Jan 28 2014

Turning Team Meals into Meaningful Experiences: An Up-Close Look at DT Lunches

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Today we’re sharing how we do team lunches in a series of annotated photos. Because we care about building culture and having a healthy team, we’ve put a lot of time & effort into improving our Monday & Wednesday team lunches, as well as our office as a whole. We work to live great culture, and craft meaningful experiences that offer opportunities for personal connections — including homemade lunches from our chefs. After all, company culture’s not about perks; it’s about making our everyday experiences better. We hope the way we design lunches sparks some ideas for how you design yours.

Simply click on the photos to see them full-size!
  

Serving up (with secret sauce)

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1. Organic Iced Tea

What’s lunchtime without a little pick-me-up? Today we’re drinking organic green tea with toasted brown rice in the brew.

2. Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

Our fantastic chefs combine ingredients in fun, creative, and healthy ways (that we also like to try at home), like these local, organic beans & lemons, plus organic kale, coriander, & carrots.

3. Coffee Infographic

What’s a design agency without caffeine (and infographics) galore? While this poster’s been here a while, our team has added new ones (e.g., “Make it Work, Then Make it Better”).

Displaying the Delicious Spread

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1. Organic Kale & Baby Green Salad

Today’s spread included a spring green salad with a delectably sweet mango and lemon dressing — with organic crudités for good measure (and good crunch).

2. New Zealand Grass-fed Lamb Burgers

Served on a toasted pretzel bun with the traditional tomato, lettuce, mayo, and pickles, this winning delicacy could also be garnished with turkey bacon and a basil-cilantro-pesto (whose creaminess came from organic cashews & Veganaise).

Sharing the Table

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1. Water

Since we’re ~70% water, we fill our glasses & water bottles at our kitchen sink’s reverse osmosis water filter’s tap.

2. Indoor/Outdoor Space

We’re lucky enough to be situated in sunny San Diego,  so we make sure to get fresh air & Vitamin D via our side door (& outdoor seating).

3. Dining Whiteboard

We use this to record brainstorms, illustrate concepts, and explain health tips during talks from our Director of Vitality.

4. Extra Tables

During most lunches, we add on a table (or two) to fit our whole team plus guests from the community — especially family & friends.

Filling up the Queue

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1. Kitchen Whiteboard

From frozen smoothie ingredients to fruits & veggies in our CSA box, our Manager of Company Culture offers healthy snack ideas (and the team adds the choice cartoons & catch phrases).

2. Coffee

Though our trusty coffee brewers make a great pot o’ joe, we’re also fans of  our new pourover setup. To add fun & energizing variety to our caffeine routine, we make Bulletproof coffee.

3. Our Chefs

Our chefs, Julia and Gage of Collision Cuisine, accomodate for special dietary restrictions. There’s nutritious and delicious food for everyone, from the vegan to the gluten-free diet.

Eating Clean (& StockingUp)

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1. Eating Clean

A few of us have taken on the Clean Program challenge to better our health, and our chefs prepared today’s meal with Clean options available.

2. Stocking Up

Our kitchen is full of healthy snacks, produce from our CSA share, and even a Vitamix (a favorite for morning scrum smoothies).

3. Dish Duty

We’ve recently upped the post-lunch cleanup crew from two to three team members, which is perfect on days we eat soup & salads.

4. Office Picture Frames

Over the past month we’ve added fun, inspirational & goofy images around the office since we got frames & free rein of what to display!

Concluding Thoughts

Instead of adding catered meals as a simple perk, we’ve worked to craft a meaningful experience for our guests & ourselves. We hope that our continual process of betterment inspires you to keep improving & iterating to create great company culture.

We’d love to learn from our audience: What are some best practices of team lunches you’ve seen? And how have you geared your team activities to align with your cause and values?

Want to join us for lunch (or see more shots of tasty food)? Check out our job openings and our culture blog.

About the Author:

Julia Larson is a freelance copywriter & copyeditor at digital-telepathy, a UX design agency that crafts meaningful experiences. When not on a quadrilateral device, she’s on her yoga mat, a hike, or a cooking spree. Find her on Google+.

Leave a Response

2 Responses

  1. Jan 29 2014
    Big Lew

    First of all I am not even allowed to take a lunch at the place I work. Wow,
    that is Awesome. I used to have free access to eat whatever I wanted. Finishing up my college degree and I am going to be moving on. I wish I could be a part of Organic meals. I would be happy just to have GMO free. What a great culture. Someone forward this to my employer.