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Happy Hour 101: Office Edition

Meriel' Peterich

June 29, 2017


Why should you implement office happy hours?

Company happy hours are an important way to build trust and reward your team. Forbes recently shared that a new study shows that in moderate amounts, alcoholic beverages increase team building between individuals and stimulate longer conversations in the office. Happy hours break the ice and allow employees to feel more comfortable engaging in casual conversations (team bonding) that don’t revolve around work-related topics.

And happy hour appetizers or hors d’oeuvres will bring both drinkers and teetotalers together. They can make for interesting topics of conversation for people from different departments, thereby strengthening your office culture. you can even try a game of quick trivia during your happy hour event.

Mini sandwiches food set. Brushetta or authentic traditional spanish tapas for lunch table. Delicious snack appetizer antipasti on party or picnic time. Top view.

Happy hours also show employees that you value their hard work and that their dedication merits a reward. This relatively small investment can make employees feel proud of their company. Allowing them to offer suggestions on the time or theme of the happy hour can make team members feel heard and more excited/motivated to participate.

If you choose to invite employees’ families, happy hours can also be an opportunity to bond with the people important to your team. Building a good relationship with an employee’s partner can help you work together to support the employee and help company culture.

How do you set up office happy hours?

Here are some happy hour ideas.

1. Portion Drinks

You’ll want to ensure there are drinks for everyone, from the the craft beer lover and cocktail fan to the non-drinker who likes mocktails.

Tip: Make sure to work with a catering partner who knows how to portion different kinds of alcoholic drinks correctly for office parties. For example, we ask for your headcount and have specialists who know the right number of beer, wine, and cocktail mixer portions you’ll need.

Craft Beer Booze Brew Alcohol Celebrate Refreshment

2. Keep Food Hot

Don’t forget the appetizers, whether you go for mini burgers and pizza rolls or bruschetta and ceviche.

Tip: Find a caterer who stocks the right equipment for your menu. For example, when we serve hot apps, like fondue or chicken wings, we bring wire racks and sternos to keep them warm throughout the event.

3. Consider Themes

Are you planning a happy hour close to a holiday celebration? Themed in-person happy hours not only get employees in the holiday spirit, they also allow even more room for creativity when it comes to food, drinks, and décor options. Think Halloween or Christmas.

Tip: Remember to ask your caterer whether they can provide colored tablecloths or signage to fit your theme. For example, when we do “around the world” happy hours, we can put country names on the food labels for each dish and drape flags from each locale around the room.

Food Buffet Catering Dining Eating Party Sharing Concept

4. Schedule Well

While it’s more common to have an office happy hour on a Friday, that doesn’t always have to be the case. With employees taking long weekends or summer Fridays, it’s important to schedule a happy hour that works best for the majority of your group. Happy hours during the workday work better than after work.

Tip: Consider using a group scheduling tool like Doodle, to help find a time that works best for everyone.

office laptop

Ready to plan your next happy hour? We can make it happen. Just tell us how fancy or casual you want to go, and we’ll create a custom happy hour menu for you. Then, we’ll take care of scheduling, delivery, and setup. And once it’s happy hour time, we’ll pour drinks, refill appetizers, and ensure everything runs smoothly.

That way, it’s a happy hour for you too. You can enjoy your drink – and all the compliments.



“ has been able to get our employees from all different departments together, to get away from our desks, recharge, and be able to return to our work, happy and full.”

—Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist,