Campaign launched for businesses to offer lunch vouchers to incentivise workers return to office

A company that helps businesses to find an office location is proposing the Government to back an idea where employees who return to work in a city centre are offered a lunch voucher to promote going out to eat during their break.

The firm Offices is calling this campaign “Lunch is on us” and states it is very similar to the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme that was announced by Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer and is due to run throughout the whole of August. The scheme was used more than 10.5 million times in its first week, which Mr Sunak described as “amazing”.

The idea of the campaign is to incentivise office workers back to the workplace. The company asks “would you return to the office if you got a free lunch?” Jonathan Ratcliffe, lead broker at Offices will be writing to Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK and Mr Sunak to campaign for this scheme.

How the “Lunch is on us” campaign will work:

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


Offices think similar campaigns could be used to incentivise the use of different parts of a city centre working life, such as providing free transport vouchers to encourage the use of public transport systems.

Mr Ratcliffe said:

City Centres are 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.

We need some serious out of the box thinking here, we can’t sit back and just cross our fingers. City centre businesses are on the edge – we need folks back in the office spending money, and anyway who doesn’t love a free lunch?





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.