The Not-So-Surprising Link Between Employee Wellness and Food Perks

Promoting employee wellness in today’s workplace means going beyond free healthy snacks in the office.
Megan Ballingall

Physical and mental health and wellness have become increasingly pressing topics during the pandemic, with millions of Americans quitting the labor force in droves—many of whom cite burnout as the reason.

With the return to office, many employers are rethinking their employee benefits given the reality that many may still be running on fumes.

One office benefits program with a surprising impact in this regard is food perks. But not the often-ignored healthy snack walls of the offices of old.

Here’s how a modern food perks program can support employee wellness and help them recharge.

Health-Conscious? Vegan? Occasional Treat? Let Employees Choose

Traditional health-focused food perks offer employees a limited hand-picked selection of free snacks. However, food perks can support both health and wellness by allowing employees to choose for themselves.

Whether the individual employee wants to eat a healthy salad for lunch or celebrate a big launch with a guilty pleasure like ice cream, today’s office food benefits programs should embrace choice.

In a 2019 survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, the study found that basic comforts like good air quality and comfortable light actually trumped healthy food options on-site for employees.

Instead of assuming all employees value health-consciousness the same in a wellness perk, a more effective food perk gives them the option to choose for themselves from day to day.

Teams That Eat Together, Succeed Together

From the watercooler to the lunch table, food and hydration are at the center of many meaningful office interactions.

A 2022 Gallup report found that businesses with highly-engaged employees experienced a 23% difference in profitability.

Sharing a meal together with coworkers has always been one way to foster that sense of community and belonging organically in the office and meet new people at work.

One Less Thing to Think About Every Morning

A survey of employees in various industries conducted by Ritual found that 1 in 10 respondents still pack their own lunch for work every day, and 1 in 3 do so every other day before heading into the office.

Office benefits programs that include food perks take away the need to think about what to have for lunch before you’ve even had breakfast.

When the start of your day often determines how the rest of it goes, food perks allow employees more headspace to design their day around their own wellness routines, like meditation, a light workout, or reading a book. The result is better work/life balance.

Cover health and wellness in a single benefit with a customizable food perk

Ritual for Companies is a cost-effective and easy-to-rollout food perks program that can cover all the health and wellness benefits mentioned above in a single perk.

Once enrolled, employees can use company-funded credits to buy lunch from a large selection of local restaurants, giving them the freedom to eat their way and together with their team for a better sense of belonging.

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Megan Ballingall
Megan Ballingall