Ah, the holidays—that wonderful “holly jolly” time of year where we get to enjoy sharing time-honored traditions with friends, family and even co-workers. Exchanging gifts, attending parties, baking sweet treats and consuming copious quantities of tasty, saucy calorie-rich recipes passed down from generation to generation, is all part of the joy many of us look forward to each year.
Along with all those lovely holiday traditions, however, comes an incredible amount of pressure to make all the good cheer and magic come to life. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the US Highbush Blueberry Council, 31 percent of Americans described the holidays as “frantic.” It seems that all of the festive activities we claim to enjoy so much are also the exact same factors that cause our stress in the first place. According to a another survey conducted by HealthLine, the top four stressors greatly affecting people during the holidays are finances, choosing the right gift, healthy eating, and event planning/scheduling.
When it comes to event planning/scheduling in the workplace, those lucky individuals who find themselves in charge of the overwhelming task of planning the holiday parties tend to be the ones to bear the brunt of most of the stress. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many options to make holiday party planning and holiday office catering not only easier, but also more exciting and special for employees.
In-Office Holiday Lunch Catering
One way to reward employees for a job well done during the holidays is with on-premises corporate office catering. In addition to showing appreciation and gratitude, providing in-office lunch holiday party catering, whether for the holidays or any day, has many return benefits for employers. Studies have shown that quality catered meals for employees lead to increased productivity. They also solidify overall corporate culture by contributing to stronger employee camaraderie and connectedness that can ultimately lead to increased employee retention.
Offering this doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. Start by choosing a catering company you can trust to relieve the pressure of having to think about the details. Customized holiday celebrations menu options available from catering companies like Eco Caters providing high-quality, locally-sourced organic foods, based on employee tastes and dietary needs, is a surefire way to delight the entire company and remove the huge burden from the people usually charged with ordering office holiday party lunches.
Off-Site Holiday Parties
Making employees feel appreciated during the holidays is key and most organizations need at least a bit of help accomplishing this goal. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a huge fortune on Christmas office catering or renting out the most luxurious hotel ballroom in the city. However, having the right catering company will unlock a world of untapped resources to help you choose a venue with the desired atmosphere as well as connect you with top vendors to provide additional party services.
With Eco Caters you also have access to a highly-skilled design team to ensure the decor is on point and in line with the selected venue and the cuisine being prepared by Eco Caters chefs.
Holiday Catering Menu Options
Gone are the days of getting by with an employee holiday potluck consisting of such classics as ambrosia, Hickory Farms sausages, Jell-O salad, canned green bean casserole and last year’s regifted stale fruitcake. Times have changed and we’ve evolved. We now have much more access to fresh, organic local and sustainable ingredients and have a large population of vegetarians, vegans and people with other dietary restrictions that must all be taken into consideration when exploring Christmas or Thanksgiving office catering menu options
While it’s true that we have much more access to organic products than we did 20 or 30 years ago, using local organic and sustainable ingredients is not some newfangled trend. It’s the way humans have been eating for centuries before our modern food system was modified to accommodate massive industrialization and urbanization.
Look for catering companies like Eco Caters that support and are cooking with organic produce, locally-sourced meats and seafood. It is infinitely better for our bodies and the environment. The quality is far superior because it hasn’t been modified with additives or preservatives or sprayed with harmful chemical pesticides.
Vegetarian and Vegan Catering
There are approximately 375 million vegetarians currently living in the world. Additionally, according to a very recent poll, 6% of the US now identifies as vegan. These numbers are staggering, especially for veganism, which has grown 600% since 2014 and show tremendous growth in populations eating a meatless diet. With numbers like these, it’s impossible to ignore in order to consider everyone’s dietary needs and restrictions.
Planning ahead and working closely with a catering company to accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets for your holiday event is absolutely essential. This is particularly critical during the holidays, given the significance and importance people place on holiday parties to ensure companies show appreciation and consideration for all their employees equally.
Gluten-free diets are also on the rise. Some people think that this is a fad or trend, but not so. It’s estimated that 18 million people in the US have gluten sensitivities that create severe stomach problems and headaches. An even more serious condition known as celiac disease can cause life-threatening damage to the digestive system from gluten and must be completely avoided.
Having a caterer who can not only accommodate gluten allergies, but who also understands the intricacies of avoiding contaminating food with gluten is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Even flour in the air during preparation can cause problems for some suffers so you need specialist help and a sealed production space, which isn’t available to all caterers.
It also takes quite a bit of skill to make gluten-free food that still tastes good. Many of the baked goods can turn out very rubbery, chewy or without any flavor at all.
It’s a very good idea that you investigate caterers very carefully when looking at knowledge and skill in preparing gluten-free menus and also be sure to try samples of their gluten-free recipes before hiring them.