Office Lunches: How Administrative Assistants Can Order Approachable Ethnic Cuisine

Posted by on Monday, January 13th, 2014 with Comments Off on Office Lunches: How Administrative Assistants Can Order Approachable Ethnic Cuisine Comments

Administrative assistants know all too well that it can be difficult to order lunch for a large group of people, especially on a regular basis. It can be challenging to suit a wide range of tastebuds without ordering the same meals over and over again. If your office is stuck in a sandwich-and-salad rut and your coworkers are looking to you for inspiration, it’s tempting to switch it up and order in from an Indian restaurant or arrange for a sushi bar for a little variety… but a few picky eaters can make it tough for you to provide variety while pleasing everyone.

office takeout helmet

Ordering office lunches can be a tough job.
Image source: flickr user matt.hintsa

And you do want to please everyone — as the research shows, engaging employees through office lunches and spontaneous celebrations is a wonderful way to show appreciation and bolster morale. If you’re ordering in food that a few employees don’t want to eat, that positive message quickly becomes a negative one: we care enough to provide a meal, but not enough to make sure it’s one you want to eat. Picky eaters in the office can feel left out, neglected, and in the worst cases, stigmatized or even bullied by more adventurous eaters – not something you want on your watch!

It is possible to provide a variety of cuisine without alienating any member of the team. Just like when catering to a vegetarian or gluten-free diet, it just takes a little advance work. If you know which employees tend to be more selective, ask ahead of time if there are certain flavors or ingredients they dislike and take that into account. Trying new foods still might be a challenge, but at least they’ll know you put some effort into choosing items they will be more likely to enjoy.

takeout containers

Unfamiliar foods can be intimidating for picky eaters.
Image source: flickr user hawaii

Once you have some individual preferences in mind, choose from the following dishes when you order Indian, Thai, Japanese, or even Chinese food: they’re all considered to be less intimidating and beginner-friendly options for their respective cuisines. They may not be the most authentic choices, but none are very spicy, and they’re more likely to please a picky eater.

Indian food has a reputation for being too spicy for many people, but there are plenty of delicious dishes with barely a hint of heat. Some items to order: samosas (crispy pockets of dough stuffed with vegetables like peas, potatoes, or onions); tandoori chicken (brightly colored but rarely spicy roasted chicken); chana masala (chickpeas stewed with tomatoes, onions, and rich, savory spices).

Thai food can daunt first-timers with its exotic flavors (like lemongrass or Thai chiles), but choose the following dishes for more familiar sweet and nutty flavors: pad Thai (noodles, crushed peanuts, egg, a barely-sweet sauce); chicken satay (skewers of chicken served with a peanut sauce); cucumber salad; massaman curry (milder and sweeter than most other curries).

chicken teriyaki

Chicken teriyaki is a safe choice from the Japanese restaurant.
Image source: flickr user powerplantop

Japanese is so much more than sushi: newcomers can try udon (a soup with thick noodles and a savory broth); gyoza (pan-fried dumplings often filled with pork and cabbage); teriyaki chicken (marinated chicken broiled or grilled, served with a sweet and accessible sauce).

Chinese might be the easiest food to order for picky eaters, as there are plenty of Americanized dishes to please all kinds of palates: fried rice (rice stir-fried with diced vegetables and egg, meat optional); sweet & sour chicken or pork (crispy meat in a sweet sauce with pineapple); beef with green peppers.

If you’re an admin assistant trying to please a crowd, can help ensure that you have a wide variety of dishes. Easy online ordering and our Virtual Cafeteria Service make it a breeze to offer variety and avoid the office lunch rut while still keeping your coworkers happy!

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!

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