Corporate lunch is an event to kindle new relations between employers and employees, imbibe new learnings, and encourage a sense of responsibility and positive outlook for the company in the employee’s mind. Corporate lunch helps the company in various ways, such as it shows that the employers care about their employees by treating them with lunch. In addition, it builds a sense of security and respect amongst each other. We will discuss corporate dining in this article here.
What Is Corporate Dining?
Corporate dining is ordering food or hosting a lunch or any meal for the employees. Corporate dining can come in many ways, such as breakfast for early meetings, lunch on the employer’s tab, or snacks for the evening. In addition, corporate dining can substitute for other perks such as paid leaves or a raise, etc. Corporate dining can be held either at the company cafeteria, or the company can order food boxes to call for a food truck, special home deliveries or take-outs from restaurants, etc.
Common Types Of Corporate Dining
There are many ways apart from corporate lunch or dinner. It is not mandatory for this part to be very exclusive or for it to be turned into a big event. A lot of company many times try to insert such perks during office hours like during meetings, or presentations or seminars, etc. some of the types of corporate dining are:
- Office coffee in the breakroom – A breakroom is where office staff and executives generally meet up and chat during their off-hours. It is a great place and way to communicate with office colleagues, expand your network, and also for the employees to know their executives and vice versa. There is constant motion providing free coffee at such a place where free coffee is a cherry on top of their break. Coffee helps boost up energy, and it serves as a mandatory drink in most people’s lives.
- Donuts on Fridays – First Friday of June is considered to be national donut day. Taking that as a cause to celebrate and converting it into a benefit for the company, many companies have started providing free donuts every Friday. This kind of service makes the employees look forward to Fridays, boosts their motivation, and provides a great way to end a busy week and welcome their weekend.
- A catered meal for a one-off meeting – One-off meetings are meeting held only once, and catering food for the people in the meeting serves as an excellent impression in favor of the company.
- Catered lunches every day – Serving lunch free for the whole office every day is not something that every company can afford. These kinds of corporate dining are for huge companies or big multinational companies (MNC). But these kinds of services from the company are a bonus in increasing the company’s credibility and increasing employee satisfaction. So this can be named as a perk for the employees.
- Individually ordered delivery lunches from local restaurants – This gives the employees to eat whatever they want for lunch from whichever local restaurant they like and put the bill on the company’s tab. This initiative really, at times, helps employees save up more and avoid lunch expenses.
- Buffets or family-style meals delivered from local restaurants – The company arranges a buffet or a casual semiformal dinner for the whole office sometimes, where the employees and executives, etc., come together and eat and communicate. These kinds of meals are really looked forward to by the employees as these types of corporate dining give them a chance to network with their colleagues and their executives.
- Boxed meals – This is a type of corporate dining where boxed meals are provided for the employees to eat wherever they want at their own convenience.
- Snacks in the office – This type of corporate dining is usually held in the evening before the day ends. This helps in refreshing their minds and also pays off as a good ending to their day.
- Pop-up restaurants – These types of restaurants are quite common in the US and the UK. The common types of pop-up restaurants are food trucks.
- In-house cafes or cafeterias – Many companies have in-house cafes where they serve food like a normal café or a restaurant. In addition, many times, companies organize lunch or snacks during office hours to enhance communication.
- An in-house chef – High-end companies can afford and might keep a chef of their own to cater to the needs of the employees and members of the board.
- Daily high-end meals for executives – The company might provide meals from exotic, five-star restaurants to the executive of the company and the board members.
Why Is Corporate Dining Important?
Corporate dining may not count as one of the top three or top five perks that employees usually enjoy, but everyone most definitely enjoys it. It does like a powerful tool to regain employee’s happiness and employee satisfaction. Corporate dining helps the company employees and employers connect and communicate with each other. It also helps in expanding their network.
Why Is Corporate Dining Important For Millennials And Generation Z?
Millennials and Generation Z very strongly believe in work-life balance. Corporate dining is one of the many ways a company can cater to this need. They believe in company culture, where their diversity, networking, something exciting. To recruit and attract millennials showing them a vibrant environment with a balance between work and life is very important. Even as a company, to attract millennials or generation z, which is mostly the target audience, having a company culture and caring about employee happiness and content will always improve the brand image of your company or brand.
