How Much Does It Cost To Set Up An Office Pantry

Most offices have a pantry area which typically comprises of a sink and some kitchen appliances. These depend on whether the space allows for a pantry, and what appliances can be installed.

Ideally, a fully-equipped kitchen provides the most utility to staff, whether they just want a cup of coffee or wish to prepare their meals. However, even companies in small offices can still provide much of these facilities without having to spend a fortune.

Here are some common kitchen appliances for pantries and how much they cost.

Refrigerator (Mini: $200-300, Full: $1,100-$2,000)

A refrigerator is a must-have for most pantries since it allows staff to pack and preserve food which may otherwise be perishable. Aside from getting a suitably-sized refrigerator, it is also generally helpful to have containers, labels and markers handy for staff to demarcate which food items belong to them so that there is no confusion.

For smaller-sized offices, a mini-bar fridge would probably suffice. A mini bar fridge generally costs between $200-300.

Larger departments or companies may need a larger fridge so that more items can be stored. A full-sized fridge could cost between $1,100 – $2,000.

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Microwave Oven (From $119)

Microwave ovens are perhaps the second most common office pantry equipment since they provide the ability for staff to heat up their meals. Some staff may wish to pack their own meals especially if they have special dietary needs, while others may simply wish to save money by packing food.

Whichever the case may be, it is important to be sensitive to Muslim colleagues by ensuring that staff do not use the microwave for non-halal food. For companies with larger teams/departments, it may make sense to get an additional microwave, one for non-halal food.

A 20L microwave oven can cost as low as $119. Larger microwave ovens can cost between $200-$300.

Water Dispenser (From $100)

One of the other must-haves is a water dispenser. A hot water dispenser is important too, for staff who wish to make coffee or tea.

There are two types of water dispensers, the first type uses piped water from the tap and filters it before delivering the water to the user. However, this means that the pantry needs water piping. Do note that the water filters will need to be replaced at regular intervals. These water dispensers cost around $500.

The second type is the type which uses 1-gallon drums of water, and needs to be refilled at regular intervals. While it does not need a water source, you will have to arrange for delivery of water at regular intervals and arrange for space to store the large 1-gallon drums of water within the office. There are companies which offer water dispenser services, and they will typically rent the water dispenser to you while supplying the 1-gallon drums of water.

For smaller companies (1-5 people), it may suffice to have an electric kettle to boil water. While it is more hassle to boil water for each beverage, the electric kettle costs roughly $30-50 and is much cheaper as compared to water dispensers, where filters may have to be replaced at regular intervals.

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Sink ($150 – $350)

Sinks in pantries make it easier to keep the place neat and clean and provide a place for people to wash their food containers or cups. For office spaces that do not already have a sink, renovating the place may be costly.

If there are water pipes and drainage traps nearby, installing a stainless steel sink could cost just $150 for a single sink, and up to $328 depending on whether it comes with a connected tabletop work area or whether it is a double bowl sink.

Induction Stove (From $75)

An inexpensive induction stove can cost as little as $75. This allows employees to cook simple meals such as instant noodles, or even warm up food via steaming, which will be appreciated by staff who do not like to use microwave ovens.

Nevertheless, given that it is less likely for staff to cook meals during a full work day, the induction stove is lower on the priority list for companies that have less budget for a pantry.

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Capsule Coffee Machine ($200 – $500)

The capsule coffee machine is most likely a luxury item, but coffee lovers will most certainly greatly appreciate it.

While the capsule coffee machine could be costly, the capsules are relatively inexpensive, costing just $0.80 – $2.30 per capsule depending on which one is purchased. Having a capsule coffee machine is great also because coffee lovers can also purchase their own specialty capsules for use in the office.

Coffee, Tea and Snacks

Keeping the pantry stocked with beverages and snacks is good for staff welfare, and it does not have to be expensive. It is generally a good idea to stock the pantry with teabags or powder packet drinks. Each of these costs roughly $0.30 – $0.50 per packet.

For snacks, it is advisable to have them stocked in small packets to avoid wastage when people are unable to finish the snacks, so packets of snacks such as potato chips are not advisable. Biscuits such as Lexus or Want-Want Rice Crackers cost between $0.15 – $0.50 per sachet. Healthy snacks such as Muesli bars can cost between $1 – 3 each.

Local biscuits and snacks could also be quite cheap with biscuit tins selling for $20-$50 per tin, which contains 3 – 5kg of biscuits.

Staff Welfare Does Not Have To be Expensive

The convenience of having available food and drinks makes for a more pleasant working experience. Having food items which employees enjoy can be a good morale booster.

In addition to this, having a refrigerator and microwave gives more options to employees for meals, whether it is to save money, eat healthier, or to meet special dietary requirements.

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