can choose from 450,000+ restaurants, including local favorites and national chains. 

Making it easier for your employees to have easy access to a meal shows you care and promotes a healthier company culture.Even better, it's easy to implement. All you have to do is set automatic one-time or recurring budgets and administrators can invite employees to activate meal benefits. Yes, it’s that easy -- set it and forget it. If you happen to be having trouble, no worries. The Admin Portal is equipped with the highest tier of 24/7 support. We’ll provide an exceptional ordering experience, every time.

Once enrolled through the user-friendly Admin Portal, employees can easily order their meals on the DoorDash app or on their desktop. No need for employees to save receipts; meals are automatically expensed to the company account and DoorDash even has SAP Concur integration, so your team can easily access restaurants for a business lunch and more.

What are DoorDash’s Discounted Corporate Rates?

Speaking of customizing your meal needs and making them accessible to your entire workforce, DashPass for Employees helps reduce the daily stress of meal prep. ​​This product provides unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees, saving your employees time and money, while enabling them to actually relax during lunchtime. And here’s the best news, bundling Discounted Corporate Rates with Expensed Meal Credits makes your dollar go further, generating 15% to 29% in savings on meal budgets between $15 and $35. 

Tawni Martino, Executive Assistant at Zoom, said the following about using DoorDash: "DoorDash's new platform that allows employers and employees to pay a share of the cost is amazing. It has simplified my work considerably. Our account manager is amazing and responds instantly whenever there is an issue. The monthly invoices are very convenient. The choice of restaurants is extensive and can be catered to your company's likes and dislikes. I highly recommend them!”

How can DoorDash for Business help your business?

Whether through Employee Benefits or Employee Meals, DoorDash for Business helps you keep your workforce happy, healthy, and productive. With “The Great Resignation” in full swing, attracting and retaining top talent is more crucial than ever. Implementing DoorDash for Business meal solutions into your benefits package supports flexible work models, improves your team’s work/life balance, reduces stress, and improves productivity. Not only is DoorDash an investment in your workforce, but also in your bottom line.

Contact us to find out more about using DoorDash for Business.