Back to the Office? Here Are 7 Fun Ways to Bring Your Team Together With Food

As we return to the pre-pandemic normal, difficulties may come up. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make this process as easy and undisruptive as possible.
by
Jelena Leung
March 2, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we socialize and spend time with one another. It has also changed the way we work—perhaps permanently so. Millions of North Americans now work from home (WFH) on a full-time basis in order to minimize social contact. However, an equal number of workers aren’t in a position to adopt permanent WFH. 

The transition back to the office won't be easy for everyone. As we return to the pre-pandemic normal, difficulties surrounding work-life balance, office politics, and the safety of large social gatherings may come up. Not to mention that peoples' lives will simply be disrupted again by a large and sudden change of lifestyle. Fortunately, as a business owner, there are steps you can take to make this process as easy and undisruptive as possible. 

Food can help smoothen the process by incentivizing the shift back to the office.  Ritual for Teams is a platform that allows businesses and organizations to delight their employees with incentives in the form of meal credits, promotions, and rewards. This platform can double as an affordable catering alternative, providing delicious snacks and meals that can help foster a welcoming in-person workplace.

However, Ritual is just one way that food can bring us together. Below, we've listed a handful of other interesting ideas to replace catering as part of your back-to-the-office strategy.

Office Potluck

Who doesn't love a potluck? Not only are potlucks a chance for everyone to show off their cooking skills, but they also let diverse teams showcase interesting and unique cultural dishes. Organizing an office potluck is a great way to boost morale, improve employee engagement, and incentivize a team-wide return to the office. 

Multicultural Boxed Lunches

Offering boxed lunches is guaranteed to put a smile on your employees' faces, especially if they are an unannounced surprise. Extra points if you create culturally themed lunches that help expose your team to international cuisines that they may have never experienced before. 

Consider packing a boxed or bagged lunch for your team once or twice per month, with each lunch dedicated to a different cuisine—just make sure you’re practicing adequate cultural sensitivity in the workplace.

Local Restaurant Outing

The ongoing pandemic has taken a heavy toll on many industries, but perhaps none more than the restaurant and hospitality sector. To show your support and solidarity with your local restaurant owners and staff, consider taking your office out to a local patio or dining establishment for a team-wide lunch. This gives everyone a chance to get some fresh air, get out of the office, and socialize for an hour without the stresses or demands of the office environment.

Ritual for Teams

Ritual for Teams makes group food ordering simple. The Ritual app is designed for individuals and teams alike to order food for pickup from local restaurants offering dishes from all corners of the world—from Indian roti or Korean kimchi to Chinese dim sum or Italian thin-crust pizza. Ritual lets you order in advance, skip the line, and earn rewards on your purchases. 

If this sounds like the solution your business needs, get in touch for a free Ritual for Teams account. At present, Ritual has welcomed over 250,000 company teams from around the world, helping introduce thousands of teams to world-class restaurants and cafes in their area. 

An additional perk of Ritual for Teams is that it gives your team members a chance to get out of the office and stretch their legs. Venturing outside to pick up lunch from a local restaurant can help relieve stress and prevent employee burnout while also providing an affordable catering services alternative. 

Cooking Contest

Instead of an office potluck or hiring a catering service, consider letting a few employees face off in a cooking contest to showcase their skills. This is a fun alternative to potlucks because it doesn't force everyone to contribute. Instead, it simply lets those who are keen on cooking for others do exactly that. 

After the cook-off, team members can vote on whose dish they preferred. The winner can win a small cash prize, a company swag item, or any other worthy prize (ahem, may we suggest a free Ritual order?).  

Healthy Snacks and Meals

There's no denying that healthy teams are engaged teams. If you encourage healthy, active living in your workplace, consider offering free health-conscious meals to your employees. Small gestures such as these can go a long way toward fostering a healthier workplace environment and improving employee engagement

Balanced, colorful, and well-portioned meals with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources are always an excellent idea if you want to whip up a healthy meal. Just don't forget to make sure the dish remains fun and flavorful.  

Picnics

With sunny summer months right around the corner, office picnics can be a great idea for bringing your team together to eat in a safe, risk-managed environment. Hosting a picnic in the park or in your office building's courtyard or garden could be a real hit with your team, especially if you bring some tunes with you and comfortable blankets to sprawl on. 

This Year, Find New Rituals 

Food has the unique power to bring us together and forge lasting relationships. In the office, food-related events can boost employee engagement, improve morale, and help smoothen out the shift away from a full-time WFH model. With Ritual, you can strengthen your team’s bond, discover more about each other, and have some fun while you're at it. Take the first step by downloading Ritual today, and enjoy a $5 welcome bonus to redeem on your first tasty treat.

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Jelena Leung
Jelena is the Senior Director of Marketing at Ritual. Her expertise in marketing strategy and execution has spurred the growth of the many businesses and teams that she has worked with. As a marketing leader with more than 14 years of experience, she has obtained valuable knowledge and insights about marketing in the restaurant industry. She occasionally writes about the topics of human resources, restaurant marketing, employee retention, team building, and more.
Jelena Leung
Jelena is the Senior Director of Marketing at Ritual. Her expertise in marketing strategy and execution has spurred the growth of the many businesses and teams that she has worked with. As a marketing leader with more than 14 years of experience, she has obtained valuable knowledge and insights about marketing in the restaurant industry. She occasionally writes about the topics of human resources, restaurant marketing, employee retention, team building, and more.