Planning a Corporate Potluck

    Are you planning a potluck for your next corporate event? Potlucks are a great way for your fellow employees to enjoy a savory meal together, relax and engage in conversation. Whether you are throwing a low-budget holiday potluck in the office or planning an extravagant party in a breathtaking event space, here are some tips on how to plan a corporate potluck.

    Pick the time and date. Check with all the departments in your company to determine if any other events have been scheduled. It’s best to pick a time and date that allows the majority of people to attend. Decide whether the event is for staff only or if you want employee family members to attend also. Don’t forget part-time employees, interns and volunteers!

    Send an email to everyone invited and ask them to save the date. Ask department managers to send out the notification email if you are part of a large company. You’ll want to send the initial email out as soon as possible with reminder emails sent out weekly after that. If the party is taking place outside of the office, let people know where the event venue is located.


    Create a sign-up sheet for people to claim which dish they want to bring. As a tip, it’s great to encourage people to bring their favorite recipe or most popular dish they know how to make. That way your potluck is full of wonderfully flavorful and unique dishes. Set a deadline to remove the sign-up sheet to motivate people to sign up early rather than late. For people who are not into cooking, suggest they help bring paper plates, cups and silverware.
    Recruit volunteers to help with set-up and tear-down. If you are planning for a large company, you may want to consider splitting the volunteers into a few different groups. One for setting up the event venue and one for tearing down, for example. Have your volunteers show up early so you have plenty of time to organize everything before meal time.

    Set up a dish-cleaning area. Make sure you bring plenty of soap and sponges so people can clean their dishes before taking them home.

    Label all dishes. Also, encourage people bringing warm dishes to bring them already heated in crock pots or insulated dishes. This will prevent a mad rush of everyone trying to microwave everything at one time.

    Make sure you allow plenty of time for people to eat and enjoy the event. But don't forget, take the time to enjoy the event yourself. There’s nothing like gathering around great food and spending time with your valuable co-workers.

    What are you going to bring to your next potluck or what have you brought in the past? What was the most memorable dish from the last potluck you attended? Share it with us in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter.