- 69% of organisations have no plans to improve food and drink provisions
- A fifth of workers say that food and drink provisions in the workplace are ‘extremely poor’
New research from Convini Food Solutions, a self-service, convenience-style store concept for the workplace, reveals that organisations are struggling to meet employee needs when it comes to food and drink provision – a key part of workplace wellbeing.
The ‘Food for Thought’ report  – which explores the provision and impact of food and drink in the workplace – has found that 69% of organisations have no plans to improve their food and drink provisions in the next 12 months, despite the majority (61%) receiving complaints from employees about the quality of food and drink in the workplace. A fifth (21%) of office-based workers* say that the food provisions in their workplace are ‘extremely poor’ and worryingly, 27% say they have no catering provision in place at all.
The impact of poor food and drink on wellbeing
The research reveals a staggering level of workers skip meals, and part of this is due to the poor standard of catering offered. Half of office-based workers (47%) were found to skip lunch at least once a week and this figure rises 9% with workers who rate their provision to be ‘extremely poor’. When asked what impact skipping the meal had on their productivity, 63% of non-lunch eaters said it increased irritability and reduced concentration – showing the importance food and drink has on overall employee wellbeing and productivity.
Commenting on the research, Christopher Pedersen, Managing Director at Convini, said: “This research clearly underlines the integral role that food and drink plays in improving wellbeing in the workplace. By failing to address catering provisions adequately, organisations are missing an opportunity not only to improve employee wellbeing, but also energise staff, boost productivity and reduce sick leave. However, if organisations fail to address employee concerns adequately, they are likely to disengage their workforce, reduce morale and ultimately lose staff altogether.”
Barriers preventing change
Encouragingly, both employees and organisations agree that the provision of good food and drink is important, however organisations say that three key barriers – lack of time, lack of budget and lack of space – prevent change. 52% of workers agree that a better provision of food and drink would encourage them not to skip meals – a clear indicator to the benefits that change could bring.
Pedersen continues: “While it is encouraging to see both staff and organisations acknowledging the importance of eating well, it is disappointing to see that they are not following through, despite the clear benefits change could bring. The critical next step is for organisations to identify and address the barriers that are preventing change to ensure wellbeing is addressed fully, across all services. By taking action now, organisations can look to reap the benefits in the short and the long-term.”
For more information about Convini, visit: www.convini.co.uk/ or call: 0800 613 51 13
 The ‘Food for Thought’ research report, is the first report to be compiled by Convini Food Solutions, a provider of fully-accessible, self service convenience stores for the workplace.
The report details two separate surveys carried out in June 2014. The first survey was an employer-side research project that looked to assess how FMs manage and maintain food and drink provisions within their organisation. The survey provided data from 91 key decision makers – e.g. Facilities and Procurement Managers and was run by Convini Food Solutions in conjunction with a media partner.
The second, an employee-focused consumer research project was conducted online amongst 2,000 UK people (of which 1,170 are workers) by ICM, in partnership with Convini Food Solutions.
* An office-based worker refers to full or part-time workers who spend more than 50% of their time in an office-based environment.