When you hear the phrase “office holiday party” you might think of passed hors d’oeuvres and forced office-wide mingling. But the words “party” and “holiday” can easily be met with delight and excitement, as long as you plan your office party menu accordingly.
Make this year’s festivities memorable and fun for everyone – including you. Here are 5 easily customizable menu options for every holiday gathering on your list:
1. The late afternoon happy hour.
The setting: Large conference room, 5PM party time.
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- For food: Since beverages will be the main focus for most, keep the food options light and portable. Most will be mingling with coworkers and friends, and will reach for the lighter fare during conversations. Caprese skewers, chicken teriyaki kabobs, and coconut shrimp with a sweet thai chili sauce for dipping are delicious options for your team. For dessert, mini creme brulees will hit all the sweet notes and will pair well with the festive cocktails on the menu.
- For drinks: A variety of drinks top the list for holiday cocktails. Keep it festive with a cranberry martini, spiked apple cider, and a cozy gingerbread hot chocolate for the non-drinkers.
- For decor: Whether you’re having your party at the office or at a rented space, keep your decor to a minimum so cleanup will be a breeze when the party wraps up. Festive colored tablecloths and holiday-themed music will set the tone for the party, without going overboard on the theme.
2. The mid-morning office brunch.
The setting: The sunniest conference room in the building.
- For food: The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and the holiday buzz is all around the office! To keep the crowd warm and their bellies full, a make-your-own waffle station is the perfect way to kick off the day. Choose from Belgian, buttermilk, or traditional waffles, and give your team a variety of toppings to choose from. You can include items such as maple syrup, yogurt, whipped cream, and fresh fruit. Fresh strawberries are always a crowd favorite.
- For drinks: Coffee and hot cocoa will be a welcomed warm-up to the morning. And don’t forget about all of the festive add-ins for the cocoa! Mini marshmallows and red and green sprinkles make for a fun and festive touch.
3. The mid-day lunch gathering.
The setting: Lunch/break room turned holiday party venue.
- For food: With traditional holiday food aplenty this time of year, keep your menu unique and different from the overdone dishes that will inevitably take over during the winter season. A pasta bar with fettuccine alfredo, chicken parmesan, and pesto gnocchi is always a crowd-pleaser. And, various pasta dish options are easy to make vegetarian-friendly. For those who would prefer a lighter meal, offering an antipasti or Caesar salad is a delicious option to complement any Italian cuisine.
- For drinks: Red and white wine would make for an ideal pairing. If you’re looking to skip the alcoholic beverages, opt for a refreshing fresh-squeezed lemonade and iced tea option.
- For decor: To incorporate the holiday theme, choose lighter holiday decorations since this will be a mid-day gathering. Paper snowflakes and a touch of Christmas lights on the tables will make your guests feel the holiday cheer without going overboard.
4. The evening cocktail hour.
The setting: Nearby event hall.
- For food: For a more upscale affair, the food needs to fit the atmosphere. Since the event will be after dinner hours, lighter menu options will fit the tone of the evening best. Opt for small bites like tuna and steak tartare, bacon-wrapped scallops, fresh bruschetta, and portobello stuffed mushrooms. These food options will keep your guests happy while still allowing them to chat with others in attendance.
- For drinks: An open bar is the way to go in order to keep the drinks flowing and guests happy. To keep with the holiday theme, consider having a few holiday-themed drinks like these to put everyone in the holiday spirit.
5. The out-of-the-box soiree.
The setting: Largest meeting room or on-site event space.
- For food: Want to forgo the holiday-themed menus altogether? Switch things up with an “Around the World” theme. You can set up different stations for different cuisines. First stop, empanadas and tacos for a culinary trip to Latin America. Next, All-American favorites like hamburger sliders and french fries. And what about Thai food? Pad thai is always a crowd favorite. You can double up on the Asian fare by serving Chinese spring rolls to start the night off right.
- For drinks: In keeping with the theme, offer a variety of favorites from all corners of the globe. Try handcrafted margaritas or Spanish sangria. Of course, you can’t go wrong with an international selection of wine and spirits. For guests who want to opt for a non-alcoholic beverage, try a twist on an old American favorite – lemonade! A lavender tea lemonade is a delicious and refreshing beverage that hits all of the sweet notes.
- For decor: Incorporate decor from around the world! Maps, globes, and decorations will complement the menu perfectly.
No matter the occasion, we can make your holiday party merry and bright!