Whether it’s hard work or delicious food, everything turns out better with a little collaboration. An office potluck is a great way to bring the team together to brainstorm, team build, relax, and (of course) eat. Here are some easy office potluck ideas:
Pick a spot.
You don’t have to work in real estate to know that location is everything. Be thoughtful about where you host your potluck in order to make sure that your party accomplishes everything you envisioned. If the goal of your potluck is to throw a get-to-know-you event, hosting the party in your own home or the home of a colleague will help to add a personal touch. Hosting the potluck in a public place like a park will help bring the team together for some relaxation and teambuilding in the great outdoors. If your team doesn’t know each other very well, consider throwing the party in the office breakroom. This neutral territory will create a low-stress vibe in which everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves as they do during the work day.
Too much guacamole might not sound like that big of a problem, but when planning a potluck it is important to make sure that everyone knows what he or she is bringing in order to avoid duplicates. Make a single master list of dish assignments and leave it in the breakroom so that employees can sign up at their leisure, or create a spreadsheet using collaborative software like Google Drive. Don’t forget to include non-food items like cups, paper plates, napkins, and cleanup materials.
Watch out for food allergies.
The goal of a potluck is to bring everyone together in a community setting where they can feel comfortable, but nobody will feel comfortable if food allergies and special dietary needs are overlooked. Be sure to pay attention to ingredients that might cause allergic reactions for employees. Before the event, ask employees to note on the sign-up sheet any dietary restrictions. Attention to detail and hospitality are always part of office potluck etiquette.
Build the menu.
A great part of a potluck is that you never know what types of food will show up, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of old and boring office potluck recipes floating around. In order to avoid a table of casseroles and seven layer dips, encourage your employees to be imaginative. A theme like Childhood Foods or Travel Favorites will diversify your menu and also encourage employees to share stories from their lives. (Stumped as to what to bring? Check out our dynamo recipe for three-ingredient orange chicken!)
After a big meal, you might just want to roll over and go to sleep, but a potluck isn’t over until the cleanup is done. If your employees have good etiquette, everyone will naturally pitch in to help the end of the night go smoothly, but in the flow of a party, it’s also easy to understand why cleanup might get lost in the shuffle.
A potluck is just one piece of the vibrant office life that happens in and outside of the breakroom. Bring your team and their appetites together soon by planning a potluck today.