A work lunch is the perfect way to treat your team. Employees always appreciate a free meal, and the casual socialization helps reduce stress and increase workers’ sense of belonging. If you want to maximize these benefits, consider implementing fun, themed work lunch ideas. A theme unites the group around a central idea and encourages everyone to try new things together.

1. Tapas Tuesday

On a random Tuesday, order a spread of tapas—small, savory appetizers—and set it out in the break room. Tapas is meant to be a communal experience, so it’s a great meal for a group. Employees can try a bit of everything.

To keep things exciting, choose a wide variety of options. This strategy accommodates common dietary restrictions and gives the team the chance to taste new dishes and compare notes.

2. Food truck lunch

Hire a food truck to park outside your office and invite employees to order whatever they like. Enjoy the food outdoors—after an hour in the sunshine, they’ll go back to work feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Evaluate the menu carefully when you’re selecting a food truck. Make sure it has options for vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free employees.

3. Charcuterie and crudites

Embrace the “snack lunch” trend with a charcuterie and crudites buffet. This is a fun opportunity to get creative with fruits, vegetables, cured meats, crackers, and cheeses. Some caterers can even turn a conference room table into a massive snack spread that doubles as a work of art.

With charcuterie and crudites, it’s a breeze to satisfy any appetite or preference. Each employee can put together a plate that’s perfectly tailored to their taste; they might even take a selection of treats back to their desk to nibble on throughout the afternoon.

4. Comfort food

Comfort food has a warm, soothing effect, especially when you’re in the depths of winter or the midst of a stressful week. As you’re planning a menu, get specific with the theme. You could go with a funny “all casserole” lunch, or order childhood classics such as grilled cheese and loaded nachos. Alternatively, try elevated comfort foods such as lobster mac and cheese, truffle fries, or puff pastry pot pie.

Round out your comfort food theme with a simple, hearty dessert. Fruit pie, ice cream sundaes, or brownies will send employees back to work with extra pep in their step.

5. Soup and salad

If your team prefers a lighter lunch, plan a soup-and-salad spread. The key? Choose options that have big, bold flavors, such as:

  • Italian chopped salad
  • Greek salad
  • Caprese salad
  • Taco salad
  • Chicken and wild rice soup
  • Minestrone soup
  • Broccoli cheese soup
  • Butternut squash soup

This is one of the most adaptable fun, themed work lunch ideas; simply switch up the soups and salads to reflect seasonal ingredients.

6. Global cuisine

Expand your palates as a group by hosting an occasional global-themed lunch. Pick a country or city with a distinct cuisine and order a variety of dishes. You’ll support local restaurants, and you might even find a new team favorite. Include a few familiar items so employees always have something to eat if the more adventurous dishes don’t hit the spot.

Once you choose a work lunch theme, feel free to go all out. Decorations, music, or special dishes reinforce the theme and make a weekday meal feel like a special event. Don’t have time to plan? Save time with a corporate ordering solution such as Grubhub Corporate Accounts. It provides easy scheduling, streamlined invoicing, and access to a wide range of local restaurants and caterers. To see how it works, get started today.