The Power Of Lunch To Keep Employees Engaged

In a hybrid working world, free catered meals can help fuel a return to the office — and feed success.

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ezCater Employer-provided lunch

With the revolutionary shift in where and how people work, any hope for a “return to normal” is being replaced by a new normal: remote and hybrid are here to stay. At the same time, companies and organizations have a real interest in encouraging their employees to work on site, as it can help foster collaboration, connection, and culture.

So what can employers do to encourage more of their people to come into the office? In a word: lunch.


An ezCater survey of 1,000 workers across a range of industries found that most just aren’t getting the lunch breaks they need to feel productive and happy. 78% of employees agree that taking a lunch break away from their desks improves job performance, and around 40% say it helps them feel less stressed and burnt out, all while contributing to a better sense of work/life balance.

And yet, 70% reported that they stay at their desks to eat lunch at least once a week, while 1 in 10 said they never take a lunch break at all.

ezCater Employer-provided lunchA POWERFUL PERK

Not surprisingly, free catered lunch (or breakfast or dinner) is not only valued by employees — it can actually entice those employees to work on-site more often. In fact, almost two-thirds of those interviewed said they’d be willing to plan their in-person office visits based on when a free catered lunch is being offered, while 1 in 4 said they would return to the office — in-person, full-time — if catered lunches were available.


A number of factors contribute to workers not taking the lunch breaks they deserve. Too much work. Too many meetings. Fear of being viewed unfavorably by their bosses. And then there’s the dreaded “lunch-flation” — over half the employees ezCater surveyed reported spending $11 or more on lunch.

One of ezCater’s most interesting findings is that it’s younger workers, especially GenZ, who are least likely to take lunch breaks away from their desk but who also spend more on lunch. And that presents a real opportunity to feed success. By 2030, GenZ will dominate the workforce. Companies who can level up their food for work game are in a better position to attract, retain, engage, and satisfy this critical generation of employees.


As the leading food for work platform, ezCater helps companies and organizations solve all their food needs, which in turn helps them thrive. After all, food brings teams together, nurtures connection, fuels creativity, and can show your people just how much you appreciate them. And, as nearly half of employees reported, free lunch just makes them happy.

For more valuable insights about how employees view lunch — and what a powerful perk employer-provided lunch can be — get your free download of The Lunch Report by ezCater. 

To learn more about the most reliable food for work solutions, visit

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