How One Company uses Friday Lunchtime to Improve Staff Retention

Yes, this could be your office lunch, too.

Anchor provides managed web hosting services for websites and web applications in Australia and the USA. Based in Sydney, Anchor’s employees “lead the helm”, “pilot the vessel”, and “hoist the sails” for the business.  Every Friday, Anchor provides for its staff a free, delicious lunch alongside a unique and diverse selection of boutique craft beers (a greater selection than is in most pubs!) The purpose is to promote a collaborative company culture, show employee appreciation, and build camaraderie.


I knew about Anchor from the branded beer fridges in Fishburners and their support of SydStart. After pitching the idea of You Chews as an easy and delicious office lunch catering solution at SydStart this year, I was emailed the next day by Jess Field, the Anchor marketing manager, who was interested in using You Chews to provide great food for Anchor’s employees.

I met with Jess at Anchor’s Sydney CBD office. She told me how, previously, Anchor would buy lunch for up to 50 employees at a restaurant or pub. This was a real challenge as going out meant:

  • Finding venues each week that could accommodate that many people;
  • Reserving a private room/enough tables every week;
  • Trying to feed everyone within a reasonable time frame to get back to the office;
  • Some employees ordering starters and desserts as well as mains to satisfy their hunger;
  • Trying to get the customisation of everyone’s individual meals right, which sometimes meant unhappy eaters when this didn’t happen
  • Ordering drinks on top of food which added to an already expensive bill

It proved to be a painful process. So much so that, instead of going out for lunches every week, the company decided to order in food on Fridays, which was more cost-effective. This also proved challenging, but this time more so for Jess – she was tasked with getting everyone’s individual orders the day prior, ordering the food from vendors (sometimes up to 60 individual meals) then dealing with sometimes unhappy eaters when the orders were incorrect.

Jess and I talked about how You Chews helps companies show employee appreciation, boost productivity, improve staff retention and build a better culture through shared meals. We also discussed how You Chews has found the best way to do this: to provide one type of food for the office to gather around and share. It’s far easier than taking individual orders as stuff-ups are minimized,  and narrowing peoples’ choices helps take the thinking out of the ordering process. Specific dietary requirements could generally be catered for depending on the menu and the notice given. Since You Chews works with different unique vendors making lovable food, we provide great variety.

Anchor’s employees are predominately male, which generally means bigger eaters. Jess asked about the portion sizes of the meals, and stressed that, since the office had a lot of eaters always happy to gobble up leftovers, more food rather than less was their preference. I explained that You Chews always makes sure a meal was substantial, but that we recommended ordering a few extra meals just in case hungry staffers served themselves overly generous portions.

Jess agreed to try the service, and placed a lunch order that Friday!


Since becoming a You Chews customer, the Anchor team has enjoyed delicious lunches such as our best-selling pie and mash comfort food, our Thai treasure menu featuring mouth-watering massaman curry, and Asian-inspired veggies, and our popular make-your-own prawn and chorizo rolls.

Recently we were invited by Jess to come for lunch, and were very excited to learn that we’d picked a day when the delicious prawn chorizo rolls were being served! Matilde, the force behind Mojo Picon, takes pride in her food and loves feeding the masses with the flavours of her native Canary Islands.

Matilde setting up to feed the Anchor staff delicious food!

Matilde setting up to feed the Anchor staff delicious food!

Matilde turned up to the lunch with a bag full of deliciously fresh, soft crusty rolls, trays of grilled Spanish chorizo and savoury prawns, lemon wedges, minced parsley, and Spanish-style BBQ sauce.


The finished product!

Slicing the bread onsite to ensure it stayed fresh, Matilde taught the staff how to assemble their rolls, and explained that the toothpicks stuck into each roll helped to keep the juicy prawns from falling out of the soft bread.


We lined up alongside Anchor’s employees for our turn, getting hungrier by the minute from the smell of garlic, lemon, and sausage.


Deliciously authentic grilled Spanish chorizo.


Plump, juicy, perfectly cooked prawns.


As we ate, Jess told us how the staff looked forward to the You Chews lunch each week, and how it had made ordering food for the group so much easier and quicker.  She also mentioned how the You Chews service was saving the company money, since they had been spending much more per person on each meal before using You Chews.

Happy hungry Anchor employees!

Happy hungry Anchor employees!

After snapping a few photos, we bid our goodbyes. On our way out I noticed one employee, happily munching away on a freshly made prawn and chorizo roll, checking out the You Chews website on his phone, chatting to his friends about next week’s menu and what they’d ask Jess to order!


If you order in staff lunch as an employee perk, check out our awesome menus – say goodbye to stale boring sandwiches and ¡Hola! to Spanish-style prawn and chorizo rolls!

And with the holiday season here, why not try one of our Christmas menus – designed to impress and and reward your staff for a great 2014!




2 thoughts on “How One Company uses Friday Lunchtime to Improve Staff Retention

  1. Pingback: Feed Your Team Like Your Family | You Chews Foodies

  2. Pingback: Your Guide to Uni Catering | You Chews Foodies

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