The problem I see here is a narrow idea of what a 'perk' can be.
Typically office environments are over regulated, and antagonistic managers use things humans *naturally need*...random breaks, flexible hours, snack food, wearing hawaiian shirts, etc. and turn them into a *commodity for you to earn.*
Its part of the archaic business model we all struggle against.
As a former employee, I'd definitely take the *cash* over gamed-out 'perks'...
However, as a current employer, I'd like to defend the idea of a 'perk' from those who despise the notion....
See, businesses have **economy of scale**
We can buy things in bulk...including things our employees wouldn't otherwise be able to afford on their own.
To me, as a business owner, THIS is a perk....a non-compensatory benefit that you get b/c you work for me.
Food, drinks, etc. are all in this category, but that's really minor league perks. If a division leader has a budget for stuff to help employee morale, a wise use of it would maximize the economy of scale and wholesale access...not just get a discount on pizza (although that's nice too sometimes)
ex: when I was a snowboarding instructor, one of our 'perks' was that the managers would let us buy as much as we wanted off of their 'pro form' from their corporate sponsors. Which means snowboarding gear at 50% of *wholesale*....that was a fskign 'perk'...and it helped our performance as employees!
Most biz perks are just gaming out your needs and using it as a carrot/stick...