Ok you know what? We don’t talk enough about the disadvantages of office catering. I mean! All that free time? Letting someone else take the work of planning and coordinating meals off of your plate?? Food puns???

It’s gone on long enough – and we here at the Chewse blog have decided: it’s time. We need to put our foot down – and face the truth. We need to speak up about the actual disadvantages of having a delicious corporate catering program delivered to your doorstep

For all you out there who hate water cooler talk, can’t stand the concept of the “work BFF,” and would really just rather eat in peace – this one’s for you.

You don’t get to complain about how much money you’re spending on lunch

Let us be the first to say: complaining? That’s every soldier’s sacred right. But all of a sudden your company has gone and offered lunch for free and now… well, what do you have to complain about? When the burrito place down the street raised prices from $8 to $8.50, do you know who got to complain? Not you, my friend, not you.

You don’t get to have your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every single day 

Consistency is the spice of life! In a world where meetings are scheduled without a heads up and projects are thrown onto our lap without warning, eating the same dang thing every day is a welcome respite from the chaos. It’s a meditative and blissful practice in a world of uncertainty. 

But with an office catering program who knows what you’re going to have for lunch on any given day?! The office manager keeps telling us to integrate our meal program schedule into Google calendar – it’s easy they say, but there’s no time for that! Why can’t we just quietly weep into a smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich, melted smoothie, or wilted salad, in peace?

You don’t get to complain about how gross the lunch fridge is

Gone are the days when “Have you seen the lunch fridge recently?” or “Ew, who’s going to clean it out this week?” were common workplace phrases. And doesn’t that just make you wistful? Remember that time Julia brought in that strange not-quite-tuna, and forgot to take it out? Or when Anna didn’t know that almond milk could expire? Those were the days. 

Now, with office catering, your coworkers don’t need to bring their lunch – so you don’t get to complain about the leftovers in the lunch fridge. I mean, sacred right, right? 

The adrenaline rush of running to be first in the lunch line is too much 

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who show off their sprinting skills to get to the front of the lunch line and those who… don’t. Those people are the worst! Don’t they know that we’ll all have enough to eat? And that the sternos keep the food warm?! We’re just trying to turn off our brain and step away from the pressures of looming tasks with a meal from Seoul Sausage or Yogiyo Korean BBQ

But, okay, we can’t lie… we’re guilty as charged when dumplings from Bao Dim Sum or sandwiches from Bay Cities Deli is served for lunch…

You don’t get to eat (and work) at your desk

Ah, the desk lunch. We’ve all done it. Most of us are pros. In fact, before Chewse, we showed off our desk lunch skills with pride. One hand on the phone, the other silently snacking on a granola bar. Juggling a burrito while writing an email. Heck, we even bonded with the crumbs in our keyboard – even the little one beneath the T that made it just a little frustrating to type. *Sniff*. We loved that crumb.

But then our office manager showed us all of these workplace lunch statistics, like the fact that eating lunch together helps teams bond and raise the bar 10x higher. Or how not taking a break for lunch reduces productivity. Our office manager even told us about this study that showed that nearly half of all Americans felt alone at work, and three quarters would accept a lower-paying job if it came with better benefits and workplace community

And now we end up eating lunch with our coworkers and relaxing around the table with great food. “Goodbye stress” I guess? *Sigh*

There’s no reason to snooze 

The worst part about breakfast catering is being excited to eat breakfast every morning. I mean really! What happened to lying in bed, moaning about the day, hitting the snooze button over and over again? Now when our alarm rings, we’re actually excited about eating breakfast? What’s up with that?

Maybe that’s why breakfast is served every Friday morning…

You don’t get to eat bland, flavorless oats every day

Chewse breakfast catering comes from a variety of different, local restaurants, which means we’re getting something different every time. What happened to the same, boring breakfast every morning? What happened to our bowl of mush? 

Instead, we’re strolling into the office to find parfait bars or scrambled eggs or even churro waffles. You heard that. One time, we even peeped some brioche french toast. I mean, seriously? That kind of deliciousness is supposed to be reserved for weekend breakfasts people! 

