Great parties always end up in the kitchen. Cooking and eating are activities that bring people together. What if companies had a kitchen/meeting space, transforming lunch breaks into a team building activity while promoting a healthier diet?
Problem: Eating Habits for the Weekday Lunch
As a general rule, cooking at home is a healthier option than eating out, since it puts you in control over what goes in your meal. In addition, healthy lunch options for those eating out while at work are often limited or expensive, leading to unhealthy food choices during weekday lunch meals.
A few companies provide catered lunches for their employees, though this is often too costly for the company and leads to leftover and wasted food.
So why don't more people bring in their own lunches for work? My hunch is that most people find that a time consuming and tedious task. Furthermore, it curtails the experience of taking a "break" for lunch, stepping out of the office environment and enjoying a meal with coworkers in a different setting.
Solution: Cook & Meet with Co-Workers
Companies could have kitchen/meeting spaces. The space specifications would vary according to the size and resources of the company and teams. For small companies, one space would be enough, and larger companies could have multiple spaces (by team or by office floor).
Instead of eating out, employees would cook with and for each other. Each day, one person would be responsible for choosing a healthy menu and "running" the kitchen, assigning cooking tasks to other co-workers (chop the vegetables, dress the salad, etc).
Costs for the ingredients could be shared amongst employees or paid by the company (if the company can afford). In both cases, sharing groceries and buying larger quantities is more cost-effective for all, and employees could use services such as
to get ingredients delivered straight to the office.
This activity also functions as a team-building exercise - it can be a way to bring together employees from different areas of the company and develop communication outside the context of company hierarchy (image how cool if intern and CEO are chopping onions together!)
After cooking, everyone eats together and conversations could be directed to work matters (brainstorming a new idea, discussing an upcoming client presentation) or left open.