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Out to lunch? What work meals look like post-pandemic

June 17, 2021 / US

As employees begin to return to the workplace, their day-to-day routines have changed. Hybrid working models, social distancing, and different office layouts are examples of the new ways teams will be connecting and collaborating post-pandemic. 

One of the main focuses of the workday is, of course, lunch: what will be eaten, who you’ll eat with, and whether you plan to eat at your desk or during a meeting. Employees will always need food and want an opportunity to connect with colleagues over meals. The big question, however, is where lunch will come from. Employees reported going out for lunch on average 3 times per week before the pandemic. 

In Australia, where offices were open as early as summer 2020, the number one thing that encourages employees to return is free food. Recent research conducted by Uber Australia reveals that more than 50% of Aussies prefer free food over a flexible workplace policy, and almost 60% of employees wish their office offered free meals or food vouchers.

What does this mean for businesses entering the brave new world of the post-pandemic workplace? It’s time to offer food in the office as an employee incentive. Here’s how to make it happen. 

Hybrid eats for employees

For employees working both in the office and at home, Uber Eats can provide a number of options. Employers can create a program to provide meals regularly or can use Vouchers to send meals for specific events. 

  • Meal programs: It’s simple to create a meal program, add employees, and set permissions for time, location, and budget. Employees can receive delicious local favorites at the office or on their doorstep. Learn more about meal programs
  • Vouchers: Serve up meals for a special event, team bonding, or a client meeting using Vouchers. Distribute Uber credit to recipients and set controls such as expiration dates, location restrictions, and/or days and times the credit can be used. Recipients can easily redeem Vouchers in the Uber Eats app within set parameters. Learn more about Vouchers

In-office eats for employees

If the entire team is in the office regularly, set up a meal program and use ordering on Uber Eats. With group ordering, you can send a shareable link to meal recipients so everyone can choose their own items. Once everyone has added their choices, pay for the group order with one business account. 

You can also set an order deadline and automatically check out, so everyone gets their order in on time. Finally, easy bill splitting allows everyone to use their own spending allowances to pay for their items in the group order. 

Learn more about how Uber for Business can support your company’s return-to-office efforts.