Do you work in an office that has less than ten people?
Are you looking for an easy and effective way to coordinate lunch orders?
In this post, I offer some helpful tips to make ordering food for a group of people as easy as pie!
The Complexities of Ordering Lunch for a Crowd
Coordinating lunch orders for a small office can quickly become an enormous task.
Not only do you have to keep track of individual food requests, but you also have to place orders correctly, at the right time, and receive the food delivery on time, too.
That’s a lot of different considerations to keep in mind!
Sure, you could place ten separate orders over the phone, but that becomes tedious, and can be fraught with incorrect or misinterpreted orders and requests.
You could place an order directly at the restaurant, but that means you have to travel there, place the order, wait for the food to be prepared, and travel back to the office.
So, what’s the last, and easiest option? Online food ordering!
This method offers several benefits:
You’ll save time – It’s far easier to click buttons, type in special requests, and schedule orders/deliveries for 10 people than to recite everything over the phone. Plus, you can often save past orders and corporate credit card information online for repeat use, if necessary.
You’ll reduce errors – No more garbled phone conversations or misheard orders. Everything is clearly laid out for the restaurant’s staff.
You’ll have a written record of your order – Perfect for your files, bookkeeping purposes, and to have on hand, should the order be incorrectly fulfilled.
Here are a few easy ways to streamline the lunch ordering process:
Know where to place your order.
Some restaurants offer online ordering, while others do not. It’s better to know which of your favorite restaurants offer online ordering, so do your research as necessary.
What’s more, some restaurants will have a food ordering system on their website, while others may offer online food ordering via third-party services such as GrubHub.com, Seamless.com, or Delivery.com. Again, do your research.
Set a deadline for lunch orders.
Ask people in your office to send their food requests to you no later than a specific time, such as 10:30 AM or 11:00 AM. This gives you enough time to review orders, ask any questions, if necessary, and then place the order.
Make detailed notes.
Many, if not all, online food ordering systems allow you to enter in names for particular orders. Be as specific as you can when you do so. You may choose to include an individual’s first name and last initial, as in Alyssa N., Ben M., Joey K., and so on.
Be sure to include any special requests in the notes section, such as food allergies or intolerances, extras, substitutions, or omissions.
Set recurring deliveries.
If you order lunch for the office as a special treat, say every week on Friday, set a recurring lunch delivery for that day.
You’ll just have to confirm the delivery was placed that morning, but otherwise the bulk of the work is already done for you.
Create stand-by food lists.
These lists can come in handy if people are busy in meetings, or are otherwise unreachable for their lunch requests.
All you have to do is ask people ahead of time for their favorite or preferred menu item from a particular restaurant, and make a note of it, for those times when they are unreachable.
In addition, you could create a list that includes people’s dietary restrictions or allergies, so you can take appropriate steps to order something suitable for them if they are physically unavailable to place an order.
How about you? Do you order food online at home or at work? Do you have any tried-and-true tips or tricks to make the process run smoothly? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!