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How to Build a Healthy Snack Station in Your Office
Sep 05, 2022
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Consider this – You are what you eat! Your feeding habits have a significant impact on your overall health. These days, snacks can make up for 50% of all the food you consume within your work day. Why? Because you’re probably too busy to stop and make a wholesome meal, and restaurants are not cheap.

Healthy snacks are a win for the employers and staff. Complimentary snacks are as important (and in-demand) as paid leave, free parking, and other traditional job perks. So, today let’s discuss ways to create an in-office snack station that stands out.

By the end of this brief piece, you’ll be able to add some creativity and flair into the mix. Hopefully, your employees will smile and come together to take your bottom line to the next level.

Designate a Snack Master

Designate a Snack Master

Prime restaurants hire cheese mongers, sommeliers, butchers, and other procurement experts to ensure they serve only the best ingredients. Follow this proven formula and designate a supreme snack master to ensure your office has tasty and healthy snacks.

A snack master is more than a goffer to send to the stores. This is your resident foodie specialist that runs extra miles to fight hunger and put a smile on everyone’s face.

A snack master has the following duties:

Selecting snacks
Ordering, establishing qualities and restocking
Ensuring the snack station is clean and well-maintained
Encouraging people to visit the snack station

Desirable qualities of the ideal snack master include:

1. Try finding someone who wants the job. This could be a young staffer or an intern that has light duties. You could even recruit from the mailroom staff. Enthusiasm is crucial, so you can create a snack crew if more than one employee volunteer’s for the job.

2. Next, assign them a budget and full carte blanch to make and alter orders. Such a move ensures you’ll experience dynamism and variety in the snack choices.

3. Announce your selected candidate to the entire office. This ensures people know where to lodge their compliments, complaints, and changes they want to the lineup.

Explore Office Food Preferences

Explore Office Food Preferences

Having a snack station that nobody touches is worse than not having one. It has to cater to everyone’s snacking preferences. So, the first duty of your snack master is consulting their workmates on what they like to eat.

An inventory tracking system can also help them determine what will move or linger on the shelves. You can add a suggestion box to help establish preferences and food eversions.

Helpful tips:

Create and circulate brief surveys to establish such preferences
Add some fun to it by including critical reviews from staffers that you can display as cute Post-it notes in the snack station.
Work with a flexible vendor that allows you to change orders at the drop of a hat.

Ensure There Is a Variety in Snacking Choices

Variety is the spice of life. Likewise, your staff includes people from diverse cultures, religions, and creeds. You could also have vegans, meat-lovers, lactose intolerants, and people on diets you’ll never understand.

You can accommodate everyone by picking one or more of the following crowd-pleasing options:

Healthy indulgence
Low-calorie
Vegan
non-GMO
Gluten-free
Organic
High-protein

Design a Creative, On-Brand Display

Design a Creative, On-Brand Display

Like your reception area, office cubicles, and other office sections, your snack station should resemble your company’s image. For instance, if you’re a legal practice, your snack station ought to be well thought-out, organized, and impeccably clean. A design agency can use the snack station to display creative flair and an affinity for color.

Things you can add:

Vertical floating shelves stacked with neat jars and baskets that group snacks according to color
Go for stacks and tiers as they make snacks easier to view and access

NB: Save office tables and counter spaces by opting for vertical storage.

Choose a Strategic Location

There are three rules to scoring the best real estate – It’s all about location, location, location! Ironically, the office kitchen isn’t necessarily the best location. So, your snack station should be somewhere all your staffers pass as they move around the office.

Think of your primary target: if you want your clients to enjoy snacks, consider the conference room. You can also place it next to the reception because it enjoys foot traffic. After all, everyone passes through there as they enter and exit.

Follow Some Snack Station Best Practices

Follow Some Snack Station Best Practices

While we encourage you to explore some creative license with this project, knowing where to start can still be challenging. So here are some best practices to get the ball rolling.

