2023 Report: Maximizing Workplace Attendance

In the ever-changing hybrid business landscape, a key challenge is maintaining high onsite attendance. We put together a data-driven report on ‘return-to-office’ trends, providing insights and strategies to increase onsite days.

Ordering Catering During COVID: 5 Tips for Staying Safe, Delighting Your Employees, Saving Money, And Minimizing Food Waste

As companies bring people back to the workplace, ordering food has become a common best practice that encourages teams to stay in and stay safe. For many offices, this is the first time that food orders are being placed on a regular basis (rather than just for one-off meetings and events).

Have you been tasked with ordering the food for your workplace? Fear not. We have tips for you.

Tip 1: Safety First 

During COVID, office safety is obviously on everyone’s mind. To promote a healthy lunch hour, there are several things that should be included on your checklist when you place your food order:

  • To avoid exposure with multiple delivery drivers, try to place a single order that includes all meals for the whole office.
  • Rather than buffet style trays, ask your food provider for individually wrapped boxed lunches (you’ll be surprised how delicious they can be, when ordered from a quality restaurant).
  • Ask for individually wrapped utensils and condiments.
  • Ask for individual wipes (many restaurants are providing these).
  • Have hand sanitizer readily available nearby
  • Set up social distancing floor markers near the area where people pick up their food
  • If crowding is a concern, you might want to consider assigning time slots for when people pick up their meals.
  • Order good food! Yes, this is actually related to safety. If you provide food that people will look forward to, then they will be less inclined to venture out during mealtimes.

If you want to dig deeper into safety during mealtimes, check out our blog post, “8 Office Safety Guidelines for Food at Work during COVID-19“.

Tip 2: Create a Spreadsheet

Creating a spreadsheet to track who you’ve ordered from, what you’ve ordered, how it was received by employees, food restrictions including allergies, and likes/dislikes can be useful in managing catering orders. By housing this information centrally, you’ll be saving yourself the hassle of asking and re-asking for this information every week. 

Ensuring that you’re tracking how well a food order goes over with the other employees can help you to order food that will be eaten, and eaten happily. Nothing is more disappointing than completing a tricky catering order only to find too many leftovers to save. Tracking your catering in a spreadsheet can help you to order the right amount of food for the right amount of people that will not only be eaten but will be enjoyed.

Tip 3: Keep Budget in Mind

When considering your budget, it can be helpful to think of lunch in terms of cost per person. Of course, cost per person can vary greatly depending on the type of event being hosted or the restaurant providing the food. Your manager or an executive should be able to provide guidance on your allotted budget or per-person budget. 

Tip 4: Stick to Group Orders

For safety (limiting exposure), cost, and general headache reduction, group orders are better than ordering from multiple providers.

Tip 5: Avoid Routine

It is the natural rhythm of life to fall into a routine. Lunchtime is no different. When ordering office catering, it is especially important to keep cuisine types diverse and fresh! By surprising and delighting employees, you will keep employee engagement high and leftovers to a minimum. Catering is a welcome change for many employees, especially those who bring their lunch to work every day. Even so, if you are ordering from the same three restaurants each week, even office catering is bound to get old. 

Buen Provecho and Bon Appétit.

These considerations can put you ahead of the curve when it comes to ordering food, from office-wide catering to small lunch meetings, and anything in between. Although simple, these factors are often missed when putting together a catering order, which lead to larger than necessary headaches down the road.  Follow these tips to keep your employees excited, engaged, and looking forward to work!

And while you’re at it, check out Fooda’s Delivery option. It’s the perfect way to have meals for your entire office delivered at once, gives employees the ability to pick their own meals, and lets employers subsidize all or part of each employee’s order.