Your remote employees are powering through a packed workday when: Oh, no. Stomachs start rumbling. Focus falters. Productivity plummets. Suddenly, work is the last thing on anyone’s mind—and food is the first.

But the thought of whipping up a well-balanced meal between meetings is daunting. There are already dozens of tasks on employees’ plates—and now, stressing over food prep is another one. 

Strapped for time, some workers may reach for unhealthy snacks. But filler won’t keep them fueled for long. As hunger interferes with employee productivity, others may skip mealtime completely and later face the consequences. Some may begrudgingly head to the kitchen and spend an average of 37 minutes on food prep and cleanup, burning time that could have been better spent elsewhere. And a final group of employees may grab their car keys in search of outside meal options. 

None of these scenarios are ideal from a productivity perspective—but they no longer have to be the norm. To stay competitive in a crowded market, savvy companies are proactively adding food-based benefits to their menu of employee perks. 

Wondering how to improve employee productivity and keep staff happy, not hungry?  Let’s dig in.

The science of productivity

Remember the famous Snickers slogan? “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Not only is it catchy—it’s correct. 

Our bodies crave nutritious meals on a regular basis. According to Harvard Health Publishing, foods that are particularly rich in components like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants can improve brain health—translating into better mental function (and better work). 

When we fail to fuel our bodies, productivity pays the price. In fact, one Brigham Young University study found that employees who don’t eat well are 66% more likely to see their job productivity decrease. These workers may find themselves feeling sluggish, unmotivated, or distracted—none of which are conducive to getting work done.

But let’s face it: employees don’t always have time to make perfectly balanced meals. Scouring the web for recipes. Taking trips to the supermarket. Unpacking groceries. Preparing ingredients. Chopping. Cooking. Plating. Washing dishes. Storing leftovers. Adding these tasks to an already busy work schedule can be exhausting—and often impossible.

That’s exactly where food-based benefits take their place at the table.


Employees are hungry for better benefits

In a recent DoorDash study, three out of four employees said food rewards would make them more productive—and 85% of employees said regular food delivery would increase their job satisfaction.

According to respondents, remote work without food benefits leaves much to be desired. 49% of people surveyed said they’ve had at least one on-the-job failure, including missing a deadline, call, or other work matter, due to a need to prep food for themselves or family—and that number increased to 53% among employees with children. 

By freeing up employees’ schedules, food-based benefits lower stress levels and make for a happier, healthier, more productive workforce. But despite the appetite for better perks, three in five employees receive no food benefits.

Workers are hungry for change—and it’s time that companies deliver.

Serving up employee productivity

Built to serve companies and their employees, DoorDash for Work offers a buffet of enticing culinary benefits.

Our corporate solution, DashPass, allows staff to enjoy food from their favorite restaurants with free delivery and reduced service fees. Employees can place unlimited orders both on and off the clock, making this the perk that keeps on giving.

No more skipping meals, stressing over food prep, or sacrificing health for convenience’s sake. By including DashPass in HR packages, companies can tangibly show their support—and fuel employee satisfaction. 

A University of Warwick study found that happiness can increase productivity by 12%. That means happier 8-hour workday employees perform for the equivalent of an additional 58 minutes per day compared to unhappy employees, adding up to 1,152 minutes per employee per month. All said and done, that amounts to an extra 230+ hours of productivity per year for each and every worker. By providing staff with free food, DashPass keeps hunger low—and happiness high.

The ROI of food-based rewards

At the end of the day, core values are more than just words on your company’s website. They’re clearly communicated in your benefits packages—proving that you’re here to support staff not only on their best days, but every day.

78% of employees say they’re more likely to stay with an employer because of their benefits program—so building a strong company culture has a powerful payoff. 

If employees sense that better benefits exist elsewhere, they may pursue outside job opportunities. But by offering thoughtful perks, your company can protect employee retention rates (and curb the expensive costs of re-hiring).

According to a survey of over 1,000 full-time office workers, 56% of employees are very or extremely happy with their current job—but among those who have access to free food, that number jumps to 67%. The corporate message couldn’t be clearer: Serve up food-based benefits, and you’ll also be serving your bottom line. 

Hungry for more tips on improving employee productivity? Download our ebook, Building a Remote Work Culture: How to Help Your Employees Thrive. 


Kristen Van Nest

Kristen Van Nest is an L.A.-based writer with bylines in Forbes, HuffPost, and VentureBeat to name a few. As a former Fulbright Scholar and Newsroom Columnist for the British Chamber of Commerce’s publication in China, she specializes in market trends and strategies businesses can use to grow. Her free time is spent ordering in dumplings and honeycomb ice cream and writing funny content to make people laugh.