At Platterz, we experiment with various startup culture practices (i.e. working round the clock, going barefoot in the office, and holding weekly foosball tournaments) to varying degrees of success. We implement what our team responds to positively (foosball) and do away with what doesn’t work (bare feet).
It’s well-documented that startups like Google provide their employees with free breakfast, lunch and dinner. While some critics have been quick to dismiss this as a marketing stunt or HR gimmick, there’s a significant and impactful argument to be made in favour of providing breakfast to your team.
Of all the office culture experiments we’ve tested, providing breakfast in the office has shown the most positive results. Here are a few reasons why breakfast in the office worked for our company, and why you should give it a try.
Why you should provide breakfast for your colleagues
Let’s start with some of the obvious and less altruistic reasons to order breakfast to the office:
• Get employees in earlier
You can probably think of more than one team member that is notoriously late every morning, yet somehow has time to buy a latte and breakfast sandwich before coming in.
By offering an exciting breakfast for your team, you’ll be giving them one less excuse to show up late, cutting down their morning routine, and providing a much better reason to roll out of bed and show up on time (or early, depending on what you order).
• Increase team productivity
On the flip side, you can probably think of one or two colleagues who boast that they never eat breakfast. Unsurprisingly, those same people often have the hardest time concentrating, and seem easily distracted after every half-hour sitting at their desk.
To get all cylinders firing from the get-go, our bodies need a good dose of protein and complex carbohydrates in the morning. Since offering our team breakfast, we’ve seen a much higher output pre-lunch and more sustained productivity throughout the day.
• Boost office morale
A nice result of catered breakfasts has been that everyone seems to be in much better moods on those days. There are many reasons for this. Here are five:
- Free breakfast
- It’s fun to share a meal and chat with your team before starting your work
- On cold days, everyone loves a warm cup of coffee and chocolate croissant
- People who aren’t hungry are generally happy
- The feeling of inclusiveness and support from your company doesn’t go unnoticed
• Improve team health
There’s tremendous value to having an impact over what your colleagues are eating. In terms of nutrition, eating a balanced breakfast is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Emotionally, it’s equally important to get some comfort food once in a while.
We’ve done a good job at providing a balance of both. Our most successful breakfasts come from restaurants and caterers that offer healthy, affordable, and delicious options (more on that below).
One surprising benefit to offering breakfast at the office is that we’ve been able to influence our team’s behaviour on days that we don’t serve breakfast. See Breakfast Club below to find out how.
• Attract better talent
Offering certain perks and support for your team really does say a lot about the type of company you are. Prospective employees buy into an office culture that is supportive, nurturing, generous and inviting.
While looking good on the “Jobs” section of your website shouldn’t be your first reason to provide your team with breakfast, it doesn’t hurt to be on the list.
How to introduce breakfast in the office
Here are a few examples of times we’ve ordered breakfast for the team, and what we ordered:
• Morning Meetings
Since we moved into our office, we’ve been scheduling many more morning meetings. As a result, we’ve been ordering breakfast more often on those occasions.
If you’re looking to impress a client (or really impress your team), look no further than What A Bagel’s Hot Breakfast, although you really can’t go wrong with any of their platters.
• Grab-and-Go Breakfast
Our most popular and common breakfasts are the ones that are easy to hold with one hand. We often need to get something that’s portable if our sales team is off early for meetings, or if our developers want to try one-handed coding.
For those quick, simple, yet highly satisfying grab-and-go breakfasts, we order from 9 Bars Catering.
• Monthly Monday Detox Breakfast
As part of our New Years Resolution, we resolved to eat healthier in the office. One of the ways we’ve done that is by having a “Monthly Monday Detox Breakfast”, where we order fresh juices for everyone in the office from Greenhouse Juice Co.
Monday Comfort Breakfast
On the Mondays that we don’t do our detox, we do the opposite. As a way of boosting morale (especially in the winter) and beating the Monday blues, we order some kind of calorie-rich comfort food that puts everyone in a good mood and energizes them to start the day.
A popular favourite is Mika’s fresh, homemade Morning Tea Platter.
As mentioned above, we don’t always provide breakfast. However, the breakfast culture has taken hold in the office, and some of our team have taken it upon themselves to form a “Breakfast Club” every Wednesday.
Anyone that participates is responsible for bringing one breakfast item, fitting in with the overall theme. If it’s Yogurt Parfait, one person brings the yogurt, another the granola, someone else brings fresh fruit, and so on. Together, everyone brings in the ingredients to make a delicious breakfast together.
Have a good breakfast!