With 40+ hour work weeks being the norm across most industries and many facing a shortage of skilled employees, companies are looking for creative ways to improve their recruitment and retention efforts.According to results of our recent “Food in the Workplace” survey,  one tactic that is growing more popular with companies—is food perks.

Our third annual survey of 1200 professionals uncovered that 28% of companies are providing employees some type of food perk, up from 26% in 2014 and 15% in 2013.

This is excellent news, considering the enormous power food perks delivers. Our survey revealed:

Breaking bread together improves office relationships. 48% of employees said they think sharing meals with colleagues helps foster a better working relationship.

Employee dining gets personal. 51% of respondents would eat lunch with other colleagues if lunch (or other meal) was provided by the company.

A well-fed employee is a happy employee. 48% of respondents indicated that food-based perks would make them more satisfied with their employers.

Beyond these overarching benefits, our survey also found that food has a very strong influence among Millennials.

If you feed them, they will come. 36% of Millennials said food perks would factor into their decision as to whether to accept a new job offer, coming in third after health insurance and flexible vacation policies.

Millennials feel more than full. 67% report they would feel more valued and appreciated by their employer if food perks were increased.

Food-based perks help increase employee loyalty. 50% of Millennials admit that if their current employer were to provide meals, they would be less inclined to accept a job offer from a company that does not.

To read more of what our “Food in the Workplace” survey revealed, and the implications for companies, please read our Executive Summary.

Food in the Workplace Survey 2015