Voluntary employee turnover costs U.S. businesses an average of $15,000 per employee. Although these costs can quickly add up, employee turnover is a largely fixable problem. Investing in employee satisfaction and overall workplace experience can pay off greatly in the long run, encouraging current employees to stay while simultaneously attracting new ones.
If you’re wondering how to attract the best employees, keep reading to learn how a corporate cafeteria could be exactly what your company needs.
Challenges in Recruiting and Maintaining Top Talent
A company is only as good as its workers, which is why recruiting and retaining top talent is integral to a corporation’s success. In fact, acquiring top talent will most likely become increasingly important for complex jobs as technology continues to advance, and older generations begin to exit the workforce.
Despite the importance of hiring and maintaining gifted individuals, few business leaders have confidence in their company’s strategies for attracting highly talented people. And of those who do believe in their recruitment process, even fewer think they can retain their top talent for the longterm.
Furthermore, “failure to attract and retain top talent” was named as the number one problem facing companies today according to a recent survey of CEOs around the world. These results indicate that recruitment weighs even more heavily on the minds of business leaders than economic growth or competitive intensity. While global business leaders recognize the importance of hiring and maintaining top recruits, many still do not know how to find valuable talent.
Even after a company manages to hire a highly talented individual, it still faces the challenge of maintaining the employee’s loyalty. The workforce is becoming dominated by millennials, who are far less likely to remain at the same job for as long as members of previous generations would be. In fact, 53% of millennials have already had three or more jobs since beginning their careers.
The high turnover rate among millennial workers is a large concern for corporations because turnover is expensive. Especially for jobs that are intensely interactive or information-based, productivity takes a considerable dip when key employees leave. Because retention is so critical for business, any tactics proven to draw talented people to a company and keep them there are well worth the investment.
How Dining Services Can Positively Impact Recruitment Efforts
Because highly skilled workers typically have multiple job offers to choose from, companies need to set themselves apart from the competition by bringing something exceptional to the table. This is where a cutting-edge company cafeteria can make a huge difference. When recruits are looking into a company, dining services are viewed as a major perk. Recruits will be more likely to remember a company visit if they have an incredible meal experience while there.
The world’s largest HR membership organization designated for human resource management, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), recently discovered that surveyed employees ranked “overall benefits” as the third most important contributor to their job satisfaction, with 63% of employees rating “overall benefits” as “very important.” A great cafeteria is crucial to a company’s benefits package and can sway a potential employee’s decision to stay or go.
A business also needs a high-quality cafeteria to have a chance of keeping up with its competitors and winning top recruits over. Well-designed, communal cafeterias are gaining popularity for their ability to deliver ROI by means of recruitment, productivity and branding, resulting in more and more businesses investing in company cafeterias. That means businesses will have to improve their dining services as well if they want to stand out.
Along with attracting talent, company cafeterias are key to retaining employees once they’ve been hired. A communal cafeteria space can play a large role in helping employees stay connected and engaged while at work, which will boost collaboration and employee satisfaction. In addition to being a strategic recruitment initiative, an onsite cafeteria helps with a company’s long term viability by fostering a healthy workplace culture.
Additional Dining Service Benefits for Businesses
Along with being a great means of attracting top talent, a high-quality onsite dining service offers an array of additional benefits for businesses. The most notable advantages of a company cafeteria include:
1. Thriving Social Environment
A cafeteria can serve as the social hub of an office, drawing workers out of their isolated cubicles and workspaces. By providing a place to mingle with peers, cafeterias open up doors for co-workers to get to know one another, exchange ideas and collaborate. When co-workers are invested in each other’s success, they naturally work together better and become more engaged with their projects.
Along with building community, connecting with co-workers from different departments can help workers develop a greater sense of belonging, which increases company loyalty.
2. Higher Worker Morale
A company cafeteria with delicious dining options will give employees something to look forward to while they work. Instead of a lonely lunch break at their own desks, workers can anticipate a friendly dining atmosphere as they go through their morning tasks. Employers can also boost workplace morale by making meals affordable — and employees can save money by not having to pay for gas to go out and get food. Employees can also have more time to relax and enjoy their lunch break since they won’t have to factor in travel time.
3. Increased Productivity
Well-fed employees will have the energy they need to work harder and stay focused throughout the day. Having a company cafeteria makes it easier and more convenient for employees to take a lunch break, which gives them ample time to reenergize. Also, having a cafeteria onsite discourages longer lunch breaks outside of the office, adding to employee productivity and efficiency even more.
On the other hand, malnourished employees are prone to be less productive and need more sick days. Keeping the company cafeteria stocked with healthy food choices helps ensure employees’ nutritional needs get met and that everyone has the energy to work through the day.
4. Enhanced Employee Wellness
To keep workers healthy and well-nourished, a company cafeteria must offer a variety of healthy snack and meal options. Corporations can prioritize their employees’ wellness by using only minimally processed ingredients that are low in trans fats and sodium. The cafeteria will also need to take everyone’s dietary needs into account and accommodate for allergies as well as vegetarian, vegan, low-calorie and other diets.
Along with nutritious food options, companies can consider initiating a wellness program that promotes physical activity and overall healthy lifestyle choices. Employers may be surprised how much a wellness program ends up improving their operations and bottom lines.
5. Reduced Administrative Costs
Outsourcing the food management of the company cafeteria can save the administration time, energy and costs. Working with a reliable hospitality service to provide for the company’s dining needs eliminates having to hire and train in-house employees to work in the cafeteria.
