Meal planning for office lunch can be a thankless and stressful job. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you follow these simple meal planning tips for ordering office lunch, you can give your employees exactly what they want to eat—with less stress on you, your schedule, and the planet.
Yes, we said the planet. By planning ahead and letting your team members order what they want, you could be helping eliminate food waste. When roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted, doing your small part with smart meal planning is a step in the right direction. Let us explain.
Meal planning tips for ordering office lunch
1. Plan ahead
Regardless of whether you’re ordering office lunch Monday to Friday or occasionally for special lunch events, always plan ahead. Consider making a schedule for the month ahead and charting out who’s eating what, when, and from where. Planning ahead allows you more time (and alleviates stress) to do the rest of our meal planning tips below and do your job to the best of your ability.
2. Opt for variety
Foodee is a partner with hundreds of local, owner-operated restaurants across the U.S. and Canada with a wide variety of menus and cuisine types. Have fun with your meal planning by rotating through different types of cuisines throughout the week and month.
For example, for those Monday to Friday office lunch meal planners, create a two-week schedule that rotates through all of the most-loved cuisines in your office. This may require you to do a poll of your office. Once you have a general plan, rotate through different restaurants that fit your schedule. This could look like:
- Week one:
- Monday: Healthy bowls
- Tuesday: Mexican
- Wednesday: Sandwiches and salads
- Thursday: Sushi
- Friday: Pizza
- Week two:
- Monday: Sandwich lunch boxes
- Tuesday: Poke bowls
- Wednesday: Curries
- Thursday: Salads
- Friday: BBQ
3. Let the eaters order
It can be challenging to try to guess what your team or office wants to eat for office lunch every day. That’s why our top meal planning tip for ordering office lunch is to let the eaters order for themselves.
Foodee’s handy team ordering feature allows meal planners like yourselves to select the delivery date and time and pick the cuisine type right down to the restaurant. After that, the task of ordering a meal is off your plate and in the hands of the eaters. Share a link to order with a deadline to order by to each team member, and they’ll choose exactly what menu item they want—with all of their dietary and allergy restrictions included—and have something tasty to look forward to.
4. Go for individual orders
This point goes hand-in-hand with team ordering above. As we mentioned, Foodee’s team ordering lets the eaters choose what they want to eat in the near future. When it arrives at the office, it’s just the right portion size for one, with all of the sides, sauces, and substitutions they asked for. There’s no guessing or over-ordering—and no food waste. It’s individually packaged in a sustainable, biodegradable or compostable container, and labeled just for them.
Many companies order for 100 employees, let’s say, and only 70 to 80 of them eat. That’s a lot of leftovers and food waste. Plus, it’s an extra cost for both the company and the planet. Let individual employees order their own office lunches to eliminate excess food waste and give them what they want.