Beyond Food: Creating a More Enjoyable Employee Dining Experience

Posted by Aleya Harris on 11/12/19
Aleya Harris
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There’s a lot more to enjoying a meal than just eating good food. If that was the case, every dining establishment would be takeout-only. In fact, all the many non-food aspects of dining can add up to create an experience that’s bigger than the sum of its parts — leaving you feeling not just well-fed, but more relaxed, mindful, and connected.

Even seasoned restaurateurs can struggle at times to create an ideal full dining experience, where the decor, service, food, and music come together harmoniously. If you’re managing a corporate cafeteria, you might feel like you don’t have the ambiance, resources, or even a mandate to create a full dining experience.

However, that doesn't have to be the case — and here’s how to improve the situation.


3 Ways to Make Your Cafeteria More Enjoyable

If you’re maintaining an on-site cafeteria for your workers, you have a golden opportunity to make changes that can help boost morale, reduce stress, and improve overall employee satisfaction. Here are three ways to do it.


1. Natural Lighting

You may not be able to provide candlelit dinners, but there’s no reason employees have to eat lunch under harsh artificial lighting.

The best way to improve the illumination situation in your cafeteria is to use natural lighting as much as possible. Exposure to actual daylight makes us feel more energetic and lifts our moods, and while it’s not available 24/7, it is free.


2. Comfortable Furniture

The furniture in your cafeteria is very important, because it touches on multiple aspects of the diner’s experience: 

  • Their comfort. 
  • The amount of table space they have.
  • Their proximity to their dining companions, and other tables.
  • The overall aesthetics.

Likewise, many factors will play into any furniture purchasing decisions you make. These include the size of your cafeteria space, the number of employees it serves, the cost of your furniture options, and so on. Just be sure to keep in mind the ways that the size, shape, and design of the furniture you’re selecting will influence the experience of the people dining there.


3. Human Service

Not many corporate cafeterias can accommodate full-time hosts and servers. However, having a live person responsible for dealing with questions and service issues can make a world of difference to diners. It also leaves staff whose primary duty is food preparation to focus on that alone.

When diners need information about allergens, preparation methods, or other important concerns, they’ll feel much better knowing there’s a designated person who will have the answers.



When designing a corporate cafeteria, you may feel limited in the ways you can bring in elements of the traditional full dining experience. But if you focus on the fundamentals of atmosphere, comfort, and service, your cafeteria can be a place where employees feel relaxed and happy while they eat.


Topics: Employee Engagement, Corporate Cafe, Corporate Dining, Food Service Companies, food service provider, guckenheimer, Culinary

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