Additionally, the company will save on their wages and benefits as well as food costs. Because corporate cafeteria vendors buy their food in bulk, they can offer prices that are considerably lower than what it would cost a business to operate its cafeteria on its own.
Considerations for Building a Recruitment-Worthy Dining Program
Companies interested in launching a dining program tasty enough to woo top talent need to concentrate on a few key cafeteria concerns. A limited, basic dining program will not be enough to persuade recruits to join a company’s team. Instead, businesses need to take an innovative approach to their dining program to boost both recruitment and retention of employees.
Corporations can create an elevated dining experience for its employees by following these guidelines:
- Prioritize quality: Maintaining the quality of the cafeteria’s food is essential to ensuring employees want to eat there. A company cafeteria that incorporates international flavors and customizable stations will be far more popular than a simple, old-school cafeteria.
- Stay ahead of the competition: Depending on where a business is located, it may be surrounded by restaurant options that are tasty enough to tempt employees into venturing outside the office. A cafeteria can combat this competition by offering equally delicious, healthy meal options for an affordable price.
- Consider dietary preferences: To appeal to everyone in the office, a company cafeteria must include diverse dining options that cater to allergy needs and other dietary choices.
- Promote good health: Today’s workers are looking for healthy food options more than anything else. Companies can easily meet this demand by providing freshly prepared dishes that use only fresh, unprocessed ingredients.
- Go beyond lunch: Many employees don’t follow a set work schedule and may end up eating at odd times. To accommodate this, company cafeterias should offer a variety of dining opportunities throughout the workday, such as mid-morning smoothies, an open salad bar and an afternoon snack option like flatbreads.
- Think globally and source locally: Infusing globally inspired flavors into a company cafeteria’s cuisine can take it to new heights. Rotating through a good mix of specialty global dishes and local staples will keep the cafeteria’s menu exciting and enticing to employees.
How to Select the Perfect Hospitality Partner
If you’re ready to start seeing the benefits of a corporate cafeteria, follow these eight steps to choosing the right hospitality partner to provide your company’s dining services.
1. Start With a Selection Committee
The search for the right hospitality partner begins with a solid selection committee. Typically, this committee comprises the following individuals:
- Finance department senior manager: The senior manager of the finance department can help the committee understand the numbers and economics that go along with choosing a hospitality provider.
- Human resources senior manager: An HR senior manager can give insight as to how to manage the overall employee benefits package.
- Facility manager: Considering that utilities, equipment and floor space will be involved in launching a company cafeteria, the facility manager should be involved in the decision-making process.
- Mid-level managers: Several mid-level managers from a variety of departments will give the committee a broader perspective.
- Newer employees: Because the cafeteria will directly impact everyone at the company, opinions and views of lower-level employees should also be taken into account.
2. Identify Your Goals
For the committee to be effective, it will have to determine its goals and a plan before jumping into the selection process. The scope of the project along with specific expectations should be outlined during the first meeting, including any financial or operating limitations. After determining the specifics of what the company is looking for in its hospitality partner and dining services, the committee can start coming up with actionable items and establishing a timeline for the project.
3. Assess Your Options
After completing a list of goals and particular qualities to look for in a hospitality partner, the committee can begin looking into the services available and narrowing the field down to viable options. Analyzing customer reviews, press releases and other articles can give the committee members more insight into the service provider’s operating philosophy and whether it would be a good fit.
4. Prepare a Request for Proposal
Once the best service vendor options have been determined, the committee can prepare a request for proposal (RFP) from each of them. In general, an RFP will include information such as a description of the company, the full scope of its foodservice needs, any restrictions and other applicable criteria.
5. Select the Finalists
Based on the RFP forms your company receives, it can choose the hospitality partner finalists. By carefully reading over the replies submitted by interested hospitality service providers and comparing them with the original list of goals and qualifications originally set out, the selection committee can create a short list of top vendors.
6. Schedule an On-Site Visit
Now it’s time for the committee to plan on-site visits with the few finalists. Try to schedule the visit for breakfast or lunchtime, so the vendor can provide samples of its dishes and service plan. Include a few interviews with the potential partners’ executives to figure out how well the operation is run, how easy it would be to work with and how the funds get allotted. An on-site visit will allow the committee members to see the finalists’ offerings for themselves and get a better understanding as to whether they would be a good fit for the company.
7. Hear a Presentation Pitch
The vendor finalists typically conclude their visits with an in-house presentation to the selection committee. This presentation opportunity allows the vendors to give their pitch and make a case for why they would be a great fit for the company. After the presentation, the committee members will also be able to ask questions and discuss details with the vendors to help inform their decision.
8. Make Your Final Selection and Solidify a Contract
After the on-site visit and presentation, the committee will need some time to deliberate before coming to a final decision. Product quality, operating costs and organization will each play into how the committee chooses. Once an agreement has been reached, the company can draw up a contract that aligns with the RFP’s initial description and budget for the hospitality partner to approve and sign. Then, all that’s left to do is enjoy some great dining.
Partner With American Dining Creations to Recruit Top Talent
If your company is looking for a hospitality partner that can offer both innovative culinary solutions and a customized experience, American Dining Creations provides the services you need. With high-quality dining options and customizable plans, American Dining Creations has a meal program that fits with any company’s vision.
To learn more about how your company can benefit from partnering with an excellent hospitality partner, contact American Dining Creations today.