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Organizing an Office Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch in 5 Easy Steps


Organizing an Office Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch in 5 Easy Steps

Organizing an Office Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch in 5 Easy Steps

Every year, doesn’t it seem like the old holiday traditions at work are fading? Luckily, one tradition continues to exist – the office Thanksgiving potluck lunch (or pitch-in, if you are from Indiana). If you happen to be one of the more grouchy employees, you may have long advocated sticking a fork in this tired tradition, but hear me out. Having a Thanksgiving themed potluck isn’t suppose to be a burden – it’s suppose to be about adopting an attitude of gratitude – to share in something that brings everyone at work together.

When you sit down in that office break room to share a collaborative meal, you can feel the buzz of happy conversation in the air. It’s an easy way to boost morale and give employees a break from their office cubicle lives, plus it gives them a chance to mingle with other departments they normally don’t have contact with. This internal networking event and can be a lot of fun, too. So, if you have been tasked with organizing the office Thanksgiving potluck lunch and are not sure where to start, here are five steps to get you going in the right direction.

First off –  it doesn’t have to be hard, just take a relaxed approach to potluck planning. It’s been my experience that the best way to organize this kind of event is to get started early (like RIGHT NOW after you finish reading this).

Step One:

Ask management if the company can cover the cost of catering in a turkey, allowing employees to bring the side dishes. If not, ask everyone to contribute a dollar or two in addition to their potluck contribution.

Step Two:

Pick a date and time. Consider the demands of your industry. Retail businesses may need to schedule this when the location is less busy. Then have management send out a “Save the Date/Time” email ASAP.

Step Three:

Figure out who is bringing what side dish. (No matter how much you enjoy them, you don’t want to end up with 10 dishes of sweet potato casserole). You can opt to use an “old-school” sign-up sheet in the break room (or better yet, use an online site such as: listing the specific items in need. Don’t forget to list plates, napkins, drinks and ice for those individuals that would prefer to contribute non-perishable items.

Step Four:

Post signs up around the office with the date/time and instructions on how to participate.

Step Five:

Set up large garbage cans to collect dirty dishes and cups. If your office and staff is working to be more “green” you should request specific environmentally friendly plates, cups and cutlery be purchased. Make sure you have a separate recycling container next to the trash.

Finally, you might consider including a food drive into your celebrations – where each employee contributes a few cans or boxes of food to donate to the local food bank. Above all, have fun, don’t stress, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some other articles to help you make the most of your office Thanksgiving potluck lunch:

Potluck Etiquette:

Easy Thanksgiving recipes:


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