Update: In the age of COVID-19, we at Foodee prioritize the health and safety of your team. We are currently only offering individual-style meals to reduce the risk of cross-contamination from communal serving. Check out our blog post here that explains why individually packaged meals are the safest solution as you return to work.
There’s a time and a place for everything, including when to order sharing-style versus individual lunch catering to your office.
For example, would your international C-suite who are all in town for a few days want to share a family-style meal with your entire office? Probably not. They would more likely want their own individual lunch catering, packaged and marked just for them. Especially if it’s in sustainable packaging, as Foodee restaurant partners are encouraged to do.
Let’s define the difference between the two styles of catering and weigh the pros and cons of each—and find the best possible catering style for your office lunch.
The differences between sharing-style and individual lunch catering
Sharing-style and family-style lunch catering
Sharing-style and family-style are the same thing. As the name implies, it’s most often a variety of platters to share among a team or office. Just like you would eat with your family, everyone in your office picks what they want and don’t want from the same dishes by serving themselves.
There’s often vegetarian options, vegan options, meat-eaters options, drinks, sides, dressings and snacks. It’s a real smorgasbord, like a breakfast buffet.
Pros of sharing-style:
- Employees try a variety of dishes
- Sharing brings people in the office together
- Well-balanced meal with many options
- Easy to order bulk
- Most often something for everyone
Cons of sharing-style:
- High probability of food waste
- Costly to the company if over-ordering
- Often lots of wasteful packaging
- Not all occasions are great for sharing
- Don’t take allergies and cuisine preferences into account
- Pressure on administrative staff to place the order
- Employees don’t have a say in what is ordered
Individual lunch catering
Individual lunch catering, on the other hand, is just as it sounds: for the individual eater. That is, each person in your office orders a meal or lunch box for themselves, with all of their dietary restrictions, allergy notes, sides and substitutions, packaged, labelled with their name and delivered specifically for them.
It’s as if they went out to a local restaurant, ordered their meal to-go and brought it back to the office just for them. Only they never left.
Pros of individual lunch catering
- Employees choose exactly what they want and how much
- Employees state their allergies and preferences
- Packaged individually for them
- Zero food waste
- Employee only orders meal if they know they’re eating in the office that day
- No stress on administrative staff to place orders—up to individuals
- Packaging is more often compostable, biodegradable and recyclable for small orders
- Cost savings to company for less food waste and accurate ordering
Cons of individual lunch catering
- Employees must order their meals ahead-of-time
- Employees who don’t order must contact admin staff and add on last-minute
- Not ideal for last-minute meetings and lunches
How individual lunch catering works with Foodee
Depending on the office lunch occasion, sticking to the timeless sharing-style is usually a great bet. However, if your company is aiming to eliminate food waste while providing employees with great local food, consider peppering individual lunch catering into your daily meal plan.
As the administrative professional in charge of ordering office lunch catering, you pick the time and date for delivery, the restaurant and the budget. Or, our Foodee experts can do that for you.
Lastly, you get a link to order that you send to your team or entire office, depending on who’s eating. They have a deadline date that they need to choose what they want to eat by (and add their dietary restrictions and allergy notes to the kitchen) and voila. Their individual meal arrives signed, sealed and delivered just for them.
You can send them links to order for the whole week or month ahead-of-time—and give them something to look forward to. All you have to do is send them the Foodee Team Order link (and we do the rest). Sign up to Foodee to find out more about team ordering.