March 7, 2024

How to Deliver Improved Employee Benefits That Drive Growth and Increase Revenue

Naina Nicodemus

Employee benefits are more important than they’ve ever been.

Rapid social change, evolving workplace dynamics, and a growing emphasis on work-life balance have collectively transformed what people desire and expect from their employers. And companies across the country are scrambling to keep up.

Gone are the days when a competitive salary and basic health coverage sufficed to attract and retain top talent. Today, employees seek more — demanding comprehensive benefits plans that not only cater to their financial security and general health but also the personal preferences that have been influenced by the factors listed above.

This shift has prompted a reevaluation of the traditional benefits model, pushing employers to innovate and expand their offerings to include a wider array of perks and services. It's also placed many businesses at a crossroads as they search for cost-effective solutions to satisfy the diverse expectations of modern employees.

An innovative solution has emerged that aligns with the new expectations of the modern workforce without being prohibitively expensive. Adding subsidized meals to an employee benefits package provides everything today's workers want. But what truly differentiates subsidized meals as an employee benefit is that they offer a tangible return on investment instead of a sunk cost, contributing to a better workplace culture that will drive business growth and lead to increased revenue. 

What Benefits Are Most Important to Employees?

Before we get into how subsidized food accomplishes this, let's examine the type of employee benefits — beyond the basic and obvious, like more money and unlimited vacation  — that are most appealing to today's workforce.

Most Important Benefits to Employees

We've already mentioned how modern employees place a high value on several different aspects of a benefits package, but there are four common areas that stand out for their universal appeal and impact on employee satisfaction.

  1. Prioritizing Work-Life Balance: Offering employee benefits that enable workers to manage their personal and professional lives effectively ensures ample time for rest and personal pursuits.
  2. Enhancing Company Culture and Workplace Environment: Using employee benefits to create a supportive and inclusive atmosphere fosters team cohesion and contributes to a positive workplace environment where staff feel valued and connected.
  3. Contributing to Overall Health: Beyond coverage for medical expenses, benefits that support general well-being address both the physical and mental health needs of employees, promoting a healthier, more productive workforce.
  4. Recognizing Individual Identity: Acknowledging the diverse needs of the workforce with customizable benefits allows employees to feel respected and valued for their unique backgrounds and personal preferences, enhancing their sense of belonging and engagement.

Many employers will look at this list and assume that meeting these objectives requires at least four new initiatives to be added to existing employee benefits packages. However, all of these areas can be addressed with the single solution we mentioned at the beginning: subsidized food programs.

How an Employee Benefits Package Can Help Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Let's begin by looking at how subsidized food perks contribute to a healthy work-life balance.

During the pandemic, employees worldwide reevaluated what they value most in their professional lives, with a pronounced shift toward seeking a healthier work-life balance. This has manifested itself in a preference for benefits that directly contribute to flexibility and free time, recognizing that true job satisfaction extends beyond the office and into the overall quality of life.

How Subsidized Food Programs Deliver The Balance Employees Seek

Subsidized food programs contribute to achieving this healthier work-life balance in several ways, including:

  • Time Savings: By providing meals at work, employers help employees save time that would be spent either 1) planning, shopping, and preparing meals or 2) planning, ordering and picking up takeout.
  • Reduced Stress: Knowing that there is a reliable, convenient option for meals during the workday can alleviate the stress of meal planning, especially for employees with tight schedules or those managing the needs of a family.
  • Financial Savings: The cost savings from subsidized meals can alleviate financial stress, allowing employees to allocate more resources towards personal and leisure activities, further enhancing their quality of life outside work.

Companies that address these practical aspects of daily life through employee benefits help their staff achieve a more satisfactory balance between their professional responsibilities and personal needs and interests. Not only do subsidized food offerings lead to better employee acquisition and talent retention, but they also create a more committed workforce and better company culture.

Can Employee Benefits Enhance Company Culture?

A great workplace culture is characterized by a supportive, inclusive environment that fosters a sense of belonging and engagement. This type of atmosphere is essential today because of the multi-generational workforce that most companies employ.

How Subsidized Food Benefits Improve Workplace Dynamics

Subsidized food programs contribute directly to achieving a great company culture by:

  • Encouraging Collaboration: When subsidized meal plans are included in employee benefits, multi-generational teams are more likely to share meals, further fostering conversations and collaboration — and increasing employee engagement.
  • Breaking Down Hierarchies: Eating together also creates a less formal environment, allowing for interaction across different levels of an organization and helping contribute to a shared sense of purpose.
  • Building Positivity: In a report by Seamless on the importance of fostering a unique corporate culture, they list providing meals as one of three key methods for building a positive work culture.
  • Boosting Morale: Companies who offer food perks as part of their benefits packages make their employees feel valued and included. There is no better morale booster than having these basic needs met.

