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Gino Spano

The holiday season is practically here, which means it’s the start of office holiday party season. There are many different kinds of holiday parties you could host, and you’ve likely been busily organizing what you’re going to do for at least a couple weeks now.

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If you’ve been thinking about bringing back the office potluck, you might want to rethink that plan. Here are a few reasons you should think outside the box and skip the potluck lunch, even if it has been the tradition for years. Your employees will thank you.

1. It Makes the Office Holiday Party Stressful for Employees

One reason you should avoid the potluck format for your office holiday party is that it puts pressure on some of your employees. If you’ve ever hosted a potluck before, you probably know this already.

While some of your employees no doubt enjoy the chance to show off their cooking skills, others will forget all about bringing a dish. There may be employees who don’t have time that week to prepare a meal. Someone else might show up with something store-bought, setting off some grumbling. There are others who probably shouldn’t be cooking, and there are always employees who leave everything to the last minute.

Why not just hire a caterer and bring in the food yourself? There’s no extra pressure for employees, and you’re guaranteed to get a delicious spread everyone can enjoy.

2. Health and Safety Must Come First

One of the top concerns with a potluck has to be allergies. If someone in your office has an allergy to nuts, can you guarantee the food didn’t come into contact with them? Probably not if the food was prepared in another employee’s home.

There are also other health and safety concerns. Do you have the space to keep refrigerated foods cold or hot foods warm? If not, you could be letting bacteria grow. Your employees probably won’t appreciate the potluck much if they spend the next few days unwell.

3. You Can’t Control What You Get

If you’re hosting lunch or dinner for your office holiday party, a potluck can be a disaster. Most people prefer to prepare desserts, but the last thing you want is to have a spread full of desserts and only an offering or two for the main course.

Some offices require sign-ups beforehand to ensure a more even spread of savoury and sweet dishes, but this doesn’t always work. Employees may switch their dishes at the last minute, or they may forget what they offered to bring.

Again, hiring a caterer can make your office holiday party much simpler.

4. Potlucks Are about More Than Food

The secret ingredient to a great potluck isn’t the food itself. It’s the company. If you want your employees to have a great time at the office holiday party, then allow them to mix and mingle without needing to worry about food preparation.

This will help them relax and truly enjoy the party. In turn, everyone will have a better time.

5. You Can Think of Something More Creative

One of the reasons people choose potlucks for their office holiday party is that it seems simple. You don’t need to do a lot of planning, and your employees will do most of the work. It might also seem like the only option to fit your budget.

You can throw a great holiday party at the office without resorting to the potluck. Better yet, you don’t need to break the bank to host a great party. Talk to a local caterer about budget-friendly options to create a stress-free get-together your employees will be raving about for weeks.


Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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