Why the most productive companies in Switzerland offer great catering to their employees

 One of the core characteristics of the most successful companies in the Swiss economy as well as fast-growing start-ups is great employee catering. Good food makes employees happier and more productive. The benefits are numerous:

1. SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN PRODUCTIVITY 

Getting the perfect lunch is time-consuming: instead of using lunch time effectively, a large part of the Swiss population spends time looking for the perfect place to eat, standing in line, stuck in traffic or looking for a parking space. Probably 15-30 minutes a day.

This is not only at the expense of employees' rest time, but also at the expense of the employer. A concrete example makes this clear: if a company with 200 employees each spend 15 minutes looking for lunch, and an employee earns an average of CHF 40 per hour, that is CHF 520,000 per year. Which is not only taken away from productivity, but typically also from the employee's important rest time.

Easily accessible healthy food at work helps employees focus, which is necessary for efficient good work. Click here for ways to help your employees regain focus:

2. GOOD FOOD STRENGTHENS BRAIN FUNCTION 

While we're on the topic of 'focus', nothing can disrupt focus time like a growling stomach, low blood sugar or an food coma after a heavy lunch. Unfortunately, there are still too many establishments in Switzerland where the only options are candy bars or sugary drinks - 'garbage in - garbage out'.

Nutrient-rich food can rev up the brain: The brain consumes more than one-fifth of daily energy needs.

However, a quick sugar intake is not enough. Focus on natural foods, good fats are good for the nerves and complex carbohydrates promote concentration and keep you going. Ingredients such as fresh vegetables and fruits not only make employees more productive, but happier and more creative. Avoid offering unhealthy snacks that may be free.


3. PROMOTING EMPLOYEE HEALTH PAYS OFF 

Investing in the health of your employees pays off: not only for you as an employer, but also for your employees. You employees are more productive.

Sick days, visits to the doctor are not only frustrating for employees, but can also have a major negative impact on the work in the company.

What does employee catering have to do with this? Skipping meals due to stress or time can lead to deficiencies: Vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies or protein deficiencies – which are needed to keep the body healthy and resistant. Too many calories can turn muscles into fat - resulting in heart disease, type 2 diabetes or even cancer. Plus, obesity can lead to extreme limitations at work such as back problems, knee pain.

The wrong diet including unhealthy snacks or artificial additives can also lead to bad handling of stress or even result in depression.

Invest in the health of your employees today - it will definitely pay off.


4. REDUCING COMPANY COSTS

At first glance, employee catering seems to be an expensive business in Switzerland. According to the Handelszeitung, the full cost of a classic canteen can be up to 4,000 per employee in the company.

Today there are cheaper and more effective offers for companies in Switzerland to provide catering: The company FELFEL has set itself the goal of enabling every company in Switzerland to offer its employees the kind of catering you might be familiar with from Google - at the same time, it should be affordable for both management and employees. In this way, a company can offer catering up to 40 times cheaper than a classic canteen. The price employees pay per meal: hot lunches between CHF 7.00 - 11.00.

The ROI is high considering the cost of non-existant employee catering. More than 200 Swiss companies have already opted for the FELFEL concept, including well-known companies such as the media house NZZ, the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group, the industrial company Alpiq and Swisscom.

5. GOOD FOOD ENABLES REGULAR TEAM BUILDING AND SUPPORTS COMPANY CULTURE

You know the issue: the employee from the engineering department doesn't know the the sales team and can't name anyone. It’s a fact that teams in growing companies often 'grow apart'. While this may help productivity within the team short term, silos are always counter-productive for a company.

The solution: offer opportunities for joint lunches. This is an informal exchange that not only eliminates the need for a meeting or two, but also promotes team cohesion, as Tammy Erickson shows in a recent study.

How eating lunch together promotes collaborations within the company:

  • Connecting ideas that previously did not relate  

  • Creation of products, services and experiences  

  • Sharing different perspectives on issues that affect the whole company  

  • Able to find resources or know-how 'who knows what'

  • Saving unnecessary meeting time  

  • Identifying trends, opportunities and threats in an informal way  

  • Pooling opinions  

  • Encouraging informal debates without pressure 

  • Opportunity for top management to informally share their views with the team  

6. GOOD FOOD MAKES EMPLOYEES HAPPY  

Good food helps to focus. But can it also make employees happier? The best evidence is probably the significant difference in mood just before and after lunch. There are numerous studies on this, including A study performed in October 2012 by Blanchflower, Oswald, and Stewart-Brown, which proved that there is a positive correlation between happiness and good food. Happier employees work more productively.

As a responsible leader, make your employees happy with great food at work: the first step? Book a free test meal for you and your team - we’ll invite you. www.felfel.ch.