Authored by Raquel Guarino
Food. We all love it. And most of us need it to survive. Now, some workplaces are going the extra mile to ensure their employees are just as happy with their lunches as they are with their careers.
While a few companies like Google have been offering free food since the early days, now more than ever, complimentary snacks and meals have become a prerequisite for employees. Some companies offer free snacks once their employees hit a specific goal: at Big Ass Fans in Kentucky, a beer fridge is unlocked whenever sales are met. Other companies offer themed snacks: architecture firm Perkins Eastman lets employees have their fill of orange colored foods (all of which match the company's brand color). At Ben & Jerry's, employees receive three free pints of ice cream daily. Seasoned employees know better than to take advantage of this offer, while newbies find themselves getting familiarized with the "Ben 10" pretty quickly.
Still, there are some companies that give out food with no incentive or agenda besides keeping their employees happy. LinkedIn notably provides cashless cafeterias to its employees, where staff can graze on a variety of food for free. In New York, Thrillist offers an unlimited supply of cinnamon raisin bread for employees with a craving. File-hosting platform Box serves locally-made snacks and beer to those in their California and Austin offices.
"But what about Help.com?" you may wonder. Glad you asked. At Help.com, we like our food a lot. We offer complimentary catered lunches to our employees (care of GrubHub) Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays we generally go out to lunch together (also complimentary). On top of that, we do our best to make sure our pantry is full of snacks handpicked by our staff.
We asked the team about their must-have office snacks. Here's what they said:
- Chance Eakin, Frontend Engineer: Peanut butter pretzels and protein bars
- Eric Hofs, Frontend Engineer: Coffee and pistachios
- Chelsea Lura, Frontend Engineer: Coffee
- Pat Webster, DevOps: Claussen pickles
- Jillian Flook, Frontend Engineer: Lime Topo Chico... and these
- Ilya Avrukin, QA Engineer: Coffee, tea, and a fridge full of this
- Raquel Guarino, Content Strategist: Healthy snacks and Cholula hot sauce
- Evan Lucas, CTO: Lime Topo Chico
- Jesus Ochoa, QA Engineer: Pistachios
As for lunch, the team has a few favorite go-to places, including:
- Citizen Eatery (Jillian and Raquel's fave) for healthy but fun, casual eats
- T22 (Chelsea and Chance's pick) for spicy Nashville-style hot chicken
- Halal Bros (Ilya's choice) for somewhat healthy--and still yummy--Mediterranean food
- Copper (Evan's go-to) for pulled pork sliders topped with cheese dip
- Pho Van (Jesus' spot) for piping hot vermicelli and lightning fast service.
All in all, the crew is pretty happy with the lunch situation at Help.com. CEO Adam Farrar likes the free lunch model because it "encourages camaraderie and brings the team together everyday. It also encourages cross-team communication and reduces stress." The team agrees. Some of the most popular reasons they enjoy complimentary lunch are for its convenience, wallet-friendliness, and the opportunity for more bonding. Sounds good to us. 🌮