- Corporate Event

Corporate Lunches: A Key Component of Company Culture and Team Building

Corporate lunches aren’t just a way to feed your employees; they’re also a great way to build a strong team and create a positive atmosphere at work.

These meals allow coworkers to take a break from their busy days, get to know each other better, and talk about ideas outside of an office environment. Catered lunches are good for more than just team-building initiatives; they also help employees feel appreciated and recognised. 

We’ve seen regular lunch meetings and paid business lunches used in many ways. First, you can use them to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication. This can help make people happier at work and improve your staff retention (therefore, providing an immediate ROI on your expenditure). 

They are also a chance to show what your company stands for and its goals. Your mission statement might say you care for your employees and try to make the workplace fun. A corporate lunch event for all your employees is an easy way to show that you care.

We have helped clients all over the UK host various business lunches. Some may be expected to recognise and reward the successes of their own people. Other lunches are meant to help people get to know potential clients or be used as a networking opportunity.

No matter why you want to host a corporate team lunch, here are some helpful hints and tips to help you understand the value of a business lunch and how it can fit into your company’s culture.

What are corporate lunches?

Before discussing how to host a great business lunch, let’s look at what they are.

Corporate lunches are meals a company puts on for its employees or potential stakeholders. Some companies might choose to invest in business lunches regularly, like once a week or once a month. Others might only use them on an ad-hoc basis. 

There are many ways to host a corporate lunch. You could visit a local restaurant or hold them on-site in your meeting rooms. You can choose between a sit-down meal or a corporate buffet lunch. There are also many corporate lunch delivery options available if you do not have any catering facilities available within your office. 

These lunches allow coworkers to get to know each other better and talk about work issues in a more relaxed setting. Sometimes, being away from an office workspace can create new inspiration and help people think outside the box and get creative. 

One of the best things about business lunches is that they allow employees to take a break from their daily tasks and talk to others in their company. This can help break down barriers between departments and make it easier for people to collaborate and share ideas. 

The things to consider before adding a lunch to your corporate culture

Are you keen to invest in corporate lunches to aid your company ethos? You should take a few steps before ringing your preferred caterer or booking a table at a local restaurant. 

First, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions:

– Do you want to build a stronger team, share the latest company news, or celebrate a specific success?

– How often do you want to host a corporate lunch – will it be a regular activity or a one-off celebration?

– Also, what is your budget? We suggest that you create a budget price per head that should include food and drink.

– Do you have any known allergens or dietary requirements that need to be thought through?

– What are the menu choices available – are they accessible to your entire workforce?

In our experience, the most successful team-building lunches are those where everyone has been invited to join. Successful businesses are those where junior staff members are listened to and celebrated as much as senior management teams. Inviting everyone to participate is a way of breaking down barriers and making everyone feel that they are valued team members. 

Creative corporate lunch ideas

We love working with businesses across Devon and Cornwall to organise corporate lunches because we know how to get creative. There’s something fun about turning a staid corporate lunch into a full-blown event that will get your teams’ creative juices flowing. 

Whether you want to bring a local catering team into your office, hire local food trucks or simply rely on the options available through companies such as Just Eat, Uber Eats or Deliveroo, there is something for everyone. 

Here are a few of our favourite creative corporate lunch ideas. 

Make the most of local cuisine

One of the best things about our local cuisines is that we can really tailor them to our locations. For example, a Cornish corporate lunch could feature a wide range of Cornish pastries, while Devon lunches could bring in local scones with cream and jam. By focusing on local delicacies you can showcase the best tasting food that your location has to offer, as well as working with local suppliers and cutting down your food miles. 

Make the most of restaurant dining, right at your doorstep

We love how easy it is to bring a restaurant-ready meal right to your doorstep. You might be tempted to hire a private chef for your corporate lunch or you could simplify matters by using a local delivery service like Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats. You can use these delivery teams to order a wide range of menu options from local restaurants, giving you greater choice and options to suit all taste buds and dietary needs. 

Switch up the menu choices

It’s easy to simply order a pizza or sandwiches for your corporate lunches, but they can become a bit dull – especially if you host corporate lunches regularly. Why not use each corporate lunch to try something new?

Adding a theme to the proceedings could give you a chance to try something new. One month you could choose “cold food” only, the next month it could be “fruit and veg themed” – having an overarching menu idea could make you far more creative. Instead of sandwiches, you could bring in smoothies and buddha bowls, or instead of Italian food you could swap for Japanese inspired Sushi or even Turkish or Korean menu choices. 

