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How to Develop an Employee Snack Program

How to Develop an Employee Snack Program

What if there was something small, practical and delicious that could transform your office culture?

Well, there is — an employee snack program. Whether you've participated in a snack program before or they're new to you, keep reading. Snack programs can make a significant difference in employee productivity, work satisfaction and project innovation. They're relatively simple to implement and can boost employee morale overnight. Interested? Here's everything you need to know to start a snack program at your company. 

What Is an Office Snack Program? 

Office snack programs offer a variety of snacks and drinks to employees so they can stay fueled and focused throughout the work day. You might already be on your way toward an office snack program — many companies have a drink cooler or coffee available in the office kitchen. 

However, your snacks may be less than stellar. Many office snacks are notoriously dry, stale or tasteless. If they taste good, they're generally unhealthy, which isn't ideal. Many offices don't keep healthy snacks in stock or don't have nearly enough to keep up with employee demand. The first step of creating an office snack program is assessing what employees need and then adjusting so that there are plenty of healthy snacks to go around.

Benefits of Employee Snack Programs

In 2021, 51% of Americans ate snacks at least once per week. Even more interesting, 24% of Americans ate a snack every day. 

Providing delicious, free food is an easy way to improve your employees' daily experience at work. When you offer tasty snacks in the office, your employees can experience the benefits of eating healthy snacks throughout the day, including: 

  • Getting a boost in energy between meals. 

  • Preventing overeating at their next meal.

  • Getting some extra nutrients in.

When employees have enough energy during the day, they may notice: 

  • Longer attention spans.

  • Higher productivity.

  • Improved focus.

  • Reduced stress during the day.

Employees who eat well feel better throughout the workday, and they may be more productive at work as a result. Their satisfaction at work may also increase since they feel well-taken care of. Showing intentional concern for your employees through a snack program can boost team morale. 

How to Start an Office Snack Program

If you already have snacks in your office, start by assessing how employees feel about their existing options. Send out a brief survey asking for feedback so you know what direction to take with your office snack program. 

Maybe you're starting from scratch at an office where only coffee has been previously served. A survey is still a great way to get started so you know what snacks to offer employees. Find out what their best outcome would be and what their favorite snacks are at home.

Once your research is complete, you can build an excellent snack program. Follow these six tips to get your snack program up and running. 

Identify Your Goal 

Like every other work project, your office snack program needs a defined goal. Will snacks be a reward at the end of a hard day? Will you focus on high-protein foods to keep employees going during late shifts? Or will you offer healthy dessert options so employees can celebrate daily wins?

Think about the type of work employees do and what snacks could best serve them during the work day. You can design your snack program to fulfill several needs at once — like improving focus, building camaraderie and contributing to employee health.

Pick a Location

Try to avoid stowing snacks in the kitchen unless employees walk past this space frequently. Instead, choose a location with high foot traffic so it's easy for employees to grab a snack without breaking up their workday more than usual. 

People tend to gather around food, which means you can be very strategic with the snack table. Where do you want people to spend their breaks? Put snacks there and watch employees engage with one another. You can also decorate the space with bulletin boards, calendars, gratitude jars and more.

Create an Attractive Display

There's no one-size-fits-all guide to office snack stations. As a general rule, snacks should be easy to see and clearly organized so people don't have to spend 10 minutes looking through their options before making a decision. 

Create an Attractive Display

Additionally, you'll want to take snacks out of boxes if you can. When you leave snacks in boxes, the boxes tend to stay unopened, so open them up and display snacks in such a way that people feel comfortable taking them. You could organize them with baskets, a snack table, cubbies or a vending machine — the options are limitless!

Choose Your Snacks

Once you've picked a display option, it's time to choose what you'll stock your office snack program with. Before you get carried away with shopping, make sure to check on whether your employees have any food allergies or sensitivities. 

Try to stock up on healthy office snacks for employees — items that have protein, healthy fats and fiber. These foods will sustain employees' energy longer and won't lead to an energy crash after consumption. Opt for variety and try to stock several snacks per employee per day.

Keep Track of Inventory

After people start eating office snacks, you'll need to keep a running count of what's left so you know when to restock. You should count the remaining snacks at least once each week and keep track of what types employees are gravitating toward. 

You can also send out a survey a few weeks into the program to find out what employees think and if they have any suggestions for new snack ideas. By setting up an organizational flow, you'll be able to keep everyone fed and the snacks flowing without a massive time investment. 

Create an Incentive Program

Food is inherently motivating to people. You can use this fact to inspire employees to work toward specific work goals, using snack upgrades as rewards. For example, consider installing a Bevi machine, a corporate cafeteria or a snack wall once the company reaches a certain goal. 

You can also expand office snacks for employees into an overall wellness program. Goals could be running a 5k together, completing a workout challenge or drinking a certain amount of water every day. Find something that excites your team and offer them a snack upgrade as a reward for success. 

Treat Your Office With Workspace Solutions From Food For Thought

Treat Your Office With Workspace Solutions From Food For Thought

At Food For Thought, we offer several workspace catering solutions, including in-office food programs, conference center solutions and corporate drop-off catering. However you want to feed your employees, we have a solution that's right for you. 

Ultimately, the food items you stock your office with are the most important part of any employee snack program. Choose high-quality snacks, meals and beverages from Food For Thought for an experience your employees won't forget. Fill out our contact form online to learn more!


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