Happy hour is a great way to celebrate the end of the day and unwind with friends, coworkers, and clients. Instead of heading straight home after work, enjoy some creative options with your coworkers.
The following are eight exotic and creative happy hour ideas that will be sure to impress even the pickiest eaters:
Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar
A build-your-own Bloody Mary bar is a fun way to give your office a break from the usual morning coffee routine and introduce them to some interesting new flavors. To set up this type of bar, you’ll need the following:
- A variety of base ingredients (such as tomato juice and vodka)
- A variety of mixers (such as horseradish, hot sauce, and celery salt)
- Loads of garnishes (think olives, pickles, shrimp heads)
You can also offer fun add-ons like blue cheese-stuffed olives or bacon bits. The key here is to leave room for creativity. You want your employees to feel free enough in their choices, so they’ll try something new without feeling limited by too many restrictions on ingredients or options. All the elements must be within reach so your staff can customize their drinks easily without asking for help every two seconds. Think about what kind of space would work best. If possible, choose something portable, so you don’t have to worry about unstacking tables or shifting chairs around whenever someone needs something else at the bar.
Mimosas are an ideal happy hour drink because they’re fairly simple to make and don’t require any specialized equipment or ingredients. First, you’ll need plenty of champagne, orange juice, and sugar. A standard bottle of bubbles can easily yield 12 drinks or more. Sugar cubes or demerara sugar work well as garnishes, but you can also use fruit slices such as kiwi and strawberries.
You might wonder how many mimosas you should have on hand for each employee. The answer varies depending on how much your employees drink at lunchtime and whether or not they can take a break from their desks during the mid-afternoon lulls in traffic flow throughout the office halls. If possible, it’s best to ask your bartender how many glasses he needs for his bar setup ahead of guessing what might work. You don’t want anyone going thirsty.
Tacos are a favorite Mexican food, with almost 42% of Americans having 4-12 tacos every month. While 5% like them so much that they consume approximately 64 tacos monthly. The popularity of tacos has also increased to 12.8% since the pandemic started. All these facts indicate why having a taco happy hour can be fun at the office.
Tacos are another popular item for happy hour catering. Tacos can be made ahead of time, which is especially helpful if you need to feed a large crowd. You can also make them in advance, and they’re easy to eat while standing up or sitting down, making them perfect for standing-room-only gatherings.
You can create various taco flavors using different meats: chicken, pork tenderloin, steak cut into strips, ground beef/sirloin/chuck. Then, add whatever vegetables you want: corn kernels, black beans, plantains, and zucchini squash slices. The possibilities are endless.
You can also use the same concept to create quesadillas, a popular happy-hour food. You can make them with cheese, chicken or beef, and steak cut into strips. Then, add onions, peppers, and whatever else you want to add on top of your tortilla shell.
Bring in a Food Truck or Two
The number of food trucks in 2012 was around 9,705, drastically increasing to 35,512 food trucks now. Talking about total revenues, the food truck market is estimated to reach $1.202 billion in 2022, a growth of 3.4% over the last year. The stats show people’s growing interest in food trucks and fast food items over the years.
Food trucks are a fun way to bring in a different vibe. If your office is located in a city, you can often find several food trucks parked on the street just a few blocks away. In addition to being delicious, food trucks offer plenty of opportunities for employees to socialize and get out of their cubicles. The best part? They cost less than traditional catering services.
Coffee Shop Style Meetings
You can set up the meeting room in a coffee shop style. It means there should be a barista and a coffee shop setup. Various coffees, teas, and pastries should be available for employees to choose from before or after their meetings. The beverages should include alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; juices and smoothies may also be served.
You want to include all these options because it will give your employees more choices during the after-meeting happy hour events they have with clients or customers. In addition, employees will likely want something different than what they had during lunchtime at work. So why not offer them this option?
Employees can enjoy their morning coffee in your office, making them feel more relaxed and comfortable. They may even thank you for providing this service because it makes them feel at home or at work, depending on how the setup looks.
If you’re looking to host a happy hour, why not invite all of your coworkers out to enjoy an afternoon BBQ? Americans love BBQ, and steak is the most preferred grilled food, with almost one-third (34%) of people opting for steak. While hamburgers and chicken are the second and third preferred choices. BBQs are a great way to bring everyone together and celebrate the end of another week. To pull this off, you’ll need the following:
- A grill or smoker
- Meat, vegetables, and condiments for grilling/smoking
- Buns and rolls for serving the meat
- Beer is best, but whatever floats your boat will do
Street Food Delight
Street food is an excellent way to add variety and spice to your catering. Street food is usually less expensive than other types of catering, and it’s also easy to prepare in a short amount of time. As long as you stick with healthy options, street food can also be a great option for caterers who want their guests to feel healthy while they eat.
Street foods are often very colorful in appearance, which makes them fun additions to any party. They can also be a good way to host local events to showcase the local culture through food choices.
Asian fusion is a term that describes food that combines elements of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines. You might be familiar with some of the most common Asian fusion dishes, such as sushi, pad Thai, or pho.
If you’re looking for an exciting way to introduce new flavors to your guests at happy hour office catering events, consider Asian fusion. It doesn’t have to be complicated: while some dishes may feature ingredients from multiple countries within Asia, like Vietnamese spring rolls with Japanese rice paper and Thai peanut sauce. Others simply incorporate the basic flavor profiles of each region, like using soy sauce instead of salt.
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether you’re looking for a way to spice up your workday or show off some new skills, these creative happy hour ideas will help you do just that. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can make even the most mundane tasks at the office into an exciting adventure.