This topic comes to me after a couple companies in my life celebrate their anniversaries. A very exciting time, usually a great excuse for a par-tay. Or at the vary least, a catered lunch.
Oooh what a treat to find out that the office is catering lunch when you have conveniently forgotten yours! (or maybe it is day-5 of repurposed black beans and rice? )
Always a sure way to get people buzzing - feed them! However, it is less exciting to come to a catered lunch to find there is not enough food, you are allergic to it all, or its simply a bit “ lack luster”. I mean, nice gesture, but I’ll just have my day-5 black beans and rice.
Feeding your team can be a great opportunity! Great bonding, moral booster, a chance to highlight your new favorite restaurant - you name it. The following are a few items to keep in mind when you are planning on treating you cohorts to a meal in the conference room!
Order more veg. No, I am not saying this because I happen to be a veggie, ok maybe a have a bias. But seriously! I have learned after many company meals that not only vegetarians will eat the vegetarian option. It’s not only about being mindful of the dietary preferences of your office, but honoring people’s choices! Vegetarian options often are perceived as healthier, fresher, or simply a great excuse to get more veggies into the diet. A perk for more than just the veggiesaurus in the room. Please don’t keep the veggie options “off limits” or reserved. Simply order more of them!
Keep All condiments on the side. If you happen to be a person who loves all things, this may come as a surprise! There are some incredibly picky people out there. Make you lunch a smash, and allow everyone to add their own condiments. AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD DO NOT PUT BACON BITS IN THE TOSSED SALAD. just sayin’. literally impossible to pick out. There are more than the plant-folk at stake, many cultures don’t play well with pork. which brings me to….
Keep cultures in mind. Please. Cultures are celebrated! Diversity is a wonderful thing in our offices. Nothing comes across like “I forgot about you” when you put bacon all over everything if your teammates celebrate Islam. Or Buying lunch during Ramadan ( month of fasting). Ya feel me?
Choose whole foods and skip the simple carbs. Pasta may be a simple thing to order, but nothing says a 3pm slump more than a pile of refined simple (white) carbohydrates. Most processed foods in general have added sugars (&gunk) that create a great surge of energy, only to be followed by a VERY unproductive afternoon. So unless you have “naptime” scheduled, go with something a little more… real.
the cookies, vote no. In our busy lives, sweet pastries seem to be everywhere. I understand you were trying to do something nice by adding a sweet treat to the meal, but cookies are just so… eh. Want to offer a real treat? Fresh Freaking Fruit ( or FFF, says no one but myself. I’m trying to make it happen.) Fresh, in-season fruit IS a treat. Try it yourself. People can’t resist those cherries late summer, blueberries, local apples in the fall. You get the picture.
Shop local. You are a local business, they are a local business. You already have so much in common! Shopping local is great for keeping our communities healthy and vibrant. There is also a better chance they source their produce and other products from local vendors. The closer the food, the fresher, the tastier, the more nutrient-dense it can be. I mean, thats a win all around.
You have an opportunity to be that model of wellness in the workplace. People make the healthy choice when it an easy choice. Go ahead. Make it easy. Show how much you value your team and their long-term wellbeing.
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