The Ultimate Guide to Ordering Lunch for Large Groups
Ordering for a large group can be stressful. Here is what you need to know to get it right and ensure everyone in your office is happy.
Ordering lunch for large groups can be a complicated process, but the effort can have a big payoff. A thoughtfully planned workplace lunch increases employee satisfaction, encourages social bonding, and provides the fuel workers need to perform at high levels. By using the right corporate ordering platform, you can set up a meal that satisfies attendees and drives productivity.
Determine your budget
Budget influences the planning process more than any other factor—it dictates everything from the menu to the restaurant selection. If you’re working with a tight budget, for example, you may need to consider ordering affordable lunch items such as tacos or rice bowls.
Costs can add up quickly when you’re feeding a big group, so as you calculate the budget, consider factors such as:
- Catering vs. individual meals
- Delivery and service charges
- Purpose and goal of the event
Assess attendee plans
Before you order lunch for a large group, think about what your attendees will be doing the rest of the day. If they’re eating before a presentation, it might be best to avoid heavy foods—anything with a high fat and carb content can make guests feel sluggish and tired. Is there a meeting scheduled with an important client after lunch? Menu items that are neat and easy to eat help reduce the risk of spills, splashes, and stains.
Consider the practicalities of the meal
Group lunches can come with a surprising logistical burden. Buffets are an efficient way to serve a large group, but they require plenty of space and a crew to handle setup and cleanup. You’ll also need a plan for leftovers. Will the extra food fit in the break room refrigerator? What containers do you need to store it?
As you’re planning a large group lunch, consider factors including:
- Required utensils, serving tools, plates, and napkins
- Beverage service and supplies
- Easily accessible trash bins
- Time requirements for meal service
Given the effort involved, many offices opt for individually packaged meals. Because utensils and drinks are included, you don’t need to worry about complicated setup, service, or cleanup.
Account for dietary preferences
When you’re ordering lunch for large groups, it’s safe to assume that at least a few people will have a dietary restriction. After all, 6.2% of American adults have a food allergy, and 25% avoid eating gluten. These limitations present a challenge for event planners and need to be accounted for.
There are several ways to accommodate guests:
- Send out a survey regarding dietary restrictions
- Include several vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free items
- Allow attendees to choose their own meals
Whether you want to cater lunch for your large group or opt for individual meals, Little Pub Corporate Accounts can help you manage the process and minimize administrative labor. To find out more, send us an email