There is great little book in the Webcredible library called ‘lunch at the shop: The Art and Practice of the Midday Meal’. It’s part cook book, part manifesto and describes the benefits of eating together at work along with a bunch of recipes suitable for communal catering.
This concept really resonates with me because ever since I can remember I have enjoyed preparing and eating food, and at Webcredible I am not alone. We are a greedy foodie bunch! From what I can tell this isn’t unique to Webcredible as there seems to be a UX wide obsession with the social and gastronomic elements of lunch (& breakfast & dinner…).
At our old office the most we could muster was microwaved leftovers, so when we designed our new office space one of the non-negotiable requirements was a full kitchen and café area so that we could indulge ourselves in eating. As soon as we moved in I hatched a plan to have a monthly company lunch prepared by and for the staff.
I wasn’t sure how feasible it would be for everyone to stop work and eat together so I decided to run a pilot. We had a series of challenges to overcome:
- How to turn on the new oven
- Using an electric hob with a lock that no-one could turn off
- Scaling up a recipe to feed 30+ people
- Catering for meat eaters, veggies & vegans
To keep it simple we cooked a large Spanish style sausage Fabada with giant Judion Beans from Borough market, we filled our oven with jacked spuds and made a simple salad. The prep time was short and the food went down well along with a few beers. The pilot was a success.
The bar was raised when Nirish prepared Nepalese specialties influenced by his grandmothers recipes, with rice prepared by Hua, curry by me and dessert by Scott.
- Haku choyela (roasted and marinated beef)
- Aalu wala (marinated potatoes)
- Tomato and coriander sauce
- Saffron rice
- Nepali green-bean-sesame salad, with hidden chilli
- Chicken cardamom curry
- Chocolate fudge cake
The office was transformed into a fantastic diner with pulled pork baps, veggie chilli, sweet potato fries and sprout slaw prepared by Rich, Mark, Chi & Tom.
- Pulled pork
- Chilli. Tipped ingredients into a pot with enough chilli powder to bring down a walrus. Left it to simmer for a bit then served.
- Sweet potato fries
In my eyes having monthly lunches cooked by staff at Webcredible has been a huge success. It’s great excuse to get everyone in the company together and socialising. Well worth the effort it took having a kitchen installed in the new office!
If you’re looking for your next user experience opportunity (and happen to be a first class cook!) we might be the agency for you! Check out our vacancies and you might be enjoying an office-cooked feast sooner than you think.