How to Celebrate Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Through Food

Enhance workplace culture and celebrate diversity and inclusion by sharing flavors from around the world.

7 min read
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Food is more than simply sustenance; it's a powerful tool for connection, understanding, and celebration. And eating together is beneficial for co-workers and colleagues, allowing them to bond over meals, build relationships, and strengthen cross-cultural understanding through diverse types of food. By encouraging employees to share meals that represent their cultural heritage, companies can promote team-building and the core values of diversity and inclusion.

DDfB - Blog - How to Celebrate Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Through Food - woman eating with colleagues

Encouraging cultural diversity in the workplace

By embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, organizations create a supportive environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered. Celebrating cultural events or holidays with significant meals and dishes is a great way to recognize diversity and inclusion on your team and strengthen workplace belonging.

When colleagues learn about one another, they're better at approaching challenges as a team. Sharing meals with co-workers fosters social bonding and strengthens interpersonal relationships and inclusion. Food-related gatherings or meal-based work events provide opportunities for people to come together and build more meaningful connections.

DDfB - Blog - How to Celebrate Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Through Food - employee banquet

How to celebrate cultural diversity through food

Group meals allow colleagues to share their backgrounds and traditions, try something unfamiliar, and broaden their cultural appreciation. It's a fresh way to create social opportunities your team will love, while also encouraging a break from work, which is proven to boost productivity and improve performance. 

To create opportunities for employees to gather and share a meal, consider creating a calendar of cultural holidays and choosing restaurants or cuisines that reflect each celebration. A few ideas to get you started include:

  • Samosas to celebrate Diwali

  • Latkes for Hanukkah

  • Chilaquiles on Cinco de Mayo

  • Dumplings and spring rolls to welcome the Lunar New Year

  • A local Black-owned business during Black History Month

DDfB - Blog - How to Celebrate Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Through Food - employees eating outside with chopsticks

Incorporating DEI in workplace meal programs

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are bedrock principles for the success of any business. Celebrating diversity makes a better workplace by creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity — in fact, Harvard Business Review found that a strong sense of belonging was linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. Here are two strategies to help incorporate DEI principles in the workplace:

  • Keep an annual celebration calendar: There are many cultural and festive days to choose from when deciding how to bring your team together. Finding a holiday calendar and maintaining an internal version will help keep your leaders and the rest of your team in the know about upcoming cultural events and days to recognize. Explore ways to celebrate that include remote, hybrid, and in-office employees.  

  • Encourage employee participation: Let each team member choose a restaurant that reflects their heritage. First, start by setting a spending limit, then choose a restaurant and send team members a link so they can select a dish they'd like to order. Employees can modify meals to fit their dietary preferences, self-aggregate, and build their own shared carts. Make sure to be mindful of times of fasting, such as Ramadan.

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How DoorDash for Business facilitates workplace celebrations with food

With an endless variety of global cuisines to suit every occasion and employee background, DoorDash for Business makes it easy and efficient for corporate teams to order and enjoy meals together whether they're in-office, hybrid, or remote. There are no expense reports for employees or receipts required and food arrives in 35 minutes or less on average, ensuring workplace celebrations go off without a hitch. 

Colleagues eating together promotes team bonding and belonging 

Sharing a meal with colleagues encourages connection, and that shared bond helps motivate employees to collaborate toward common goals. Learning about diverse cultures through food will strengthen relationships, improve communication, and create a more cohesive and productive work environment. 

Interested in further ways to help employees celebrate their cultural values through food at work? Learn more about DoorDash for Business and Group Orders.


Jenn Riek

Jenn Riek

Content Marketing, DoorDash