Health And Time Benefits
Unhealthy food that the employees generally consume during their lunch hours lowers their productivity, affecting the company’s overall performance. For companies, taking matters into their own hands will provide overall employee satisfaction and improve the health and productivity of the company employees.
When employees are supposed to go out and eat every lunch hour, it takes up a lot of time and energy. But with deliveries right there in their office, they can save time and sit patiently with their colleagues and chat informally. Moreover, these sittings and breaks often result in interactive sessions leading to the generation of several innovative ideas which benefit the company and employees. Everyone from stressful and busy timetables cherishes such a productive yet breather-like time.
Lunch And Learn
Lunch and learn are types of informal meetings or training sessions that take place during lunchtime wherein return for the employee’s time and participation, the boss, picks up the lunch tab. Lunch and learns are also known as LEARN AT UNCH OR BROWN BAG events. These sessions generally last for 30 to 45 minutes. Brown bag events generally refer to events where the people traditionally pack their own lunch. The difference between these sessions and the normal session and workshops or training occurs. Since these lunches and learn events occur during the lunch hours, they are more informal and less structured, and organized like the usual ones.
These lunches and learn events allow employees from different teams to come together and show or portray their skills and expertise. These events are great learning and bonding sessions. These events can either be one-off meetings where the manager might come and address the staff’s overall goals and aim of a particular area example, sales or finance or marketing department. These events can also be a scheduled weekly or daily sessions where they provide training sessions on different things which are necessary skills required by the company concerning the changing trends. Example, coding, social media marketing, etc. It is certainly not mandatory for these lunches and learns events to be solely focused on building core business required skills. These events can also throw some light on mental or physical fitness, yoga, charity work, etc. It is fairly not permitted to hold these events to address the staff with important company details during these events.
Benefits Of Lunch And Learn
These events are contrary to the basic idea of classroom learning, where people go through the usual traditional way of learning. This kind of learning and training event offers the company a great initiative to maintain the work-life balance culture, which is so in demand and highly believed in by the millennials and the generation z crowd. These events also mark great company culture. Adding something interesting like food to the basic learning and training sessions help boost the minds of the employees and educate them in a way they desire.
When it comes to professional development, these events really help with the character growth of the employees, as when all of them are together networking, getting to know other person’s work ethic, responsibilities, and tasks, imbibe a sense of healthy competition and a sense of doing their very best in them.
Core strengths such as confidence and public speaking are essential for a person to have. This training gives them a chance to better themselves at these skills. As these events are quite informal with only employees and certain employers, it provides a great and much-needed opportunity for them to enhance their skills before directly speaking in front of potential clients or on the center stage during big events.
How To Host A Successful Lunch And Learn Event?
These events must be up to the mark as taking people’s lunchtime and then hosting a regular not worthwhile event will cause distress among the staff members. So here are some ways to make sure this lunch and learn event is of great success:
- DECIDE ON THE GOAL OR THE PURPOSE OF THE EVENT – While these lunch events are considered fun and educating sessions. Remember these events take up when they get a break from their already busy, stressful working hours. A free meal might encourage them, but making it worthwhile for them and the company is necessary. If the vent is not up to the expectations, it can be considered a wastage of time for both the company and the employees. To avoid negative outcomes, make sure the event is engaging, resonating, and throws some light on things in favor of the employees. For a better outcome, asking the employees about their likes and dislikes and their need to learn a particular skill will prove useful. Also, asking for feedback after the session will help enhance and improve these sessions.
- KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE – It is important to know how many members will join this session, which department the event is in favor of, how their sitting will be, and which type of people will resonate with the particular session. Knowing this will help the employers organize better and can send them the invites before the event. An organized event with the right audience can always improve the event’s outcome and prove to be more useful and purposeful.
- MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT FOOD – Since these sessions are surrounded by food choosing the right food is necessary. Make sure the food creates less mess and chaos. Ensure the food is not the main distraction but just a source of encouragement and a boost of energy. Snacks or finger foods are proven to be very much likable and in demand for such events. It is necessary to make sure the food is budget-friendly. Before deciding on food choice, decide the budget with the HR or the managers, look for good options. In contrast, about the budget, decide on the number of people attending, deciding the cutlery, while also making sure who will clean up after an event are some of the important details one should not overlook.
