Subsidized Micro Markets: The Ultimate Employee Perk

Adding a micro market to your facilities brings major benefits to employees, and subsidizing it makes it an even stronger tool for attracting and retaining top talent.

The Benefits of Micro Markets for Employee Engagement

Managers are facing increasing challenges in improving employee engagement and retention. One way companies can set themselves apart is by adding a micro market to their premises.

Micro Markets are like miniature shops located inside places of employment. They offer snacks, beverages, and lunches for sale to employees. When workers pick up a convenient lunch from the micro market, they usually stick around to eat, resulting in less time traveling to and from work and more time on creating a work environment that encourages collaboration, conversation and ideas. 

Snack and lunch options from the micro market are generally healthier than a restaurant lunch and are prepared with fresh ingredients. Contrast this with the greasy fast food that many employees opt for, and it follows that employees will both feel better after lunch and have improved personal health in the long run, which is obviously of benefit to their employers.

Micro Market Models


In this format, employees shop for the items they want in the market and then pay for them at a kiosk. They enjoy convenience of a broad selection of affordable food and beverages.


In a subsidized micro market or pantry, the employer opts to cover some or all of the cost of food and beverage items for employees. The company may choose to

  • Pay for everything
  • Grant a per-employee allowance
  • Cover a percentage of each sale

The Case for Subsidizing

The top companies in the US (including many in the tech sector) offer subsidized micro markets or pantries to employees. As these firms exist in a sector with high competition for the best employees, they are usually early adopters of workplace technology and trendsetters when it comes to offering perks and benefits. For companies in industries like manufacturing, warehousing, and healthcare, micro markets represent a unique employee benefit that few workplaces have adopted, making them a differentiator.

While paying for employee lunches and snacks represents an added cost for employers, the cost savings of reduced hiring and training burdens have made subsidizing a value-added decision for many Trolley customers.

Trolley Services Customer Experiences

One Trolley customer established their micro market in 2021. A year later, their human resources manager approached us with an idea.

This manager, along with his regional counterparts across the country, had been challenged to improve employee morale and retention as well as hiring for his location. No industry is immune from the effects of the Great Resignation, and the manager needed another arrow in his quiver to make his workplace stand out to prospective employees.

After the company began paying for all employee use of the Market, utilization doubled and employee satisfaction scores improved substantially.

Your Staff Deserves a Micro Market

Employee-paid micro markets are FREE to set up at your workplace. If you have unutilized space, offering staff fresh and convenient food and drink options directly on-premise is a no-brainer. For companies who are seeking to establish a competitive edge in tight hiring markets, subsidized markets are well worth a cost-benefit analysis. The professionals at Trolley House Companies are ready to explore these opportunities with you.