BDO Canada is offering free lunches at its Waterloo, Ont. office to draw employees back to the workplace.

The program, offered through the Hungerhub app, allows employees to order free lunches from local restaurants. Rob Wayne, managing partner for the greater Kitchener/Waterloo area at BDO Canada, says while the office’s employees are still working in a hybrid arrangement, the offering encourages in-person collaboration and learning.

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“It’s a really great solution for us in the sense that it’s a nice little perk — ‘Come into the office and we’ll buy you lunch.’”

Wayne says BDO offers employees a weekly subsidy through the app, so they can choose to spend it all on one lunch or spread it out over multiple meals.

He believes the incentive is helping with employee retention, as it’s generated positive feedback from workers. “It’s frankly a small price to pay, to buy some lunch for people to return to [that collaborative environment].”

On some days, the office sees up to 75 per cent more employees, depending on individual schedules and preferences concerning the week’s lunch menu, he adds. “We can look ahead through the week and see which restaurants are going to be in the virtual food court each day, so that sometimes motivates people and helps them decide what days [they prefer] to be in the office.”

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