Eating at Work Survey reveals how Australian employers can win the war for talent

Research shows the key factors to increase staff loyalty, productivity and wellbeing
  • Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z are expected to account for 27% of global workforce by 2025*
  • 71% of Gen Z say an on-site cafeteria would encourage them to join a prospective employer
  • 74% of Gen Z happy to order food and drinks via apps, compared to 19% for Baby Boomers

New research from Compass Group, the world’s leading food and support services company, and global market intelligence agency Mintel, reveals that Gen Z workers are the most vocal generation calling for enhanced wellbeing, sustainable and digital benefits in the workplace, and are willing to look at alternative employers if their needs aren’t met.

Compass Group’s Global Eating at Work Survey 2023 is one of the largest inter-generational surveys of its kind, analysing insights from 35,000 global workers across 26 countries on their workplace preferences, including views on eating at work, sustainability, digital adoption, health, and mental wellbeing.

healthy food

The research reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic and global cost of living crisis have made employees more mindful of what they want and deserve from an employer.

  • Across all age groups, 72% of Australian workers think employers should be doing more to support employees with the cost of living.
  • 46% of Australian workers say they feel less loyal towards their employer since COVID-19.

The list of worker demands on employers is evolving, with
food provision at work viewed as a major asset in the war for talent, especially among Gen Z workers.

  • 71% of Gen Z and 70% of Millennial workers in Australia say an on-site restaurant / cafeteria would positively influence their decision to join an employer, vs 34% of Baby Boomers.

Providing a sustainable and healthy food offer at work is paramount, especially for younger generations in Australia.

  • All age groups expect that food outlets should help them make healthier food and drink choices through the food they serve, peaking at 72% among Gen Z workers.
  • In Australia, younger generations are driving a meat-free revolution in the workplace, with 67% of Gen Z workers advocating for more plant-based options, compared to just 44% of Gen X and 35% of Baby Boomers.

Of any generation, Gen Z are most open to digital foodservice innovations that can improve their productivity and health at work.

  • 74% of Aussie Gen Z workers are happy to order food and drinks via app, compared to just 19% for Baby Boomers.

“Employee’s attitudes and behaviours have changed in recent years, and even more so since COVID-19. Regardless of age, employees are valuing wellness at work. The ease and availability of nutritious food, alongside dedicated eating areas, is a key factor in helping to attract, motivate and retain the best talent. This presents exciting new opportunities for employers to meet growing demand with workplace dining facilities and tech-enabled solutions.”

Dining area

Notes to Editors

*World Economic Forum

Working age population generational demographics:

  • Gen Z – born between 1996-2010
  • Millennials – born between 1981-1995
  • Gen X – born between 1966-1980
  • Baby Boomers born between 1946-1965

For more information, please contact:
PJ Brooks, National Communications Manager, Compass Group Australia
E: [email protected]

About Compass Group Australia
Compass Group Australia is a leading food and support services organisation, supporting clients in Australia since 1969. The company engages more than 13,000 employees to operate in more than 700 locations, serving thousands of people every day through food and support services focused on health and wellbeing.

Compass Group’s operations are extensive across Australia, including both onshore and offshore facilities and they reflect a diverse client base encompassing schools and universities, venues and leisure facilities, the energy, resources and Defence sectors, hospitals and aged care facilities, airline lounges and feeding thousands of people at work.

Compass group proudly plays an important role in supporting and creating careers paths for disadvantaged Australians and sources 81% of food and beverages from local Australian growers and manufacturers.


You might also like