At Eurest, we understand the hugely important role we play in the mental health of those we serve each day in the workplace. As a food catering company, we host people during breaks at work, breaks that provide that crucial opportunity for people to enjoy great food, chat with colleagues, and regain energy.
Our partnership with Mental Health UK allows us to combine our expertise in food service with wellbeing and mental health, allowing customers to receive not just a great meal but to have a mindful and enriching experience too. Over half of UK workers say they enjoy sharing their breaks with others, so we understand that our cafes and restaurants aren’t just serving the function of feeding people, but also play a crucial part in people’s social lives too.
Health is at the forefront of our operation, and we understand mental health is just as important as physical health.
As well as ensuring physical health with nutritious and balanced food, we have integrated several campaigns into our strategy which aim to support mental health. One which has proved very popular is our ‘Wellness Wednesday’ campaign.
It provides a weekly focus, either a physical or mental health activity every week. These include topics such as the benefits of healthier meals for physical and mental health. Each week is also accompanied by leaflets and resources, allowing colleagues to take home the information and pick up on topics of interest at home, as well as at work.
It’s been rewarding to see how much employees look forward to finding out the weekly theme, and we’re so glad the organisation is benefitting in multiple ways. We recently commissioned research looking at the impact of food and beverage on the work environment and almost two thirds of those polled, said food and wellbeing events made them feel more likely to come into the workplace. We hope to continue encouraging this feeling in people so that they feel a positive connection between wellbeing and mealtimes.
The last couple of years have been challenging for everyone, and although we all have had unique experiences over the pandemic, a lot of us can relate to experiencing emotions of uncertainty, tough decision-making, and change. That's why, we made sure feeling connected is crucial to our culture.
When we welcomed colleagues back to work, we wanted it to be a supportive environment. We also wanted to highlight that many people in catering and hospitality had been working throughout the pandemic, and their efforts were not unnoticed.
To support people in reconnecting post-pandemic, our ‘Brew for Two’ campaign was designed with the aim of building social connections in the workplace by encouraging colleagues to have a drink and a chat with each other. The campaign provides a discount when buying a hot beverage with a friend.
Not only do we want every customer to feel connected, it’s also important that our own employees feel connected too. Part of our proactive approach has been to spread awareness of mental health in our own workplace, as we understand that the message won’t reach our customers unless it’s first understood and valued by our staff. From our own research we learnt that 77% of our employees are more likely to visit the office if free food and drink is provided, and so we’ve acted by making the food offer free in our own head offices. It’s made a big difference to the atmosphere, with people coming together to talk and collaborate.
Alongside this, our dedicated ‘you matter’ campaign has a collection of tools available to remotely support team members wherever they may be, and with whatever mental health support they may require. We have mental health ambassadors at all levels who enjoy spreading the word throughout the business, encouraging colleagues to make ‘take-a-break calls’, and hosting coffee mornings with one another where work-talk is strictly off the agenda!
We’ve also recently brought ‘Wellness Wednesday’ internal, and we’ll be hosting an event at our Eurest HQ in the Midlands for Mental Health Awareness Week. Highlights will include a specially designed Food for Mood menu, recipe cards, resource signposting, and mental health experience sharing.
Our aim for the future is to continue to make resources and information accessible to all, both for daily consumers and for colleagues internally.
We’re delighted to see a real shift in our culture thanks to our partnership with Mental Health UK. Colleagues have learned crucial skills such as how to start conversations about mental health, how to start aiming for a work-life balance, and how to collaborate well with one another to feel connected. What’s better is knowing this passion now flows among our internal teams, through to other external guests on-site too, helping the whole workforce be a happier one.
We’re excited to keep working hard to build innovative solutions to the requirements that the modern workplace holds, extending our reach and commitment to good mental health beyond restaurant walls.
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