Curating a Snack Bar for the Workplace

6 mins read

This article discusses how to curate a snack bar in the workplace by having a record of employee food restrictions, keeping it accessible, and includes an example list of what to stock.

If you ask people to think about their daily food habits, they often see having three big meals a day as the end goal, which can be overwhelming when factoring in a forty-hour (or more) work week. On top of that, employees lead busy lives outside of their jobs and may forget to plan their meals ahead of time, leaving them with nothing to fuel their bodies and mind. Since these are common occurrences, it is beneficial to have a snack bar in the workplace, so employees have a reliable backup just in case. Not only does this keep them fed, but it will also boost their concentration, keeping them alert for whatever the day brings, from pressing project deadlines to back-to-back meetings.

When arranging a snack bar, it is important to keep track of any potential food restrictions, because while almonds can make a great snack, there might be an employee who is allergic to nuts. However, food restrictions are not just limited to allergies. Those who are on a specific diet, like veganism or gluten free, often get left out and are unable to participate in company sanctioned meals or snacks.

A handy way to keep track of everyone’s dietary needs is to use a table with three sections:

1. Name
2. Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
3. Snack Preferences

Passing this table around will help clarify what everyone needs to stay happy and healthy, as well as provide some personally curated suggestions on what kind of food they would like to see at the snack bar. We have included a template for this table at the end of this article for you to use and send around the office.

Once everyone’s allergies, restrictions, and preferences have been recorded, it’s time to decide where you are going to keep your snack bar. Regardless of how big your workplace might be, the snack bar must be in a strategic spot where it is within eyesight and is easily accessible for all employees. For example, a few spaces you might consider could be in the employee lounge at a designated table, on a kitchen counter, or on a shelf, as long as each of these areas are wheelchair friendly. Another spot worth considering is a conference room where meetings are typically held, but only if it is not too distracting!

To invite people in, arrange a basket or two with a variety of options, so employees feel comfortable taking what they need to get a quick boost during their busy schedules. This can also be applied to the employee fridge if there happens to be some extra space alongside packed lunches. Storing cold snacks in clear open containers will make it easy for employees to find what they are looking for so they don’t have to waste time rearranging the fridge or digging through drawers.

Now for the most important question: what to stock your snack bar with? Since we are trying to go for a variety of options it might be easiest to approach it by sectioning the snack bar into 3 different groups.

    1. Start off simple with some fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges. In addition to being a good source of vitamins, bananas can be quite filling, and quick to eat. If you’re looking for some cold options to fill the fridge, having seasonal berries ready to go with single serving low-fat Greek yogurt is a great option to have.

    2. For granola or protein bars, try to stick with options that have a higher protein percentage than sugar and look for simple ingredients that are free of artificial flavours or preservatives.

    3. Last but not least, employees who like to slowly pick away at their food might enjoy a small bag of trail mix, low-sodium beef jerky, popcorn, or whole wheat crackers.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday business, it can be difficult to stay on track with their food intake, especially if they try to prioritize projects over meals each day. By curating a snack bar, employees can get the nourishment they need to complete tasks effectively. All it takes is 3 simple steps: recording dietary preferences and restrictions, picking an accessible spot, and filling it up with brain boosting options.

Along with increasing productivity, employees will know that your company cares about their health and well-being, which will further motivate them to keep producing great work. Now there’s no reason to hesitate with stocking up on everyone’s favourites, and make sure to grab a little treat for yourself too!

Download this resource package Curating a Snack Bar – Guide and Preferences Template (zip).

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Visit our Resource Library for all available downloads.

If you require assistance with any of the guides, forms or templates, please contact a BIG representative.

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