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How to Host a Company Cook-from-Home Challenge

Work-from-home company bonding is important, too.
Alexis at SideChef
Content Acquisitions Director at SideChef. Self taught cook, rambler, wearer of black, and Mexican White Girl

We're all adjusting to a new way of life at the moment - COVID-19 has turned most of our normal work-lives into work-from-home-lives. This means, instead of buying and (for so many tech companies) catered lunches, we are all fending for ourselves in the kitchen - some for the very first time. How do we work and stay connected? A company cook-from-home challenge! Why not cook (or learn to cook) together, apart? See below for some best practices surrounding this kind of challenge.

A Team Effort

My number one piece of advice is to make this a team challenge, not an individual one - this alleviates some pressure and encourages teams to work together and get a little more tuned into what everyone else is cooking. These teams could be employees already working together, or it could be a great time to mix it up and create teams that are cross-departmental.

Incentive

While you're creating teams, it's also a good idea to create some kind of incentive sharing structure. If your company can afford it - it'd be great to create a reward beyond bragging rights (though they are of course great, too!). Some ideas for winning team prizes include: gift cards for AmazonFresh, Instacart or other home grocery delivery service, a half day of PTO, or a subscription to an online learning/exercise platform to help entertain employees while they spend more time at home. Ultimately, whatever the incentive is it should be based on your specific company ethos.

Structure & Sharing

Set parameters for the challenge. The first thing to set is a time limit: is it a one-week, two-week, or three week endeavor? Second, a Points System - perhaps for each home-cooked meal will earn a team 5 points, and the team with the most points over the set amount of time, wins. Third - anything else! This could include meal types, bonus points for clever uses of pantry staples, frozen fruit or vegetables or extra points on days when an entire team cooks something. Keep in mind that access to certain foods and ingredients will vary by employee when setting your overarching structure.

Remote sharing also is an essential part of this challenge, and the root of what makes it perfect for this time - perhaps your company creates a new slack channel for this content; maybe a forum, maybe it's an email chain. Whatever you decide, we recommend creating a system that everyone can easily access. Photos of finished products, photos + recipes, photos + taste reviews are all great - all encourage learning and trying new things.

Resources for getting started

See below for some timely (and COVID-ingredient friendly) recipe collections that could be helpful to send out to your teams upon announcing the start of the challenge.

Easy Recipes with Pantry Staples

Alexis at SideChef
Content Acquisitions Director at SideChef. Self taught cook, rambler, wearer of black, and Mexican White Girl
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