Providing refreshments in the workplace – is it a must?

Posted on November 8, 2019.

Refreshments in the workplace

As an employer, do you know what you are required to provide your employees, by law?

There is legislation in place to ensure employees’ welfare, the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which outlines what is required. We were recently thinking about the variation in what workplaces provide in terms of food and drink and decided to investigate a bit further.

There isn’t a lot that an employer needs to provide. In fact, all that is legally necessary is drinking water. This may be in the form of clean tap water, or if this isn’t available, a water fountain (cups provided) or bottled water. The supply must be adequate for the nature of the work and the temperature of the environment.

Alongside free water, an employer must make available clean seating facilities for meal breaks with nearby washing facilities, and a way of heating food (i.e. a microwave) and water for making hot drinks. These few basic provisions are all that is legally required, yet some workplaces go far beyond.


If you as an employer have decided to go above and beyond and provide free tea, coffee, or even more – what factors influenced your decision?

Firstly, just a little bit of reading confirms our suspicions; a workplace which provides free food and drink, creates happier employees. Staff are more likely to feel valued by their organisation, and that the company cares for them.


Why is this important?

Staples, the office supplies company recently did a survey into happiness in the office. Over half of the respondents said that the work environment had a “direct link to their performance and therefore self-worth”. A staggering 46% of people thought they would be happier in a different job.

Contributing to employees’ unhappiness were issues like noisy, cramped and dull workspaces, and 68% cited underinvestment in the office workspace. If employees are happier at work, they are more likely to be productive.


We’re not saying the perks of a free cup of tea or coffee will go all the way to providing 100% staff satisfaction and retention, but if your staff feel you are caring for them and improving the working environment, it’s a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, it has been found that only about 57% of workers have access to a free cuppa. It seems that increasingly, companies are removing these perks, rather than seeing the advantage in them. Considering the rise in the high street coffee shop, we’re surprised that companies don’t see the benefit of providing good quality refreshments within the walls of the office!

If you want to think about providing more than just the minimum requirements for your staff, it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Buying in bulk could save you money. Look at a cup of tea for example; a 1040 cup pack of Yorkshire tea at £21.50 incl VAT, makes a cuppa for just over 2p (plus a little extra for milk!).

Popular coffee brands such as Nescafe, can be bought in tins of 1kg, and UHT milk for convenience can be bought in boxes of individual portions or 6x 1litre bottles.

Supplying tea and coffee couldn’t be easier, order in bulk online and save money to keep your office happy throughout winter and all year round! Here at Loorolls, we pride ourselves to being a leading stockist of food & drinks and catering products, feel free to browse our range of products online or call us on <a href=”tel:+441513422111″>0151 342 2111</a> to create a <a href=””>trade account</a> and enjoy bulk discounts.

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