By incorporating subsidized food programs into their benefits offerings, companies significantly enhance their workplace culture, creating an environment that champions inclusivity, collaboration, and a shared sense of purpose. Such initiatives not only break down hierarchical barriers, fostering open dialogue and teamwork across generational divides, but also boost morale by making employees feel genuinely valued and cared for. This contributes to better employee retention and cultivating a workplace where everyone thrives together.

Beyond Financial Benefits: How Employers Contribute to Health and Wellness

Part of the reason why food benefits are so effective in building a positive culture is that subsidized meal programs tend to include healthier food options. Instead of experiencing mid-afternoon sugar crashes from vending machine snacks, employees enjoy sustained energy from high-quality ingredients.

This emphasis on health also aligns with a noticeable shift in how people have increasingly prioritized their health and wellness in recent years. Employees now expect their workplaces to support their overall well-being significantly. This expectation stems from an increased awareness of the link between diet, mental health, and productivity and the desire for a more holistic approach to employee benefits that supports their professional and personal lives. 

How Subsidized Food Programs Enhance Employee Health and Wellness Benefits

Subsidized food programs meet these evolving needs, offering a variety of health and wellness benefits:

  • Nutritious Choices: By offering employee benefits through food options that are not only convenient but also nutritionally balanced, employers can directly contribute to the physical health of their employees. Access to healthy food options during the workday encourages better eating habits, improving energy levels, focus, and overall physical health.
  • Mental Health Benefits: We already mentioned how food subsidies alleviate the stress of daily meal planning, but there's also a link between nutritious food and overall mental health. Quality ingredients, provided by subsidized food benefits, can play a role in ensuring you're eating regularly at the office and eliminating the temptation of less healthy alternatives.
  • Lifestyle Support: Subsidized food benefits can be tailored to support various dietary requirements, from dairy sensitivity to gluten allergies. These programs allow employees to gather the nutritional support their health and wellness require.

Incorporating subsidized food programs into employee wellness benefits is a powerful way for companies to affirm their commitment to the holistic health of their team. Not only do these programs directly support physical and mental health, but they also reflect a deep understanding of the diverse needs of today's workforce. As a bonus for employers, healthy employees are less likely to take "sick days" and more likely to maintain productivity throughout the day.

Recognizing Individual Identity is Part of a Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package

Another reason food benefits work so well in terms of providing greater health is that employees can customize their lunches according to their unique dietary needs. This show of respect for people as individuals extends to another area where the modern workforce seeks employers to provide through benefits plans.

Typically, when we talk about recognition in the workplace, it has to do with rewarding an achievement. While food perks can be used in this fashion, subsidized meals also provide recognition for employees as individuals.

The desire for benefits that reflect personal identity and preferences has become increasingly important in the modern workplace. Employees increasingly seek recognition of their unique lifestyles, dietary needs, and cultural backgrounds, underscoring the importance of customizable options in benefits packages.

This shift towards personalization reflects a broader societal trend towards individuality and self-expression, highlighting the need for companies to adapt their benefits to meet these diverse expectations.

How Subsidized Food Programs Cater to Individual Identities

Subsidized food benefits are uniquely positioned to meet these demands by offering a range of options that cater to the varied tastes and — as previously mentioned — dietary requirements of a diverse workforce. 

Subsidized Food Programs

Here's how:

  • Diverse Options: Subsidized food programs can offer a wide variety of meal choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and culturally specific cuisines, ensuring every employee finds something that aligns with their unique preferences or dietary restrictions.
  • Personalization: Believe it or not, only some people love a pizza lunch. By allowing employees to choose their meals, these programs make employees feel seen and valued as unique individuals within the workplace.
  • Cultural Inclusivity: Offering meals that reflect the cultural diversity of the workforce not only accommodates different dietary habits but also shows respect for different backgrounds and traditions within the company, contributing to a more inclusive and welcoming work environment.

