The Company Restaurant (what we used to call The Canteen) is a place where companies can squander money because they haven’t thought through what benefit this valuable resource can offer employees. Could a nutritionist affect your bottom line?
Nutrition and food is the foundation for health, energy, vitality – it helps us maintain our stamina and well-being. It keeps us from getting sick. This is the one area that we can really control, change and make better – yet in modern corporate life it is so easy to relegate nutrition to the back burner. Corporations don’t want to take responsibility for this area as it opens up a whole can of worms. Isn’t nutrition and food choice up to the individual and up to individual choices? Yes, to a point but life in a recessionary landscape requires each employee to put more in more hours just to stay still. This means that the modern corporation is potentially “stealing” hours from its work-force and this leave the work-force short of the time it needs to keep on top of its well-being. If employees are getting home late, when can food be prepared, when is there time to do the shopping ?
Individuals who are tired and overworked reach for the highly addictive food highs that deliver a quick fix in terms of energy (coffee, carbs, and sugar) – Most individuals don’t really know or understand about the kinds of foods that might really enhance energy and wellbeing because the messages are coming from TV, the Media, or other interested parties. Thus the idea of the individual knowing best is like everyone playing a game for which they don’t know the rules. Even if people think they know what healthy eating is – often they are eating the foods in the wrong order
Therefore the Company restaurant becomes a really important place where food choices can be influenced for the better. Giving employees the information from which informed choice can be made is the key.
Often making very small but significant tweaks to company’s restaurant offering can bring very real results. The healthy eating message is a boring one – no-one likes the “waggy finger” taking away the treats in life and replacing it with lentils. A nutritionist can help construct the messages and education that encourage people to use good food to optimise energy and vitality. A nutritionist can look at the menus make small changes, but add a huge amount of value by adding the “story” behind why an employee should make great choices at lunchtime. And it might just stop everyone falling asleep in the afternoon meeting or having a nap on the desk!
Kate Cook has a wealth of experience in working with companies on just such matters, get in touch to see how she can help you make small improvements which have big benefits by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org now.