Office Catering Practices: Weekend Poll Results

With thanks to all who are participating, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll. Our focus:

What’s the practice in your workplace with respect to catering internal meetings?

To host or not to host: While some organisations are considering or effecting practices to eliminate company-hosted catering for internal meetings, that’s not consistently the case.  In fact,  88% of those who responded reported that their employers pay for coffee and tea for internal meetings – those involving only colleagues, rather than a mix of colleagues and external guests.

What of more substantial offerings? 56% of you reported that your employers provide and pay for lunches at internal meetings. The percentage drops to 50% for dinner time meetings, and declines further for provision of snacks outside typical meal times.

Guidelines, SOPs and Policies: Whatever the practice, 64% of respondents’ organisations have articulated them by way of policies (27%), Standard Operating Procedures (14%) or guidelines (23%). Only 36% of respondents’ organisations have yet to put practices in writing.

 Consistency, Communication and Regular Review:  Almost half the respondents reported that people understand and respect the logic behind their respective practices – likely the result of effective communications, and consistency of application of whatever standards are in place.

 THE DATA: YOUR RESPONSES

 baked-goods-copyright-shelagh-donnelly

Does your employer provide and pay for beverages such as coffee and tea for internal meetings?

  • Yes: 88% of respondents
  • No: 6% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “depends which campus you’re on”.

Does your employer provide and pay for lunch for internal meetings held mid-day?

  • Yes: 56% of respondents
  • No: 38% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “Depends on the purpose of the meeting – if it’s a training or team building”.

Does your employer provide and pay for dinner for attendees at internal meetings held over the dinner hour?

  • Yes: 50% of respondents
  • No: 44% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented, “Only if it’s a team building or training meeting”.

Does your employer provide and pay for snacks for internal meetings held outside typical meal times?

  • Yes: 31% of respondents
  • No: 63% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One wrote, “Only if break time is part of an all day meeting, yet not for a 1-2 hour meeting …”.

Has your employer formalised its internal catering practices by way of guidelines, policy or SOP? 

  • Yes; we have a policy on this: 27% of respondents
  • Yes; we have an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that addresses this: 14%
  • Yes; we have guidelines: 23%
  • No: 36% of respondents

If your employer has formalised its practices by way of guidelines, policy or SOP, how well on a scale of 1 to 5 have they been received?

  • 45%: 5/5 – people understand and respect the logic behind our practices
  • 9%: 4/5
  • 0% – 3/5
  • 0% – 2/5
  • 9% – 1/5
  • 36% selected “Other”. Some commented “n/a”, while one commented, “It has taken considerably more time to implement, though”.

If your employer has formalised its practices by way of guidelines, policy or SOP, please share any advice you may offer.

  • Be consistent, reiterate the guidelines regularly
  • Engage in an environmental scan as part of formalizing your practices, and communicate not only the direction, but also the rationale.
  • Pre-establish regular reviews to assess whether the practices (and rates) remain relevant
  • Not able to make any changes as decision made higher up
  • Practices may differ from private to public (and/or Not-For-Profit) sectors. In the latter two, perception of how public funds or donated funds are used may be as relevant as the actual costs.
  • Guidelines provide many options; stay between $8-12/pp for lunch, $10-15 supper

If your employer has formalised its practices by way of guidelines, policy or SOP that’s publicly available, please provide URL. 

  • No respondents had publicly available URLs/links to share.

If your employer has formalised its practices by way of guidelines, policy or SOP, what were primary considerations?

  • Efficiencies: 33% of respondents
  • Cost: 33% of respondents
  • Consistency across departments/divisions/branches, etc.: 17% of respondents
  • 17% of respondents selected “Other”. one wrote, “N/A”.

Please offer any comments you think may be helpful.

  • We always offer fruit/granola bars for breaks, if it’s an all day meeting

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