By integrating personalized food options into employee benefits, companies signal a commitment to recognizing and valuing individual identities. This level of personalization and inclusivity in a benefits plan not only enhances job satisfaction and employee morale but also reinforces a culture of respect. In this sense, subsidized food benefits can help attract and retain a diverse workforce that feels properly appreciated, further enriching the company culture and promoting a sense of belonging and engagement among all employees.

How Much Will It Cost To Incorporate Food Subsidies into a Benefits Package?

Now that we've outlined how food subsidies align with everything the modern employee desires from their benefits, the question is bound to arise: What about the cost?

There's a misconception that offering employees healthy food options must be prohibitively expensive, a belief rooted in traditional views of workplace meal options characterized by high-end cafeterias, gourmet catering and enormous takeout orders. However, this perspective doesn't hold up against the reality of today's affordable and versatile food service options that cater to businesses of all sizes.

When compared to the costs and logistics of implementing multiple separate benefits to achieve the same outcomes, food subsidies emerge as a cost-effective solution. Perhaps even more importantly, investing in food subsidies benefits both employees and employers.

affordable food delivery  service

Not only does adding food subsidies into a benefits package increase employee satisfaction, but research suggests these programs significantly improve workplace culture, leading to increased productivity, boosted employee engagement, and enhancements to an HR department's ability to attract and retain top talent.

All of these factors contribute to business growth. 

In McKinsey’s annual State of Organizations report, they identified a 28 percent increase in revenue over the course of three years among high-tech companies that established more innovative workplace cultures. The same report also indicate that the top 25 percent of businesses exhibiting healthy cultures are more than 40 percent less likely than those in the bottom quartile to go bankrupt.

Implementing a subsidized food program is not only a cost-effective way to provide a highly valued benefit to employees (underscoring an employer's commitment to their team's health, happiness, and overall work-life balance), but it also offers tangible benefits to the employer (in terms of enhanced performance, stronger company culture, and a competitive edge in the talent market).

What other singular addition to a benefits package can meet modern employee expectations while contributing to increased revenue?

Even if it didn't answer the need to reevaluate current employee benefits programs, incorporating food subsidies into a benefits plan would still represent a smart investment in organizational success. The fact that it also solves this issue makes it a win-win proposition for employers and employees alike.

Cubbi: The Affordable, All-In-One Solution That Benefits Both Employees and Employers

This win-win scenario is what Cubbi delivers with its meal programs, designed to integrate seamlessly into any company's benefits plan.

Here's how it works:

  1. Pick The Plan: Companies can tailor their approach to buying meal credits by choosing from several Cubbi programs, including weekly catered lunches, employee discounts on meals, subsidies for in-office days, or any custom solution that aligns with organizational needs.
  2. Choose The Meal: The process is hassle-free for both employers and employees. Employers use an intuitive mobile app to manage meal credits while employees effortlessly order and schedule their meals.
  3. We Deliver: Cubbi takes care of the rest, delivering meals directly to the Cubbi fridge on-site daily, with no delivery fees, hidden charges, or tipping.
  4. You Enjoy: Employees then enjoy their selected healthy and delicious meals, conveniently waiting in the Cubbi fridge.
healthy office meals programs

Not only is it that easy, but it's also incredibly affordable for both employers and employees alike:

  • Up to 50% Off: Cubbi combines restaurant quality with budget-friendly employee discounts, offering up to 50% off restaurant and meal delivery prices.
  • Low Monthly Costs: Meal Allocation and Meal Subsidy Plans start for as low as $48 per employee.

And there's still more. In addition to providing the type of benefits that today's workforce wants, Cubbi helps organizations deal with two other significant modern challenges:

  1. Attracting and Retaining Talent: As we've already mentioned throughout this article, the employee benefits offered through Cubbi can be instrumental in acquiring and retaining talent, which is one of the most pressing issues facing HR departments and
  2. Bringing Remote Workers Back to the Office: With the lure of convenient, varied meals, Cubbi makes the office a more appealing place for remote workers, easing the transition back to onsite work.
corporate lunch programs

We provide affordable employee benefits that give workers what they want and help employers achieve their goals. Through various fresh, local, and nutritious food options delivered directly to the workplace, Cubbi helps organizations create an environment where employees feel valued, engaged, supported, and recognized as individuals — all of the qualities they expect from modern benefits plans.

Take the first step toward meeting and exceeding these expectations — and reaping all the rewards attributed to a more engaged, committed and healthy workplace culture — by booking a free tasting today.

Make food an employee benefit, not a hassle.

Cubbi makes it effortless for employers to provide subsidized, high-quality meals directly to the workplace.