Continuing Importance of Food as an Amenity_Header

food insights

How Food as a Return-to-Office Incentive is Shaped by Generational Influences

In today’s competitive environment, creating an engaging workplace that centers around the employee experience and caters to a heightened expectation of work-life balance and well-being is becoming increasingly important to organizations.

This shift in mindset is impacting both how businesses engage their employees, and how the workplace itself is a compelling argument for making the commute.

One of the most effective incentives offered by employers to promote in-person work has been enhanced food and beverage programs.

Free is Me — but Today’s Food Programs Offer More


millennials say they like to try regional ethnic foods


of Gen Z and millennials prefer smaller, portable, and more versatile snacks


of Gen Zers want street food on menus

  • Beyond simply free food, these programs encompass an eco-system in which on-site restaurants, cafeterias, and pantries serve not only as places for nourishment, but also spaces for employees to collaborate, gather socially, and host visitors.

  • They also reinforce an organization’s commitments to sustainability, community, well-being, health, and safety important to talent seeking an employer aligned with their personal values. 

  • Millennials and Gen Zers are vested in authentic food that supports whole-person health, nutrition, local sourcing, zero waste, and ethical production, among other principles. Food programs must respond to this through dining that makes “the office” a destination that competes with remote work.

In this analysis, ISS examines the evolution of food as an amenity in the business world, the influence of younger workers on the food and facilities offered, and the effectiveness of food on the attraction and retention of top talent.


Interested in discussing how ISS’ food experts can assist in making food a driving force for your culture and employee engagement? Contact us today.

How Food as a Return-to-Office Incentive is Shaped by Generational Influences

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