3 ways to promote healthy eating in your employee cafe

Having a healthy workforce has numerous benefits for companies, including improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, lower healthcare costs and, in most cases, a more engaged workforce.

Want to promote healthier behaviors? You can start in your employee cafe.

Here are a few tips for encouraging healthier choices in your cafe from Compass Group’s corporate dining nutrition experts.

1. Let your employees choose their own fresh ingredients.

Employees are looking for ingredients that are good for them and the environment, but may be reluctant to try something they are unfamiliar with.

Plan a regular chef’s table or a cook-to-order station where employees can customize their meal. Set up the ingredients table to put emphasis on vegetables, whole grain and legume choices, and complete the meal with a lean protein.

Compass Group USA - Google Headquarters NYC

2. Feature healthy dishes at every station.

While employees may have the best intentions of eating healthy, they can be easily swayed by more indulgent menu options at the grill or entree stations and never make it to the healthy station or salad bar.

Featuring healthy options at each station, or creating combo meals that include healthier sides, makes employees more likely to choose the healthy option than if these options are segregated to a single station or area of the cafe.

Compass Group USA - Google Headquarters NYC

3. Consider incentives or differential pricing.

An emerging body of research suggests pricing healthier menu options lower than those deemed not healthy can be a successful tactic to shift employee behavior.

Consider making drinks like bottled water, flavored water, sparkling water and other unsweetened beverages cheaper than sugary beverages. Or better yet, offer incentives to employees who select a healthier item or entrée. Each healthy purchase or selection could result in points that can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases.


Simple changes can make a huge difference, so continue to explore other little nudges that lead your employees down a path to better eating habits.

If you would like more information on how we help our clients design and build programs with a focus on employee wellness, please contact us here.