May 15 (Reuters) - Mondays are now as busy as Thursdays in office canteens in the United States and Britain, the world's largest food catering firm Compass Group said on Wednesday.

Compass, which caters to staff at companies such as Microsoft and Shell, raised its annual profit forecast on Wednesday after its half-year ended March benefited from more workers returning to offices.

Many global companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have hybrid working policies where employees are required to be in the office for part of the working week.

Companies are trying to lure back staff using incentives such as free or subsidised food after the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way people worked.

Initially, workers had been reluctant to return to the office on days either side of the weekend. But Mondays have become busier across all markets and particularly in Britain and the United States, a Compass spokesperson said.

Cost-conscious workers are also spending more in office canteens rather than in high street restaurants, where prices have risen sharply. That has compensated for a decline in overall footfall, CEO Dominic Blakemore told analysts.

Fridays remain the quietest day of the week in terms of footfall, although that day has the highest average transaction spend based on fewer people, the spokesperson added.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Matt Scuffham and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)