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Solutions to fuel your workday, part 3: Lunch Club

Solutions to fuel your workday, part 3: Lunch Club

Lunch club is a fresh lunch idea that can keep people healthy and wallets happy. A group of people commit to making a wholesome lunch for all of the club members once a week, and everyone agrees to the ground rules up front. Each person will only have to make lunch once a week, but will enjoy eating a homemade, nutritious lunch every day. It can benefit you, your team and your customers if you lead by example implementing it at work and promote this fun, healthy and economical idea in your stores. It can make life easy for working people while keeping lunch sales away from restaurants and in your stores.

10 Tips for Starting a Lunch Club

1. Organize lunch club members. This group of people commits to the concept and everyone agrees the ground rules. Keep the number to four to six people per group so making lunch is not an overwhelming task. Four people will allow for lunches Monday through Thursday and allow for a themed Friday potluck. Five people will give each person a day of the workweek, and six people will allow for an alternate in case of illness or vacation.

2. Name a point person. He/she should create a schedule, make sure guidelines are followed and facilitate new groups as interest grows.

3. Make sure your workplace has the basics. Refrigerators large enough to fit the daily lunch delivery, a counter that can be used for food preparation, and a way to heat food, like a toaster oven. A slow cooker would be a nice addition, too.

4. Decide on dietary guidelines. Make sure everyone in the group is aware of any food allergies or restrictions. Help people follow them by assembling a library of health-conscious cookbooks, magazines and online resources.

5. Plan for beverages. Members can agree in advance if beverages are included or not.

6. Opt for reusable dishes and utensils. Have everyone bring in a dish, bowl, utensils and a cup from home that they can wash and reuse for an eco-friendly option.

7. Set a timeframe. For example, lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

8. Label food & serving size. People like to know what they are eating and the ingredients. Make sure to include serving sizes so everyone gets the same amount. Provide a measuring cup when serving soups, stews and other dishes that aren't already divided into servings.

9. Place a membership check-off list at the table. Have people check off their names when they take their lunches, so people can better gauge how much food is remaining for future lunches.

10. Have a backup plan in case of emergency. Inevitably, someone will call in sick or have a last-minute trip. For such occasions, club members can agree to order in a pre-determined meal.

Just think of the possibilities of better health and increased sales if we can inspire people to make their lunches from scratch at home.

How do you encourage healthy lunches in your workplace? How are you helping your customers create homemade work lunches in your stores?

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