Hosting a welcome breakfast is enough to help your new hires get to know their team, feel right at home, and ease their first-day jitters. But scheduling another meal together, as a team, can really pave the way for a level of connection that will completely break the ice.
At lunchtime, it’s also the middle of your new hire’s first day. Hosting a team lunch is a great way to break up their packed schedule, give them a breather, and chat with everyone about how their day is going.
Another benefit of hosting a team lunch is that it eliminates a potentially awkward thing for a new hire to do: ask their new teammates to have lunch with them (if you ever went to a new school growing up, you understand). Instead of putting the burden on your new hire, you can handle it for them by scheduling a team lunch.
If you do plan a team lunch, your coordination of things will essentially be the same as your welcome breakfast. But in case you skipped over that part, we recap how to organize an in-person and remote team lunch in full detail, below.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to know what your new hire can or can’t eat or drink. The last thing you want is for them to skip lunch because they couldn’t eat what was ordered.
To avoid this situation, you can ask your new hire if they have any dietary restrictions in their “before your first day email”. Or, even better, send them a quick survey on dietary restrictions (before their first day), so it’s automatically populated in their profile for future reference.
After you gather your new hire’s dietary restrictions, make a reservation at a restaurant nearby or pre-order lunch and have it set up in the cafeteria. But before you choose a place, give your new hire a short list of local options or poll your team on where they prefer to eat.
Sharing a meal in an in-person group setting is usually a hotbed for conversation, so there’s probably no need to come prepared with ice-breakers. But it can’t hurt to have a couple prepared, just in case.
Organizing a virtual welcome lunch requires a few different steps.
Your team obviously can’t meet at the local lunch spot, so instead, give everyone on the team a digital DoorDash gift card beforehand or allow them to expense the meal.
If some members of your team are in the office and others are remote, ask your in-office teammates which restaurant they want to order from, pre-order food from there, and book a conference room so they can video chat with their remote teammates.
We know virtual team meals can sometimes feel like an awkward, forced conversation. So ice-breakers are usually necessary. Consider using these 30 prompts to get the conversation flowing, elevate the mood, and make your team lunch the best part of everyone’s day.
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