Square Deal For A Square Meal

Come on, admit it. We’ve all skipped lunch at some point in order to power through the mountain of work that has been piling up. Or we’ve forgotten to take our packed lunch, or reached the end of the month when the shillings  are few and far between.

Skipping lunch is an age-old problem. No matter what your reasons are for doing it, however,

Sodexo may have found the ideal solution, with some help from your  employer.

Taking advantage of an amendment to the Finance Act 2014, which allows employees to eat

tax-free, Paris-based Sodexo has recently introduced an e-voucher system called the ‘Digital Meal

Voucher’ that allows employers to pay their staff up to KES 4,000 a  month in tax-free income to put

towards meals.


Sodexo’s Digital Meal Voucher offers several benefits to both employer and employee that go beyond free food. “The companies who are already using us have seen an improvement in productivity,  attitude and engagement,” says Neil Ribeiro, CEO of Sodexo Kenya.

By ensuring that all members of staff eat lunch, it can improve productivity, since regular meals also help to improve concentration and performance.

Healthy employees are also less likely to be absent due to sickness. In addition, if the organisation or  company opts for a timeframe in which the vouchers can be redeemed, it can encourage all members of staff to eat at the same time. This in turn means they are more likely to spend time together outside the office, thus leading to better working relations and social  interaction.

Currently, Sodexo’s Digital Meal Voucher is accepted by over 80 outlets in Nairobi, and three in Mombasa, including bakeries, cafés, road-side kiosks and restaurants. The fully customisable service also allows employers to choose where and when their employees may redeem their vouchers. They can even select eating places they believe will help to increase productivity – for example, restaurants or outlets that offer healthy options.