A team lunch is a simple yet effective bonding activity. It’s affordable and easy to plan, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity for employees to interact in a low-pressure setting. In fact, regular shared meals can help your team build the strong relationships they need for top-tier communication, collaboration, and innovation.

Organize the team lunch in advance

The most successful team lunches are the ones everyone can attend. A few weeks before the event, check employees’ shared calendars to find an open date and time. Send out a quick email invitation as a “save the date,” and remind workers to block off the time in your next meeting. That way, you won’t need to worry about conflicts with client meetings or personal lunch plans.

Choose the right food options

Food is the most important part of a team lunch; but it also can be complicated. About 6.2% of adults in the United States have at least one food allergy, and many others have intolerances and dietary restrictions.

The easiest way to provide food is to enable everyone to choose their own meal. Instead of taking everyone to a restaurant, consider ordering it in—it eliminates transit time, so the team can spend more time together over lunch. Group orders are one option, where each employee can order exactly what they want in a shared cart. Meals arrive at the same time, individually bagged and labeled with employee names for convenience. For a large group, catering is another great option; just make sure to ask about food limitations in advance.

Include remote employees

Does your team include remote employees? To maximize the benefits of a team lunch, find ways to include them in the fun:

  • Eat in a conference room with remote employees on a video call.
  • Host a virtual team lunch when everyone is working from home.
  • Plan a special team lunch when remote employees are visiting the office.

Make sure to provide food for team members working from home, too. Simply send them an individual meal credit so they can order their own meal from their favorite restaurant.

Be prepared to start conversations

Sometimes, it takes time for the discussion to flow freely during a team lunch. To help things along, come prepared with a few conversation starters. As everyone relaxes, the topics will evolve naturally.

Work-appropriate conversation topics include:

  • Weekend or summer plans
  • Bucket-list adventure or trips
  • Individual meal selections
  • Hobbies or activities
  • Favorite local restaurants

If everyone is in need of a laugh, ask funny questions. What’s your biggest pet peeve? What’s the weirdest thing you believed as a kid?

Organize occasional activities

If you’re planning regular team lunches, switch things up on occasion with a group activity. You might bring in a speaker for a lunch and learn session, for example, or invite the CEO to host a discussion about the company’s goals.

Other team lunch activities:

  • Trivia games
  • Dessert potluck
  • Office bingo
  • Themed catering
  • Outdoor picnic

Keep in mind that the point of a team lunch is to build camaraderie; the activity you choose should allow plenty of time for conversation.

Plan team lunches faster with Grubhub

Whether you’re hosting an in-person team lunch or a virtual gathering, Grubhub Corporate Accounts streamlines the planning process. All you need to do is assign a budget to every attendee—they can order their meals in advance. On the day of the event, a Grubhub driver will deliver all the food at the same time for convenience. Because the billing goes through one account, there’s no need to worry about collecting receipts or filling out expense reports.

To find out how a Grubhub Corporate Account can help you host a successful team lunch, get started today.