Potlucks bring together people for a meal without one party putting in all the effort. For office parties, potlucks are a wonderful way to enjoy a holiday party and get everyone involved without the headache of scheduling catering, or booking reservations at an off-site restaurant. Here at Brooks Law Group, we love hosting our annual Thanksgiving potluck with our staff. It’s a wonderful time to come together and reflect on our many blessings while sharing a feast we all contributed to with our various dishes. In our years of office potlucks, we’ve discovered what works (and what doesn’t work) to create a fun environment and great memories for everyone in attendance. We’re ready to share those hints with you, so you can become the pro at potlucks and make your office party the best ever this Christmas season.
Hint #1: Preparation is Everything!
How do you best prepare for a potluck? Have a sign-up sheet! No one wants to feast on an entire table of casseroles while staring at an empty dessert table. Likewise, the vegetarian in your office doesn’t appreciate dining only on green beans and glazed carrots while everyone else enjoys the festivities. A sign-up sheet is the best way to make sure all meal categories are covered, and that everyone on your staff is provided for in the food lineup. For example, a sign up sheet could include 2 or 3 main dishes, several side items, a few festive desserts, a bread choice or two, plenty of drinks, and a separate category for vegetarian/vegan/allergy-
friendly dishes depending on the needs in your specific office. If each person commits to two items from the sign up sheet, it doesn’t take a huge staff to pull together a great party. Want to make it even easier for the non-cooks in the group? Add items like paper plates, plasticware, and napkins to the sign-up sheet!
Hint #2: Food Safety Matters
Most office spaces don’t have a spare fridge or freezer sitting around, so what do you do about food safety when it comes to potluck parties that happen during work hours? For items that require refrigeration, consider having a few coolers stocked with ice and on-hand. This should be adequate to keep most foods cold until it’s time to eat. For hot foods, crock pots or warming trays are the best option. Have them set up in a spare cubicle, in an office conference space, or in a break room. If you don’t have the ability to practice food safety, consider scheduling your potluck outside of work hours to make it easier for participants to bring food directly from home and serve it immediately upon arrival. It’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, no one wants to take home food poisoning alongside their bag of leftovers!
Hint #3: Label Everything!
So you thought labels were only for preschool classrooms or your pantry at home? Nope! Labels can be your best friend at a potluck party. Have each participant label their item(s) when they place them on the serving table. This avoids the awkward situation of staring down an unidentifiable casserole and choosing between missing out on something delicious or looking rude for wasting it after it’s on your plate. Want to kick the potluck up another notch? Have participants bring their recipes along for the ride, and keep index cards and pens handy at the party. When someone wants to know how to make the delicious cake they enjoyed from a coworker, or what was in the macaroni and cheese, it’s easy to recipe swap on the spot!
Thank you to all of our staff who participated in this year’s potluck at Brooks Law Group! We believe in fostering connection among our staff, and right here within our community. Our attorneys are committed to providing expert legal representation and personal care to clients throughout the Tampa Bay area. Our Tampa office is conveniently located to make it easy for you or your loved one to find. Following an accident or injury due to the fault of another individual or party, you deserve justice! We fight for you to get the help you need. When the unexpected happens, Look to Brooks!