The 5 Greatest Apps for Improving Office Meals – From Calorie Counts to Sustainable Seafood

Posted by on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 with 9 Comments

We all know the story: when you’re out with friends and want to find the nearest sports bar/cocktail lounge/late-night burrito spot, everyone reaches right for their phones. Someone checks Yelp, the bargain-hunter opens Savored, another pulls up Urbanspoon, the big spender looks up reviews on Zagat… everyone in our tech-savvy generation has their go-to restaurant app ready at a moment’s notice. Especially for those of us who fall in the Millenial generation, technology is the default tool when it comes to finding the perfect spot for dinner or drinks. But what about when it comes to eating even halfway decent office meals?

iphone foodspotting app for office meals

Apps and office meals are a match made in heaven.
Image source: Flickr user missmeng

If you’re stuck in a morning meeting that’s running long, and your stomach starts to growl, and your only window to have an actual lunch is quickly shrinking, finding a healthy, delicious, fresh meal might be a laughable thought. If you have time to wolf down a package of nuts from the vending machine (and maybe a half-stale donut from the break room), you’ll consider yourself lucky. It doesn’t have to be this way! Just like you take the time to pick out the ideal stop along the pub crawl, you can take advantage of a handful of apps to ensure your office meals are actually meals, and not a patchwork of less-than-wholesome snacks. And since everyone is checking their smartphone during meetings anyway, no one will be the wiser that you’re ordering lunch instead of taking notes! These five apps can help make your lunch hour the opportunity to relax and recharge that you deserve!

1) If you want to make sure you’re ordering healthy takeout, Restaurant Nutrition is a must-download. It charts the nutrition info for more than 60,000 items at over 250 chain restaurants, so you can check the stats on that quesadilla salad before you accidentally eat a whole day’s worth of saturated fat in one sitting.

2) Sushi seems like a no-brainer for a quick and healthy lunch — but some restaurants serve seafood that may be endangered or hard on the environment, like bluefin tuna or farmed Atlantic salmon. If you want to make sure your lunch order isn’t cause for concern, use the Monterery Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app: not only does it tell you if your chosen fish is “ocean-friendly,” but it offers a list of alternatives to make changing your order easier.

3) Addicted to food images on Instagram? Then you have to check out Foodspotting. It’s all food photos, all the time, and you can browse by location and type of cuisine to see a real-life image of the kung pao chicken at the neighborhood Chinese place before you order it. And remember, if anyone gives you a hard time about snapping photos before you eat, tell them you’re just engaging mindfully with your food.

4) It may not come in quite as handy at lunchtime, but bonus points go to web-based Vinepair for combining two of life’s great pleasures: takeout and wine. The interactive mix-and-match tool lets you know that you should pair your curry with Syrah, barbecue with Malbec, or Thai with Gewurtztraminer. Just a quick stop at the wine shop on the way home, and you can feel downright fancy about eating your leftover takeout for dinner!

5) Of course, we may be biased, but nothing makes ordering office meals easier than our own app! When you need to be discreet in a meeting or order your delivery while you run out to pick up the drycleaning, use your smartphone to access the same selection of menus and food delivery service that we offer on the web. We make ordering on the go (or the down-low) easy — so you can kiss that vending machine “lunch” good-bye!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

9 responses to “The 5 Greatest Apps for Improving Office Meals – From Calorie Counts to Sustainable Seafood”

  1. Della Thompson says:

    What an impressive array of features! It’s not too difficult for people to find a search engine to check take out options but to be able to find out the nutrition information, wine pairings, and even pictures is unusual. I especially like the option of using Seafood Watch to be able to order seafood responsibly. Having the list of alternatives if my choice isn’t “ocean friendly” will make it very easy to do the right thing!

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Della! The Seafood Watch app definitely makes it easier to find the best choice for sustainable fish — not just make you feel guilty for ordering the wrong thing 🙂

  2. Louie says:

    In this crazy world we live in, getting food while at work can be insane. It is so nice to not only be able to find food in a quick and efficient manner, but make sure it is healthy as well. And you eat with your eyes, so any pictures of food would be visually stimulating. Mobile apps for dining are definitely the way of the future!

    • Sara says:

      Louie, you’re so right about eating with your eyes! That’s what makes Foodspotting so perfect!

  3. M. M Brooks says:

    Thanks for this information. I am going to check out these sites. It is sometimes hard to eat healthy at workplace lunch outings and an easy way to check out the best options in my area is a great idea. I like going out with coworkers but find it difficult to navigate to find the best choices.

  4. Maggie Kruse says:

    The Monterery Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch app sounds awesome. I have the app and love it.

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Maggie! Glad to know the app is serving you well! Next time you try sushi, check out the Seafood Watch app – it’s really useful!

  5. xcsdfsf says:

    These apps look really useful! I agree that finding a good, healthy lunch when you’re at work is hard.

  6. Michael F says:

    This is an awesome how-to guide on how you can get great, energy-filled meals while working hard at your place of employment. These organized apps look pretty awesome and convenient!