Classic Catered Lunch Ideas for the Office
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for holiday parties! If you’ve been tasked with creating a menu for your office’s holiday party, remember that simple is often better because simple dishes can be customized in a variety of ways.
Whether your office party will be a big one with many mouths to feed or small and intimate, the following catered lunch ideas are sure to be a hit. And, even if you’re not organizing a holiday-themed party, these ideas are perfect for any lunch event throughout the year.
Sandwiches will always be one of the most popular catered lunch options because there is so much you can do with them. Providing guests with a platter of sandwich ingredients and letting them make their sandwiches gives them the freedom to eat what they enjoy.
Load the platter with various bread options, like wheat bread, baguettes, multi-grain bread, white bread, and ciabatta. For toppings, don’t limit the choices to processed cheese and deli meats—add options such as chicken salad, tuna salad, corned beef, and different kinds of sliced cheese like provolone and cheddar. For vegans and vegetarians in attendance, make sure you offer them plenty of veggie options. You may also want to offer fruit salad as a side dish for this type of meal.
And remember to add condiments like mayonnaise, mustard, and barbeque sauce for those who really want to pack their sandwiches with flavor.
It’s Hard to Top Pizza
Who can resist pizza? Pizza is one of the most appetizing (and easy!) company lunch ideas you can consider. You can make it even better if you go with gourmet pizzas. Gourmet pizza is an upgrade to the standard options you can usually choose from, and your co-workers will love the unique and tasty experience it offers.
Toppings for gourmet pizza include tandoori chicken, broccoli, bacon, creamy ricotta, and even prawn, roasted peppers, and pesto. Be sure to consider co-workers’ personal preferences when planning the pizza toppings.
If you feel like including sides with the gourmet pizza, breadsticks and salads are typically good options.
Breakfast for Dinner (or Lunch)
Are you looking for an ‘outside-the-box’ idea? Try eating breakfast for lunch. You can put all types of comfort food on the menu, including pancakes with honey, waffles, muffins, sausages, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, and omelets. Add typical breakfast drinks like orange or apple juice to the mix, and you’ve got a winning idea!
Keep in mind that this idea might not be suitable for large office parties, and although it may be tempting to surprise everyone with this kind of lunch, it could turn out to be a bad surprise that disappoints those who were looking forward to something else. Put this idea to a vote and make sure everyone is on board.
Don’t forget to add dessert to the office lunch menu! The options at your disposal for this are vast, so it can be tough to choose just a few good ones. Make sure to offer a variety of desserts, though, so everyone’s tastes are met.
Good options include ice cream (various flavors) or ice cream popsicles, different kinds of cake, brownies, and pies. You don’t have to focus too much on the desserts, though, because you’ll be eating at lunchtime, and you don’t want everyone to feel overly stuffed and tired for the rest of the day.
And, if you went with the breakfast-for-lunch idea with sweet options, it may be better to leave dessert out altogether.
Keep Food Allergies & Dietary Restrictions in Mind
Whether you add sandwiches, pizza, or breakfast to the menu, ensure that you account for any dietary restrictions and food allergies. During the planning phase, you’ll need to send a small survey out to attendees, including a section for dietary restrictions and food allergies
If guests have food restrictions and/or allergies, it’s best practice to label ingredients and keep unsafe food away from safe food. For example, if a guest can only eat kosher food, you shouldn’t mix kosher food with non-kosher food. Or, if a guest is allergic to wheat and you’re offering sandwiches on the menu, be sure that any wheat bread is fully separated from the rest of the bread options. And whoever is handling your food should also keep these rules in mind.
Are You Looking for Someone to Cater Your Office Lunch?
No matter how fancy or informal you want this event to be, having the right menu is still your key to success. If you’re still not sure what type of food to put on your menu or need help organizing the menu, turn to Chef Raymone Catering. Founded over 25 years ago, we specialize in affordable catering and offer completely customizable menus. Contact us today for more catered lunch ideas or to learn more about our menu options and pricing.