Use jars, baskets, and wall-mounted trays to display your snacks. Merely leaving them in shipping packages is sloppy, tacky, and can lead to chaos as people try to figure out the contents.
Insist on bit-sized and individually packaged snacks to promote restraint and ensure everyone gets something.
Avoid massive communal bowls as they are unsanitary
Discourage employees from hoarding snacks in their office desk drawers. Remember, the snack station is a communal space that encourages sharing, open communication, and smiling around the office.
Rotate stock regularly - This will help keep things fresh and prevent boredom with the same old snacks.
Start with a clean slate. A messy snack station can be off-putting, so make sure to keep it clean and organized. Wipe down the surfaces you'll use for your snack station and ensure they're free of dust, spills, and crumbs. Throw away any wrappers or packaging
Keep it safe - Store all food items properly to avoid contamination and food-borne illnesses.
Stock up on napkins and utensils. Nothing ruin's a good snack like not having anything to eat it with! Make sure you have plenty of napkins and plastic utensils on hand so guests can enjoy their food without making a mess.
Label everything. Avoid confusion or waste by clearly labeling all the food and drinks at your snack station. This is especially important if you're serving anything with allergens.
If you are serving hot items, set up a crockpot or warmer. If you are serving cold items, stock a mini fridge with ice packs.

As your snack station grows in strength and popularity, you'll figure out the rest.

Create an Easy Inventory Tracking System

An inventory tracking system is essential in running a profitable store. The snacks may be complimentary, but they can affect your company's profit statements if they go to waste.

Consider how often you’ll restock the shelves. Doing so monthly ensures the snack master has time to deal with their core office tasks. It also allows them to rank high and low-ticket snacks.
Establish the desired volumes within the first month. The rule of thumb here is 2 or 4 packs per day of a particular snack for each staffer.
Plan daily or weekly stock counts

Create a Feedback Loop

Create a Feedback Loop

Seek employee feedback as they reach for their complimentary, healthy snacks. You can include a tip jar or a gratitude bulletin board close to the snack station.

You can add some potted plants, plushy toys, seats, a bench, and other decorations to create an ambiance for light and pleasant conversations. Such a move encourages staffers to mill around the station as they browse through your catalog, snack, and giggle over small talk.

Have a Snack Swap Program

Involving your entire staff in such programs is insurance against failure. You can encourage them to volunteer their suggestions for special weekly or quarterly snacks. These could be store-bought or homemade.

You can take it further by creating a special annual award for the best "guest snack." This inspires a sense of community and promotes making healthy choices in the office.

Tips to ensure success in this initiative include:

Include healthy snack tips in company memos or newsletters to establish a baseline for reasonable snack expectations.
Install a special display jar or shelf for guest snacks. You can even include a picture and the recipe for the homemade snacks.
Create a mini poll where employees pick a crowd favorite
Give a reward or incentive to the winner

Build On the Strengths of Your Healthy Snacks Program

Build On the Strengths of Your Healthy Snacks Program

Your new snack station offers the best location and traction to push for other health and wellness programs you dream of implementing. Since staffers will congregate around the snack station – why not turn the space into a mini office gym or office wellness corner?

Here are some things you can add:

Height Adjustable Desks

Some employees may want to take care of minor tasks during snack breaks. The snack station makes the perfect meeting spot for such employees, especially if they wish to collaborate with members from a different department.

Ergonomic standing desks are suited for this purpose as they keep people on their feet but still provide a stable platform for laptops and other portable devices. You can also use them as activity surfaces for Monopoly, Ludo, Scrabble, Jenga, and other board games. That way, your employees can unwind in-between the day and resume work refreshed and reenergized.

Office Fitness Equipment

Standard gym equipment may be too bulky and noisy for business premises. Fortunately, many office-geared options are silent and have a low enough footprint to fit into your snack station. Some of these options include:

Vibration Plate Exercise Machines
Adjustable Dumbbells
Folding Treadmills
Desk Bikes

With that in place, you’ll be able to build a healthy snack station in your office. And empower your future workplace health and wellness programs.