Diverse Catering Lunches Create More Than Just Team Building

Shot of a group of creative workers having a meeting over lunch in a cafe

Food can be used as a great foundation to enhance your company’s culture. It can be used as an effective, yet simple, resource to build camaraderie at the office. No matter where you work, you eat at least two full meals in your office. And so does everyone around you. Eating together should be seen as a fun, engaging and enjoyable experience; not one that makes people anxious and uncomfortable. Some people do love gathering around the communal table and learning more about others. But others feel an unnecessary pressure to socialize, especially with a boss or a colleague, and think is work for them. It is important for the company to have an engaging pool between employees as it reflects well on the organization’s vision, values and goals. Consequently, great for retention and recruitment. So if you haven’t thought about using food as a tool, you should start now.

catered lunch

A catered lunch will foster collaboration, add value to the company’s benefits, its CSR and more. And I mean, who doesn’t enjoy free food!? But according to recent studies, only one in five workers get up from their desk for lunch. Yet nearly 90% of the American workers surveyed felt that team lunches/breaks “helped them feel refreshed, more engaged and ready to get back to work”. When introducing innovative catered lunches instead of boring sandwiches and salad options, companies saw significant returns on these investments. One of the most prominent returns was, in fact, team building. But why?

Food is the universal language that unites people. “Through breaking bread together, we can break down walls and boundaries that can unfortunately separate individuals, races, ethnicities and cultures”. With today’s workforce being more diverse than ever, people cherish when you provide a food option that comes from their homeland. It makes them feel welcomed and appreciated. It also creates an environment where people from other cultures want to learn more about the food and therefore, their colleague. For example, in 2018, “the highest-rated cuisines for office meals were Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Indian”. Ordering more diverse meals also widens people’s perspectives about inequality. Having an amicable relationship with a certain type of cuisine, say Indian or Mexican, creates less resentment towards individuals who are culturally from there. As you enjoy how flavorful and aromatic your Chicken Tikka Masala is, you no longer feel uncomfortable among the presence of strong Indian smells or individuals. Those of different races, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds are seen more equal with food serving as major bond force. Even author Alice Julier expressed this ideology in her book Eating Together , promoting the “social dynamics of diverse and shared meals”.

food around world

At FoodtoEat, we are on a mission to unite people around the communal table and add diversity to the food community by championing small businesses from every neighborhood. Providing your team an assortment of delicious culinary adventures will not only surprise and delight your colleagues, but also promote inspiring conversation. We have a vast array of cuisines from all over the world such as Africa, Turkey, India, Colombia, Sudan, Japan and Cuban that will suit all your team members. By offering interesting food options like those mentioned, employees will not want to miss such opportunity. Hence, not missing the opportunity of broadening their palates and getting to know each other better. Moreover, having team/office lunches make leaders more accessible. This promotes an environment of transparency, innovation, less intimidation, and better sense of connection. This is all because the so-called “small talks” enables individuals to connect on a more meaningful level with, say, their bosses. Consequently driving employees to be more open on commenting about others’ opinions during “intense” conversations. Sharing and enjoying food together is a basic human expression of friendship, pleasure and community. That’s why people say “a full stomach equals a happy heart”, right?

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