- CHOOSE A SUITABLE VENUE – Often, holding such events at cafeterias and canteens sound more applicable as these events include food. But these places are open to all, and if only a specific amount of people are invited, having others around could cause a lot of commotion and chaos. Instead, choosing conference rooms or meeting rooms proves to be more purposeful as they have projector facilities and have power sockets. If an off-site venue is decided, choosing an appropriate one with the requirement should be considered a priority.
- DECIDE ON THE REGULARITY OF THESE SESSIONS – Based on the topic, choose the regularity, whether monthly or weekly or daily. Then, decide on a suitable break between two sessions to avoid learning fatigue.
- MAKE SURE YOU PARTICIPATE ALL EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT – Make sure that remote workers are also included through video or audio calls or zoom meetings. Such initiatives will make them feel included as much as the normal employees, and the company could also benefit from their insights and ideas.
- PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR THE EVENT – Market the event across the company to get a reasonable amount of enthusiastic audience. Once the speaker, the venue, etc., arrangements are made and confirmed, start spreading the event’s news. Send out calendar invites, give out
flyers regarding the same, etc.
- GET PEOPLE COMFORTABLE – To get the session started, get people comfortable with each other. Give them a chance to introduce themselves to each other as they might not have met each other. This might help make the environment comfortable for everyone and enable them to enjoy the session.
Corporate Lunch Menu
It is quite necessary to decide on a proper menu for the corporate lunch. Here are some options to get you going:
- Gourmet grilled cheese
- Savory crepes
- Hot chicken
- Indian street food
- Cajun classics
- Korean tacos
- Bahn mi
- Authentic Mexican Street tacos
- Great American road trip
These are some of the options taken from https://www.fooda.com/.
How To Host A Successful Corporate Lunch?
Holding corporate lunch is considered one of the big events with multiple influential people and potential clients present there with all the staff of the company and the board members. Therefore, organizing it with utmost focus and carefully including all the details is always suggested.
- Book a suitable venue or a restaurant according to the number of people attending
- Beware of the numbers of guests arriving
- Make sure everyone is comfortable
- The menu should be decided with the utmost details in mind
- The amount of food should be assumed correctly
- Make sure the event is enjoyable
- Do not stick only to the topic or the purpose of the meeting
- Keep the meeting a little informal
- Greet everyone with a smile
A Small Corporate Lunch With Potential Clients Or Other Business Associates
When the business lunch is on a small scale, tiny details should not be spared at any cost. However, if the lunch is with potential clients or investors, being on your best and delivering your best may be favorable for you. So here are some etiquettes to make sure you are at your very best, seem confident, and pitch your business or purpose very well.
- Choose a restaurant you have visited before, where you know the menu well and know what food is good. Then order the best dish from that restaurant.
- Invite the guests or let them know of the gathering well in advance, which assures them with a sense of responsibility and enables them to take time out of their busy schedule.
- While inviting them, give them two-three choices for restaurants and ask them for their preferred cuisine.
- The timing for these corporate business lunches might be 1 pm in large cities or counties and 12 am in smaller cities or countries.
- Give the guests proper details of the lunch and keep them well informed.
- Call them again once earlier to the lunch date and confirm with them the date and time and the venue of the lunch.
- Make sure you reserve the table beforehand to avoid consequences later.
- If possible, do not be late. Try and be before time, but do not keep your guests waiting.
- Dress appropriately, either in line with the dress code of the restaurant or well-ironed formals.
- Make sure you either put your phone on silent or switched off to avoid disturbances during important conversations.
- If your guests have not arrived, wait in the lobby for them or at the gate, do not go to the table and wait for them.
- Order food that does not create a mess or stains, waits for the host to start eating, or wait for everyone’s meal to arrive before eating.
- The host will pay for the meal, and to avoid awkward situations where the waiter is unaware of whom to give the bill to, informing them earlier is better.
- Discuss the business either at the end of the meal or during coffee or initiate the conversation when the time feels right. Don’t wait till the very end or you won’t have time to discuss business which was the purpose of the lunch.
Corporate dining is events in the corporate world to add a work-life balance and show the employees that the company and their employers care for them.
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