Rain Check.

Food & Dining

Online catering leader shares latest trends in workplace birthday celebrations

  • Written by Amelia Watson

Over 67,500 Australians celebrate their birthday each day[1] and considering many spend five days a week at work, a large majority will end up celebrating their special day on the job. Although most workplaces have the right sentiment and try to make birthdays special, often parties turn out to be tedious, predictable and difficult to organise.


Managing Director of online office catering leader Order-In, Jonathan Rowley says, “We are celebrating our 18th birthday this month, so to make sure we are marking the occasion in the best way we can, we have looked at the latest trends other Australian offices are currently following. And our data has shown that unsurprisingly, cakes are still the core staple of birthdays in the workplace, with the large number of orders continuing to rise year on year.”


Jonathan adds, “However, we have noticed that people’s palettes are evolving. It seems that the most popular flavours in order of preference are chocolate mud, red velvet, orange and almond, cheesecake and carrot this year. Interestingly, banana was our highest selling cake flavour in 2016, but has not even made the top five this year. The demand for gluten-free and special dietary cakes also continues to become more popular, with our gluten free mango and macadamia, pear and raspberry and chocolate devil cakes making up 10% of cake orders.


“Although cakes continue to be the most popular choice, we have also noticed a trend in people celebrating slightly differently and thinking outside the box by ordering alternatives such as donuts and fruit towers.”


To help every workplace festivity be as fun as can be, Jonathan also shares other trends his team have observed:


  • Celebrate bigger, but less often: Offices are avoiding that last minute dash to the local bakery or grocery store to purchase that same slab cake that appears every time someone in the team has a birthday. Instead, they are having a larger scale festivity to celebrate everyone who has had a birthday that month all at once. Having less frequent gatherings, which has had more effort injected, is a great way to bond, build morale and give everyone a chance to take a short break and unwind. Plus, it stops employees from feeling as though celebrations are impersonal and just an ineffective use of time.


  • Stray away from the norm: Contrary to popular belief, a cake is not the only option to celebrate a birthday in the office! There are many teams now ordering cupcakes, cake pops, ice creams, and donuts to satisfy those sweet cravings. Sharing food can unite people as it helps to remove barriers, build stronger relationships and encourage conversations.  Whilst popular, employees can also feel like a monthly celebration is a generic way to get all of the birthdays done and dusted, so changing it up each month by introducing themes, fun activities and games can be a real treat.


  • It doesn’t always have to be about eating: It seems that no one likes predictability these days! Celebrating a colleague’s birthday doesn’t have to stop at food. Offices are surprising them by decorating their space to brighten their colleague’s day with balloons, streamers and confetti. Employees want to feel valued and respected by their colleagues and recognising their birthday is a simple way to achieve this. Other birthday perks can include a sleep in, choice of music in the office or even a day-off.


  • Personalise the celebration: Although life may revolve around sweet treats, some people may not share the same feelings. Work mates are taking the time to understand their colleague’s interests so they can cater the celebrations to them. Ordering their favourite takeaway or playing their favourite sport during the lunch break will make the world of difference. Adding personal touches does not have to be overly complex either, simply finding out their favourite flavour of cake or favourite drink will show them that you are acknowledging them and that you genuinely care. 


  • Involve the whole team: It is fairly obvious when one person has organised the cake and the card. The giveaway will be in the generic card that has everyone’s signatures and no personalised messages. A quick brainstorm for gifts or celebratory activities via a team email will allow for a gift or celebration that is more collaborative and meaningful. Involving the whole team during the actual celebration, as long as it doesn’t take a large chunk of their day, will also foster an environment of inclusiveness and support.   

Order-In is Australia's #1 Corporate Catering service, taking the fuss out of ordering food for the office and giving businesses easy, online access to a variety of the best local and quality caterers. It is the leading hub for both office catering and kitchen supplies, taking out all the risk associated with catering, making you look good every time.

To find out how to order convenient catering for your office with Order-In, visit https://www.orderin.com.au

[1] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument

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