A year on, things are finally starting to look up! With provisional dates in place, within the next few weeks and months, offices will start to open up their doors again - of course with countless changes compared to pre-COVID times. Whilst there are lots of things to start to think about, it's no question people are thinking about how to handle food in the office.  Whilst COVID-19 is still at the front of our minds, it's important to have a plan in place to keep workers safe and happy in the workplace.

Here is how to incorporate food into your return to work plan, with your colleagues' health, and safety in mind. Whilst there is no evidence that COVID spreads via food deliveries, how people gather to enjoy food will need to be correctly implemented.

1. Ensure your Food is safe in Common Areas

Before understanding what kind of food or snacks you need to order for the back to work rush, first, you need to decide whether you want to still have food in common areas and if so, having very clear guidelines on how the employees can safely enjoy it.

  • Think carefully about the fresh fruit you're offering - it's better to offer fruit that can be peeled (or ensure plenty of space and encourage washing thoroughly before eating)
  • Ensure food is well distanced from places people usually gather, allowing social distancing
  • Keep hand sanitiser near any places with food and the coffee machine
  • Single-serve! Although it may create slightly more waste, ensuring single-serve snacks are available decreases the chances of everyone touching the same things
  • Keep a box of face masks by the entrance, in case anyone left theirs at home!

We suggest crafting a "back to work" pack, with not only some hand sanitiser, a face mask and wipes, but also some portioned snacks, milk, tea and coffee, to help settle them back to work.

2. Create some Food Delivery Guidelines

Limiting your food delivery is really important, as it will ensure your office space is not reaching its capacity. The best way to ensure this, and to stop your staff from ordering food delivery services throughout the day, is to consolidate your office food supply. The fewer delivery drivers showing up at your building, the better.

Things to consider regarding food delivery:

  • Will it be contactless delivery?
  • If so, where is your designated drop off zone?
  • Is it better to centralise all food ordering services onto one platform?

3. Encourage your Colleagues to Eat More Safely at Work

EatFirst can help consolidate pantry supply, fruit and milk, sanitation items, staff meals and more, all under one platform. This offers you complete transparency across all areas and every delivery.

With our Meal Plan tool, you can ensure:

  • Everyone gets their individual choice of food, with dietary requirements and allergies in mind
  • Everything arrives labelled and separately packaged
  • Flexible payment can either be made by the company or employees

‍Although everyone may not be able to eat in the same way as in the past,  employees can be united by the same menu and food options! Any food can be requested, and if your favourite supplier isn't available, just let us know... Food safety is paramount, we're the experts at allowing people to still enjoy their lunch, even socially distanced!

4. Plan your Food with our Ideas for your Back to Work Plan

Individually Packaged Lunch Boxes

Country City's rotating Cold Food menu is a great way to meet everyone's requirements! The menu changes every day to make sure people don't get bored with the daily lunch delivery! Their food hygiene and safety policy ensures your lunches arrive at your workplace safer than bringing in your own lunch...

Country City Catering's amazing lunch boxes, including a side, and a salad in boxes safe to socially distance but enjoy lunch!


Curry and Rice

A classic curry and rice not only warms the soul with a hearty kick, but it serves as an excellent single-serve dish. Berkeley Catering has some great options, and if your colleagues don't like curry - there's plenty more to choose from! Your staff members will love their hot meals, with food from around the world.

Berkeley's Mutter Paneer Curry - one of many options on their extensive socially distanced menu

Poke Bowls

An all-time favourite, poke bowls offer a delicious and hearty lunch, that is a super easy solution to an individually packed lunch. Some of the best and freshest options to make the return to work super easy with an option for everyone.

Le Montmartre's are some of the best - and they have some delicious desserts to go with it...

Fresh and healthy - Le Montmarte's Poke Bowls are super popular


Breakfast Boxes

Sands Catering has the most balanced Breakfast Options - check out some of their options for some of the best breakfasts in town! If they don't have what you're looking for, just let us know as they'd love to help! Their food packaging is some of the best, with compartmentalised boxes to keep everything separate! Their social distancing menus have been created with coronavirus in mind, and to ensure the return to the workplace is as smooth as it can be.

Enjoy breakfast as a team with Sand's beautiful breakfast boxes


Cupcakes

Have an office birthday or milestone? Don't let COVID 19 stop you from celebrating. Simply adjust! Instead of a full cake, order each person one cupcake, or a single sweet treat. Also a great solution for single-serve meetings, or days of celebration.

Between Kute Cake and EK Bakery, you'll be spoiled for choice...

Kute Cake's cupcakes can be individual packaged to ensure COVID safe sweet treat enjoyment

EatFirst's post-COVID services

We love to help offices return to work with any tips and tricks we've learnt along the way! Our Australian colleagues have been lucky enough to have returned to the office months ago, they learnt some recommendations about other companies' best procedures and food safety to ensure the return to work is as safe as possible.

Please note that these tips and tricks should always only be made in accordance with government health and safety advice targeted towards employers.

If any key information is missing, or you have any questions, please let us know as we love to receive feedback at support.uk@eatfirst.com.

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