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How to Organize an Office Potluck: 14 Best Tips for Planning


Potluck means the arrangement of the food and delicacies for the office staff where staff members contribute any one dish.

Potlucks are a type of small event where all employees gets together to eat and share their views on any of the main topics related to the office work and so on.

By organizing of the potlucks, the members of the office come together forgetting the past issues, thus bringing peace in the organization.

In order to organize the Office potluck, one has to keep following points in mind like:

how organize office potluckHow to Plan the Perfect Office Potluck Party?

The following mentioned are few tips on how to organize a potluck lunch and few easy potluck ideas.

1. Seek the permission of the management or the higher authority:

This is the number one step of asking for the permission of organizing a successful potluck for the staff.

Seeking permission is vital as to know the day when the office will not be working or there would be any holiday due to festivity, so as to plan accordingly the whole system of organizing the potluck.

2. Check with the management and the staff of the office and coordinate accordingly:

This includes the consent of the employees of the office. This is necessary because the potluck would obviously not be organized with the presence of one or two persons, it would include number of them say 50 to 60 at maximum.

So, in order to make it happening, one has to ask the employees who would be willing to join the supper. Then after having the consent of number of employees, you can then plan for ahead and co-ordinate accordingly.

This is also necessary as to know whether the management would be able to incur the whole cost required for the organization of the potluck.

3. Decide the date, time and the venue:

This is probably the next step after knowing the number of people joining the potluck. Decide what will be the time and also the date.

The date and time will be decided in context to the maximum agreement of the one’s presiding at the event. The day should be the holiday as it would suit the best or no one would enjoy the supper after the long haul tiring work day.

So, keep the venue, day and time according to what suits the presiding members.

4. Send an email and the invitations to all the staff members of the organization:

Yes, this is the time to prepare a good and happening invite so as to email the invitation to the members, thus celebrating with the co-workers.

Make sure the message or the invite is sent by the senior or the highest ranking manager as it creates an impact and would even result in better turn out.

Sending of mail is the best method as it is cost friendly, quick and moreover if any mistake is done, that could be corrected. Moreover it is the instant mode of inviting for any sort of the event.

5. Create a sign-up sheet for the one’s committing to attend the event:

This sheet is made for all those who wish to join the potluck and it helps in giving the exact idea of the number of members who would be attending the event.

It will also assist in knowing the estimated collection for the event. The sign-up sheet is used to get signatures of all those committing to attend the event.

You should make sure to place the sign up sheet at the centre location where everyone would see easily.

6. Make a separate sign-up sheet for the volunteers:

Maybe some of them would love to volunteer, so also make another sheet where the names and signature of all those who want to volunteer.

The volunteers would be required to set up everything along with making sure everything goes well and in favour of the attendees.

The volunteers may have to indulge in the tasks of organizing the plates, the delicacies which may include the desserts, soft drinks or anything.

7. Assign each one to bring some of the things or the eatables:

For this too prepare a sign- up sheet and make columns to know who will bring what for example if someone is interested in bringing any eatable then mention that and get it signed by the respective person.

You can make proper list of the vegetable, casseroles, and utensils if any needed like the plates, spoons and so on.

If you think your company follows the norms of being environment-friendly, then you may ask the person to bring the disposable plates and other containers as well.

Also, make sure to remind everyone to bring their own service spoons so as to serve their dish to the attendees.

8. Provide important instructions:

Providing instruction is necessary because if there is any sort of theme regarding the colour combination of the potluck food or dishes, or the attire, discuss it thoroughly to get the best return after the event.

The instructions for the managing volunteers would include the arrangement of the whole setup before the arrival of the guest, availability of the bins at every corner, signing up the sheet on time to ensure the punctuality and affirmability.

9. Set the deadline:

Setting the deadline means to create a limit that before this day or date, one can inform about their cancellation of not attending the event.

Setting the deadline is important as it would not create any sort of dependence on any person for anything like any arrangement if to be done, or for any dish, utensils or anything.

In case a person back outs, you will be having an option of arranging for any other alternative, after all, you have to be on the safest side.

So do not risk yourself by blindly depending on anyone, instead just be smart enough to make the event or potluck idea a successful one.

10. Keep it low:

Keeping it low does not necessarily mean in terms of money, but it means to make an event a non-formal one.

Office potluck ideas are usually non-formal in approach. Instead of arranging the large table consider few seating areas with a maximum number of seats where people can talk, come sit together and mingle.

Make an arrangement of buffet and let people eat what they actually want to eat and that too openly, do not restrict anyone from eating.

11. Make sure everything is available:

Everything does not only include the eatables, sitting arrangements and all minute and most important things like charging points or any electric outlets. Make sure everything is made available what everyone needs.

12. For pack up too make proper arrangements:

Packing up should be done in the most decent manner. It would include putting of chairs and tables back in the place, asking and managing volunteers to help with all the clean up like removing off the cloth from the tables and so on.

If you will have a proper team, the work would be done in a proper and peaceful manner.

13. Ask everyone to label their potluck dishes in a proper manner:

In order to organize the event in a successful manner and that too peacefully, just ask everyone to do the self-service as it is just an office potluck and not the formal event.

One has to mark their dishes properly to prevent any loss after the event. Also, make sure the utensils you bring are kept safely.

14. Thanksgiving:

You may even prepare an email for thanking each and everyone who contributed for the event. This would encourage everyone else too to join for the event the next time, if they have missed it this time.

This vote of thanks should be given or presented by the higher authority so that it is valued and more over it would probably affect number of decision makers next time.

Final Words:

So, above are some of the tips to organize the potluck ideas for work in successful and healthy manner.

One can also have the feedback to know whether the potluck was good or not and if in case any loophole was left, it will be taken into the account during the next event.

The work potluck ideas are the best ways to make you feel free for some time. It will make you feel relaxed from the whole day hard work and also one will be able to feel refreshed.