My team at work is a little food obsessed. Okay, truthfully, we’re a LOT food obsessed. We start talking about lunch around 9:30 in the morning. So when it comes to team builders, we find there is nothing better than a potluck. A little time with colleagues with good food and good conversation can really build team unity.
There is not much to planning the perfect potluck but there are some key things you can do to make them effortless.
- Plan at least a couple of weeks ahead so you can make sure everyone is available.
- Always use a sign-up sheet so people can volunteer to bring a particular item versus being assigned a dish. Check out the one I use in the Templates & Tools section.
- This is important so you can be sure to get a good mix of sides, main dishes, and desserts. And you don’t end up with three dishes of green bean casserole!
- Some people will have specialties and other will want to try something new each time. Just be sure to let them make what they are comfortable with.
- For the day of the potluck, if you don’t have an oven in your office, see if someone who lives nearby will volunteer to be on heat-up duty. I only live two miles from work, so usually I do this. It’s not necessary but it does allow you to have dishes that aren’t microwave friendly, and they are nice and hot when the event starts.
- Consider using the sign-up sheet to create buffet cards for each dish.
- These are pretty simple and I have a template I use in the Tools & Templates section. Print them on cardstock and then cut and fold. You can go to a FedEx Office to do this as they have all the supplies and equipment available right there (including a professional cutting machine in the self-service area).
- Finally, don’t be afraid to be the first person to eat! For some reason people hesitate to be the first person to go through the line and will sit there staring at the food while it gets cold. I always jump right in and get things going!