When it comes to office supplies, the kitchen is often an afterthought. But, depending on the type of services you offer and your workforce, neglecting kitchen supplies could have a much greater effect on your employees than you might think.
A poorly stocked cafeteria or lunchroom can give your employees and/or kitchen staff the wrong impression and show that you don’t really care. On the other hand, a properly stocked room with the right equipment could not only give your employees the best environment possible but even improve their performance and efficiency. Let’s take a look at a few essential kitchen supplies every office needs.
A coffee machine is an investment in the wellness of your employees. Some people just cannot function without coffee and offering this simple but impactful perk is something they’ll appreciate. They’ll also appreciate behind able to save on coffee, and not having to make a stop before work.
Whether you go for a filter coffee machine or a full-on barista-style coffee maker, there won’t be many people who complain. In addition, many coffee machines can also be used to brew tea and other hot drinks. Capsule coffee machines come with a huge range of different drinks options, from hot chocolate and mocha drinks.
Consider buying your coffee in bulk from office supplies companies. They’ll often have better prices on coffee and other kitchen supplies than your average supermarket. Many will also allow you to make some additional savings if you buy other items or become a regular.
Whilst most people are happy drinking coffee, there are many people who prefer low caffeine alternatives, like green tea and hot chocolate. Provide a selection of teabags for your employees. English Breakfast tea, Earl Gray, green tea, lemon tea, and fruit teas are all worthy additions to a staff kitchen. They will also appreciate some sachets of hot chocolate for those days when a biscuit just won’t do.
If you want to make the office kitchen a place where employees can socialize, you need to give them the proper tools to do so. Most employees will expect to at least find cutlery to eat their food with. But you should go the extra mile and offer things like bowls, plates, coffee mugs, and glasses at the very least.
Invest in plain white dinnerware so it is easy to replace items after breakages. Because it will happen. Stick to generic cutlery too. Teaspoons have a habit of disappearing in office kitchens. People borrow them so they can eat yogurts or they end up being accidentally thrown in a bin.
You should also make sure that you at least have a microwave. Not allowing your employees to heat their lunches is unacceptable, and you’ll definitely hear from them if you haven’t already. But you could also pamper them with things like a panini press. A small addition like this will show that you value them, and it won’t go unnoticed, believe me.
You also have to make sure that you have enough kitchen towels, napkins, soap, and cloths as well. If you want to limit waste, you can use things like reusable microfiber cleaning pads where you can. This will not only allow employees to keep themselves and the kitchen clean but put less stress on the cleaning team as well.
You might wonder why we added milk here. Sure, providing some fruit is great if you want your employees to feel healthy. And it’s a great way for them some of that much-needed glucose to keep their neurons firing. But milk is full of protein and is also a great food if you’re trying to stay focused. So, make sure that you leave plenty of healthy snacks around for your employees; you’ll get it back in increased productivity, wellbeing, and energy.
If your workplace is full of Gen Z and Millennials, stock up on milk alternatives too. Almond milk and coconut milk are non-dairy alternatives, which the vegans in your office will thank you for. You don’t need to buy fresh non-dairy alternatives – it will be cheaper to buy UHT nut milk and coconut milk, which can be stored in a cupboard until needed.
Put a bowl of fruit out daily. Fill it with apples, bananas, and satsumas. These appeal to most people and you can always supplement with seasonal fruits to add variety.
The office kitchen is much more than just a place to sit down and eat. It should be an extension of your brand and a commitment to employees. So, make sure that you always keep the right supplies on hand, and show your employees that they’re really appreciated.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia