Organizational Wellness

12 Company Lunch Ideas to Mix Things Up

Sep 27, 2023
Last Updated Sep 27, 2023

Nutritious and enjoyable company lunches contribute to positive work culture and employee satisfaction. By providing well-balanced and wholesome meals, employers demonstrate a commitment to their workforce wellbeing, contributing to improved physical health and overall productivity. These meals also enable healthy eating, leading to sustained energy levels and better concentration.

Along with the physical benefits of healthy company lunches, shared lunch breaks offer a space for social interaction and team bonding, promoting camaraderie among colleagues. According to a study by Sharebite, 97% of workers report that a lunch break improves their day. Company lunches inject an element of fun and relaxation into the workday, reducing stress and enhancing mental wellbeing

But the same old lunch can get boring quickly, so it’s important to switch it up with new options. Check out 12 lunch ideas for company bonding and make employee wellbeing a top priority.

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  1. Food Truck Fiesta

While for an office lunch is a traditional option, hosting a food truck fiesta provides an innovative and engaging way to liven up lunchtime. By welcoming a variety of food trucks to the company premises, employees can indulge in a diverse culinary experience right in the parking lot. Not only does this concept offer convenience, it also fosters excitement and camaraderie among colleagues.

The best part? It offers something for everyone. An array of food truck options caters to individual preferences, dietary needs, and cultural tastes, ensuring everyone finds a meal they enjoy. Employees can explore different cuisines, promoting cultural exchange and broadening their palate. This initiative breaks the monotony of routine lunches and infuses an element of surprise and delight into the workday.

Another benefit of a food truck fiesta is how the relaxed outdoor setting encourages social interaction and team bonding, facilitating cross-functional relationships and enhancing collaboration throughout every level of the organization. It also provides a chance for management and staff to interact in a casual environment, promoting a sense of approachability and unity.

  1. Cooking Workshops

Cooking workshops for a company lunch infuse a dynamic and educational element into the workplace culture. By organizing interactive sessions led by professional chefs, employees can bond while learning to prepare a specific dish or cuisine. This encourages teamwork, creativity, and skill-building in a collaborative setting. The shared process of cooking and enjoying the results together strengthens rapport and teamwork.

Participating in cooking workshops fosters a sense of accomplishment as employees collaborate to create a meal from scratch. The guidance of a chef enhances culinary techniques and exposes participants to new flavors, sparking excitement around food and innovation. These workshops are also a great way to encourage healthy eating habits and empower employees to make informed dietary choices. 

  1. Global Street Food Festival

Similar to a food truck fiesta, a global street food festival is an exciting lunch idea that can transform the office space into a vibrant culinary journey. By recreating a bustling street food market, employees can savor the flavors of various cultures without leaving the workplace. This has the added benefit of enhancing appreciation for diversity.

To create the festival, different areas of the office can represent distinct food zones, each showcasing street food favorites from various countries. Decor and music can further immerse participants in the global atmosphere. A diverse range of food vendors or caterers can offer authentic dishes, encouraging employees to explore new tastes and traditions.

This concept not only satisfies culinary curiosities but also promotes cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. Employees can interact with colleagues from different backgrounds and share their experiences while enjoying international delicacies. Overall, the global street food festival adds a playful and engaging dimension to the company culture. 

  1. Outdoor Picnic

Revitalize company spirit with an outdoor picnic. When you organize a picturesque gathering at a nearby park or open space, it serves to enhance team building amidst nature's beauty. You can lay out cozy blankets for a relaxed ambiance and bring in lawn games to ignite friendly competition and teamwork. With delicious packed lunches and the casual atmosphere of a picnic, this setting encourages a break from routine, which can decrease the chances of burnout.

The outdoor picnic allows time for leisure, where employees can unwind, connect, and share moments beyond the office walls. It promotes mental wellbeing, offering a reprieve from daily pressures while encouraging social interaction. This company lunch idea reinvigorates team dynamics and contributes to a positive work culture, ensuring employees return with refreshed spirits and strengthened connections.

  1. Mystery Ingredient Challenge

Elevate company lunches with a thrilling Mystery Ingredient Challenge. Engage employees by supplying a surprise ingredient and giving them the task of crafting inventive dishes around it. This unique culinary challenge not only spices up the lunch routine but also nurtures teamwork and sparks creativity.

Employees can collaborate, pooling their diverse perspectives and culinary skills to transform the mystery ingredient into delectable masterpieces. The challenge inspires out-of-the-box thinking, encouraging colleagues to experiment and collaborate in novel ways.

As employees strategize and cook together, the challenge cultivates communication and problem-solving. The playful yet purposeful activity also empowers individuals to step outside their comfort zones, promoting professional growth and boosting morale.

Ultimately, the mystery ingredient challenge is an engaging lunch idea that blends food, teamwork, and creativity. It enriches workplace dynamics, fueling innovation and providing an opportunity to savor both delicious meals and the satisfaction of collective achievement.

  1. Farm-to-Table Experience

Forging partnerships with local farms can allow you to bring the essence of the outdoors directly to the workplace. This initiative showcases the beauty of seasonal produce, inspiring a culture of healthy and sustainable eating among employees.

By collaborating with local farms, you nurture community connections and support regional agriculture. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients take center stage, highlighting the beauty and benefits of sustainable food choices. This unique lunch idea not only promotes wellbeing but also raises awareness about the environmental impact of our dietary decisions.

The farm-to-table experience transforms lunchtime into a celebration of nature's bounty. Employees enjoy flavorful, nutritious meals while learning about the origins of their food. This enriches company culture by intertwining wellness, community, and environmental consciousness. By celebrating local agriculture and savoring fresh, seasonal produce, employees embark on a journey of better eating and heightened appreciation for the world around them.

  1. Themed Buffets

Mix up company lunches with captivating themed buffets. Immerse employees in a world of flavors by hosting unique culinary themes like a Mediterranean mezze spread, a sushi bar, or a build-your-own taco station. These themed meals transform lunchtime into an exciting and unforgettable journey.

Each themed buffet brings a touch of adventure to the workplace. From vibrant Mediterranean delights to exquisite sushi creations or customizable taco masterpieces, employees explore diverse cuisines and build their plates to suit their tastes. This variety not only satisfies different appetites but also sparks conversations and encourages sharing among colleagues.

Themed buffets also cultivate a sense of connection and interaction as team members gather around the enticing displays. These engaging food experiences can inspire creativity, as employees experiment with flavors and combinations they might not typically encounter.

  1. Breakfast for Lunch

Inject novelty into company lunches with a delightful twist: breakfast for lunch. Shake up the routine by serving classic breakfast favorites for the midday meal — this unexpected change brings an element of surprise and indulgence, adding a refreshing touch to the workday.

Breakfast for lunch invites employees to savor beloved morning delights like fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, and freshly baked pastries mid-day. This departure from the ordinary and mundane stimulates the senses for a lively, shared experience.

Conversations flow naturally as employees discuss their favorite breakfast items and share childhood memories linked to these foods. This atmosphere of connection revitalizes the workplace dynamic.

  1. DIY Pizza Party

Infuse fun and creativity into company lunches with a DIY pizza party. Create a vibrant pizza-making station adorned with an array of toppings, crust options, and sauces, enabling employees to craft their personalized pizzas. This interactive activity can turn lunch into a memorable team-building event.

The DIY pizza party offers a unique blend of culinary adventure and camaraderie. Employees can experiment with flavor combinations and techniques while enjoying conversation with members of other departments. Empowering employees to curate their ideal pizzas also cultivates a sense of ownership and pride in their creations. The shared experience of crafting and enjoying the final product together strengthens the sense of unity and belonging.

A DIY pizza party redefines company lunches as moments of creativity and togetherness. By letting employees assemble their unique masterpieces, this idea nurtures engagement, teamwork, and a positive atmosphere, making lunchtime a vibrant and enjoyable part of the workday.

  1. Smoothie Bar Extravaganza

Transform company lunches into a refreshing and health-conscious affair with a smoothie bar extravaganza. Create an enticing DIY smoothie station with a colorful assortment of fresh fruits, vibrant vegetables, creamy yogurt, and energizing superfood add-ins. This interactive setup allows employees to craft personalized, nutrient-packed blends that invigorate both body and mind.

The smoothie bar extravaganza not only encourages healthy choices but also stimulates creativity. Much like the DIY pizza party, employees can collaborate and experiment with different ingredient combinations, sparking conversations about wellness and flavor preferences.

This idea promotes a wellness-oriented company culture. Employees can enjoy a burst of energy and nourishment, enhancing their productivity and overall wellbeing. The variety of options accommodates diverse dietary needs and preferences, making everyone feel included and valued. By offering a canvas for personal creativity and encouraging discussions about wellness, this idea cultivates a positive atmosphere and strengthens the sense of community among team members.

  1. Cook-Off Competition

A cook-off competition is another fun twist to a traditional company lunch. Employees can form teams and engage in a friendly culinary competition, crafting dishes centered around a designated theme or ingredient. This dynamic and interactive event infuses creativity, teamwork, and excitement into the workplace.

Additionally, the cook-off competition sparks innovation as teams brainstorm and execute their culinary creations. As teams plate their dishes and present their efforts, the event cultivates an atmosphere of friendly competition. Participants can showcase their culinary skills and engage in playful banter, turning lunchtime into a dynamic platform for collaboration and fun. A competition can blend creativity and teamwork to build a positive work culture and ensure employees relish both the process and the outcome of their culinary efforts. 

  1. Interactive Food Apps

For an innovative and hands-on option, consider embracing interactive food apps that revolutionize the dining experience. These apps leverage technology to create immersive activities that transcend physical boundaries. With a range of options, including virtual wine and cheese pairings, all employees (even remote ones) can explore flavors together through video conferencing. This encourages connection and education.

Live cooking demonstrations broadcasted through apps provide an opportunity for employees to learn new recipes and culinary techniques. Remote workers can participate in real-time, replicating dishes in their own kitchens and joining in the community.

These interactive food apps bridge gaps and unify teams, no matter where they are located. Everyone indulges in the delight of learning and savoring together. The technology-driven engagement adds a modern twist to traditional lunchtime gatherings, promoting inclusivity and enriching the company culture.

Innovative Employee Wellbeing Initiatives

The range of exciting and unique company lunch ideas outlined above underscores the significance of creativity and health-consciousness in prioritizing employee wellbeing. Engaging initiatives like themed buffets, cooking challenges, and interactive food apps transform lunchtime into a source of creativity and team building

Incorporating nutritious meals like farm-to-table experiences and smoothie bar extravaganzas underline the commitment to employee health. Encouraging mindful dietary choices through these initiatives contributes to a positive work culture, boosting energy levels and concentration while reinforcing the company's dedication to employee wellbeing.

Gympass can help your organization advance its wellbeing journey. Empower employees to prioritize their health when you give employees access to thousands of fitness studios and wellness apps. 

Speak with a wellbeing specialist today about how we can help support your workforce, whether they're working from home or at your office.

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Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.