Want to improve esprit de corps at your company? Try eating together. GeoAccess, based in Overland Park, Kans., providesits workers with some unusual perks. It offers five fully stocked pantries and has lunch delivered every day. "The payoff istwofold," says Joy Weaver, the company's equivalent of a chief financial officer. (GeoAccess, which provides software andInternet services for the managed care industry, uses no titles.) "First, it keeps people in the office, available for phone calls,and second, it helps develop camaraderie." It also helps with recruiting. Weaver estimates that the company, which has 190employees, feeds about 100 of them on any given day at a cost of about $600 a day. The cost of snacks and beverages for thepantries probably adds about an additional $5,500 a month, she says.
There are also plenty of more modest approaches to sharing meals. For example, it's hard for a CEO to get to know all newemployees when a company is growing. So every month or two, Randy M. Pritzker, CEO of Omicron Systems and OmicronConsulting, in Philadelphia, meets his companies' newest hires for lunch. There he discusses the history and philosophy ofthe businesses, which have combined sales of about $30 million. "This way they're more comfortable in the elevator andhallways because we're at least acquainted," he says.