Alternatively, as a quick win, why not ask a different person or department each month to choose the menu? You might be surprised by what options different team members might choose!

The possibilities really are endless – and with the support of Just Eat or Deliveroo, it could be easier to manage than you might have thought!

What about lunch and learn?

Another idea is to have a lunch-and-learn session where employees can learn new skills or information related to their work. This can help employees grow professionally and get better at their jobs. It can also help them connect with coworkers who share similar interests.

You could bring in external trainers or experts to offer a low-key training workshop or seminar related to a variety of different topics. This would allow your employees to upskill themselves and learn new things. Equally, your lunch and learn sessions could be entirely unrelated to your job role – how about using the sessions to give employees a chance to learn skills such as British Sign Language or how to play a musical instrument?

If you need advice on finding a suitable trainer to come in and speak to your team, please get in touch. We’re always happy to advise and have a vast network of contacts we can draw from.

Can you combine team-building activities with your business lunch?

We’ve seen some great examples of companies integrating team-building activities into their business lunches. This could be done with games, puzzles, or other group activities that help people work together and talk to each other. These activities can help the team work better and create a happier, more productive workplace.

Planning and executing a successful corporate lunch

To plan and carry out a successful business lunch, you must pay close attention to the details and be well organised. First, companies need to set a clear budget for these meals and figure out the logistics, like where they will be held, what will be served, and if there are any dietary restrictions or known allergens.

It would help to look at your wider company mission statement before deciding on your meal type. Working with a local caterer or chef is a no-brainer if you’re a community-focused company. But what about your sustainability pledges? Can you choose menu choices that are local or in-season to cut back on your food miles and reduce your carbon footprint? 

Another point to consider is the impact of food wastage. No one wants to see leftovers going to waste; can you invest in some cardboard boxes or packaging that allows staff to take leftovers home, or could you speak to a local food bank or church group about any food waste?

Are you looking for a sustainable corporate lunch catering menu? We have many caterers that we can recommend for your next business lunch. 

Think about the needs of your guests.

It’s essential to make sure that all employees know about the lunch and are invited to it and that the purpose and goals of the meal are made clear ahead of time. You should also consider whether you need a seated sit-down meal or whether something like a corporate buffet lunch or grazing table could be more appropriate. During the meal, it’s important to encourage open communication and participation and give employees chances to talk to each other and share ideas.

Learn from what works well and areas for improvement.

As event planning specialists, one of the things we always recommend is for firms to evaluate how well these meals worked. You should actively use employee feedback to plan and carry out future meals. Even taking feedback on menu choices or drinks options could show your team that you are listening to their thoughts and acting on their insights. 

These seemingly minor interactions will make sure that these meals meet the needs and expectations of everyone on the team. They can go a long way to helping you make your workplace a good place to work.

Corporate lunches in a remote work environment

With the rise of remote work, it might be more challenging for companies to organise corporate lunches in a virtual setting.

But it’s not impossible. 

There are still many ways to make these meals work for people who work from home.

One idea is to set up virtual corporate lunch whereby you work with local delivery providers such as Deliveroo or Just Eat. You could simultaneously make orders so that everyone receives a lunchtime meal of their choice at the same time while joining in on a Zoom or Teams social gathering. 

But if that sounds too reminiscent of pandemic working, why not contact local restaurants or perhaps a local food hall to send a gift voucher or food hamper to your employees? That way, no one misses out and feels involved even if they cannot attend a corporate lunch. 

Sending food or drink presents can be a great way of celebrating someone’s success or showing them that you value them as an employee. 

If you need suggestions for hosting a corporate lunch for remote workers, please talk to us; we’ll be happy to help. 

Inspired Occasions can make the most of your business lunch expenses

If you’re keen to host a corporate lunch for your employees, make sure that you plan it in the same way that you would for any other corporate event. That way, you can make sure that everyone feels included, and you can get the best value for money. 

We know how to plan effective business lunches for internal or external guests. We’ve worked closely with businesses throughout Devon to help them negotiate favourable rates, bring in expert caterers and find ways to guarantee that your staff enjoy every single moment. 

Whether you want a one-off business lunch to enhance your corporate vision or you want to invest in regular lunches to boost your reputation as a great employer, we can help. 

Call or email us to find out what we can do for your business. 

Alternatively, if you need any inspiration, why not head over to our Instagram or Facebook page.


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