Welcoming a new employee with food is a great start to their first day! A welcome email and a handshake from everyone in the office is a nice way to say “hello,” but it’s not as warm or friendly as a delicious treat.
To make the welcome effective, you’ll want to make sure to order something your new employee likes! You can learn about your newest office family addition before they even start by sending a questionnaire. Here are a few things to ask to make sure you pick the right welcome food:
1) Are you allergic to any foods?
How would you feel if you ordered pizza for someone’s first day, only to find out that they were allergic to dairy or gluten? Sounds like a major bust! There are eight allergens that account for the majority of allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Nearly 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, so don’t take any chances!
2) Do you have any food restrictions?
It sounds similar to the allergies question, but it’s actually very different. Some dietary restrictions are due to personal beliefs, like religion or vegetarianism. It’s never appropriate (or legal) to ask why, but it’s still okay to know what they can’t eat. We live in a diverse country with endless lifestyles, so always accept answers with respect.
3) What are some of your favorite foods?
This will be one of the most useful questions, and you can ask it in a number of ways:
- If you had to pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? (for that celebratory first day)
- What dessert do you look forward to the most for special occasions?(for birthdays and anniversaries)?
- You are at Target with $5; what snack do you purchase? (for office snack ideas)
- What’s your drink of choice for happy hour? (if you’re that kind of office)
Answers to these questions should be treated like gold for office managers and culture leaders. Even after the newbie’s first year, it’s nearly impossible to remember everyone’s likes and dislikes for a large office. It might be a good idea to keep everyone’s responses in a Google doc or a transferable secure file. This will come in handy for employee celebrations down the line, especially if someone else needs to learn about the team.
Asking about a new employee’s food preferences personalizes their welcome, and it’s a way to show that your company cares. An employee’s first day at work will be memorable, so make the best reminder of that day their favorite meal!