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Best Catering for Office Lunch in Boston

employees eating lunch with each other
Stephanie Tilton
Published on

As companies strategize on how to get employees to return to the office (RTO), many are considering both carrot and stick options. While some are forcing compliance, others are looking to incentivize their employees to spend time in the office. 

Consider the results of a survey of 800 business leaders at organizations where remote work is still theoretically an option: 95% said employees will suffer consequences if they don’t comply with the RTO mandate. More specifically, organizations will penalize their non-returning employees in the following ways:

  • 57% will change the employees’ bonus
  • 54% will change the employees’ benefits
  • 53% will reduce the employees’ pay
  • 33% will fire the employees

On the plus side, 91% of those organizations plan to motivate employees to show up in the office. The second-most popular perk after happy hours is catered office lunch.

Turns out, free lunch is something that draws people into the office.

While providing company lunch isn’t a new idea, it may be the right way to lure employees back at this time. According to another survey, 83% of Gen Z workers say free lunch would impact their decision to work in the office.

If encouraging employees to return to the office isn’t enough reason to pay for lunch on the company dime, consider this: Studies show that lunch breaks and great food can improve employee engagement and productivity during the afternoon. In other words, it enhances the employee experience and workplace results.

7 Company Lunch Catering Options in Boston

A catered office lunch is a great way to give employees that afternoon boost while saving them the time and hassle of leaving the office. As a Boston-based company, we’ve rounded up some terrific local lunch catering ideas and options.

Whether you want to offer a team lunch, catered meal for many employees (or the entire company), or company lunches that suit meat lovers, offer vegetarian options, and accommodate dietary restrictions, there are suitable lunch options all around this major city.

Here are some of our favorite office catering ideas.

Eastern Mediterranean from Anoush’ella

The husband-and-wife team behind this casual neighborhood eatery with locations in both the South End and Fenway area has perfected a formula of serving traditional Armenian recipes in the form of irresistible street food flavors. While Anoush’ella delivers a range of tempting fare from its catering menu, most items are based on its delicious m’anoush flatbread. Hand-rolled around fresh, authentic ingredients or scattered with savory or sweet toppings, this flatbread sets the stage for a winning lunch.

Sandwiches and Sweets from Flour Bakery + Cafe

It’s hard to go wrong ordering sandwiches, salads and sweets from one of Flour Bakery + Café’s nine locations across Boston and Cambridge. After all, this highly successful local chain is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winner Joanne Chang. And she has made a point of locating her cafes in neighborhoods featuring businesses that can take advantage of catering. While the chain’s must-haves include its out-of-this-world sticky buns, your employees are sure to be tempted and satisfied by mouthwatering sandwiches including applewood-smoked bacon BLT, achiote chicken, and roasted butternut squash. Or do the ordering for them and get an array of mini sandwiches perfect for a quick lunch.

Eat a Healthy Lunch from Milk Street Cafe

If you’re looking for a reliable boxed lunch purveyor, look no further than Milk Street Cafe. It’s been delivering its salads, sandwiches, and desserts for decades, earning a reputation as one of the premier corporate caterers in Boston. Known for beautifully prepared, delicious, and healthy foods, its menu features both New England regional and international dishes, and often the latest trends (like plant-based proteins). For companies looking to partner with companies doing good in the world, know that Milk Street Cafe donates any suitable leftover food to the Boston Food Bank and local soup kitchens at the end of each day.

South American Flair from Orinoco Kitchen

It’s easy to see why this long-standing Sound End restaurant has earned rave reviews for years – offering a menu playing up the flavors of South America built around fresh, locally sourced ingredients, it’s a crowd pleaser. While the folks at Orinoco will help you select the perfect office lunch, a favorite is their Arepa Party. Featuring a traditional Venezuelan and Colombian grilled corn patty and an array of fillings from meat and cheese to beans, this catering option is sure to please all your employees. Note: Orinoco Kitchen is closed on Mondays.

Fresh Food for All from Pressed Cafe

Want to offer employees a range of healthy lunch options? Pressed Cafe is the answer. Serving everything from yummy sandwiches and specialty salads (think dill potato, tuna niçoise, Asian mandarin slaw, and caprese salad) to power grain and acai bowls, this café offers something for everyone. Whether you need team lunch or boxed lunches featuring vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or paleo options, Pressed Cafe has you covered. You can even order Executive and VIP lunch boxes.

Gourmet comfort food from Tatte Bakery & Café

Companies in Boston can choose from many outstanding cafes, and Tatte certainly makes the list. It has been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, O Magazine, Food + Wine Magazine, and Bon Appetit, to name a few. When it comes to office catering, the Washington Street Tatte location accommodates both group orders and individual boxed meals. Choose from creative sandwich options including prosciutto & fig panini, roasted cauliflower, and short-ribbed gourmet grilled cheese, along with classics like chicken salad, tuna, and BLTs.

Authentic Mexican via Food Truck from Tenoch Mexican

If your company is looking for unique and fun lunch ideas to liven up a corporate event, consider Tenoch Mexican. Not only does it have over a decade of experience catering for entire companies, its food trucks bring the fun right to your office. Your employees will love digging into burritos, tacos made to suit all dietary needs, fresh salsa, and more. Wait until they try the tortas – pressed sandwiches featuring black beans, chipotle mayo, avocado, tomatoes, Oaxaca cheese, onions, and chipotle)!

Make the Next Office Lunch On You

As so many companies are learning, it's taking creative thinking to nudge employees back into the office. While every business needs to find the right approach for themselves, we think a company lunch on the company dime can go a long way to both encouraging in-office time while helping employees work their best.

If you're of the same mindset, we hope this list of lunch catering ideas sparks the start of an effective return-to-office incentive. A company lunch might be just what it takes to get employees back in the office where they can connect and collaborate.

Two people walking and talking in an office

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