You can’t get creative with leftover office snacks and pass them off as your lunch 

Sure getting fed for free every single day is fine and all. But there’s nothing quite like scrounging through the snack cabinets to make a plate that may or may not pass for a weekday breakfast or lunch. Broken nuts, questionable cheese, and stale crackers are our jam

Workplace lunches and breakfasts delivered and set-up without needing to do anything really cramps our snack game! Yeah sure, it’s kind of nice to eat a full, hot meal from some of the best local restaurants in our area. But now we can’t get away with eating Cheetos and a pack of cookies for breakfast! Ugh!

The CEO actually knows your name 

The first time our CEO got our name right, we freaked out. What? Since when? But with office catering, we sometimes end up sitting next to company leaders and chatting to them… as if they’re normal people. I mean, can you imagine sitting there over some garlic butter shrimp and herbed carrots hearing about your CEOs love of surfing? Because let us tell you, that stuff is surreal. 

You no longer get to think of them as a faceless blob making company decisions. Instead, you might have to listen to their story about their leadership choices, where they think their company is going or, in some cases, what inspired them to get into this business. And the whole time you’re sitting there learning and listening to this person who’s incredibly driven and dedicated, all because you sat next to them at the lunch table. 

*Shudder* Can you imagine?

Your HR team is overwhelmed with top talent

If you’ve recently launched a corporate meal program, say goodbye to your recruiting team. Those poor, innocent fools are about to be drowning in resumes from top talent in your city. All of these people think they want office catering without realizing all of the terrible downsides that come with it (run! Before it’s too late!). 

But seriously – so. many. qualified. applicants. All interested in good food. All drawn by the promise that catering creates community-building in the office

Laughter. 

Ew.

You have to try new delicious foods you’ve never had

Look, it’s not just us! We have friends who, before all this free food business, were certified Picky Eaters™. They’d never tried golden-fried, potato-filled samosas or salty and sweet Canotnese-style barbeque. Nepali momos? Never even heard of it. Poke wasn’t even possible! 

But then this fancy, shmancy thing called a meal program came along. Our friends, the P.E.s, were then forced to try all these new foods – a travesty! They were skeptical for a while. How can all these different types of food from all over the world possibly be offered in one catered lunch? For free? Unheard of. The only thing left to do was face their fears and try it – they had nothing to lose! Guess what? They’re the office foodie now – hard eye roll.

You have to try new local restaurants and end up with new favorites 

We all have our favorite restaurants. You know the ones – the “Eh, might as well order from them again.” or “Hey, want to go back to our favorite spot?” We love having a “spot.” It’s homey. Comforting. Safe.

But with office catering, we’re forced to try new foods from various local restaurants covering all sorts of cuisines. Ugh. It’s so much work to keep track of and remember. Now we know we like charcoal egg yolk buns from Pushcart Fare. I mean, before Chewse, we’d never even heard of the deliciousness that is a charcoal egg yolk bun! Why is it tormenting us so?

Your coworkers learn what your deep, dark food things are 

We have a confession to make: we absolutely love ketchup on everything. We also can’t have our food touch and we’re trying to go keto (ketchup is the one thing we won’t give up though). Our weird food things are numerous and everlasting. And we’re not giving them up anytime soon.

So starting a corporate lunch program was kind of terrifying. What’s going to happen to our food things? We thought. Who will care about us? We cried. 

But then – ugh – Chewse came along and handled our food thing so well. They fed family-style meals that were delicious and worked for everyone, and worse than that? They encouraged us to unplug and get to know our coworkers. What?! We can’t possibly let our coworkers see or know about our FLAWS. It’s hard enough to have to explain it to you, dear reader! Luckily, we’ve been able to sit at the lunch table with coworkers and no one’s really noticed that we only serve ourselves meat with a hefty scoop of avocado. Yet…

Ok but seriously… 

Let’s face it – hanging out with coworkers is kinda uncomfortable at first. You might fumble through some small talk and have to repeat your life story one too many times. But when it’s all had over delicious, local food you don’t have to pay for – that ain’t so bad, right? 😉