“Lunch is on us” – Would Exeter office workers return to work for a free lunch?

Sam Richards
Authored by Sam Richards
Posted Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 11:31pm

Following from the success of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, Exeter office company Offices.co.uk is asking the Government to give free lunches to all office workers to encourage them to return to work with the “Lunch is on us” Campaign.

“Exeter is struggling; cafes and sandwich shops empty, trains and buses underused – we want the Government to incentivise their use by providing lunch and travel vouchers. It’s not dissimilar to the Eat Out scheme, and just as important, possibly more so”, explains Jonathan Ratcliffe from Exeter Office company Offices.co.uk

Would you return to the office if you got a free lunch? The thinking behind the “Lunch is on us” campaign is to incentivise Exeter office workers back to work by using the same style of tactics as used in the hugely popular “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme. Bosses would reward loyal workers with free £5 vouchers. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme does not really help office workers, who generally buy takeout food to the value of around £5 each day.

“Every office in Exeter I’ve been into recently has spent a fortune on Covid protection measures, they are safe – we just need a little help to get folks back into the swing of working life again. We are asking the Government to support city centres in encouraging workers back into the office”, adds Ratcliffe

How the “Lunch is on Us” Campaign would work:

  • Government would provide free lunch vouchers for the value of £5
  • Bosses would hand out vouchers every day
  • Valid in Exeter cafes and sandwich shops only
  • Restriction to working days only

The same campaign could be used to incentivise different parts of working life, such as providing free transport vouchers to encourage use of the public transport system just like the Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme did for bike usage.

Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk will be writing to Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak this week to campaign for the scheme. If enough interest is shown a Government petition will be launched.

“We need some serious out of the box thinking here, we can’t sit back and just cross our fingers. Exeter businesses are on the edge – we need folks back in the office spending money, and anyway who doesn’t love a free lunch?”, concludes Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk


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