Creating a Welcoming Office Kitchen

Managed by Q
January 24, 2020

The kitchen might see the most foot traffic and small talk of all the rooms in your workplace. It’s a retreat where employees not only get their fuel for the work day, but also bond over meals, shared ideas, and experiences. In this way, the office kitchen can act as the heart of your community, so stock it with everything you need!

On the counter

Coffee is the first thing on everyone’s mind when they step foot in the office, so make sure you have an efficient coffee maker and supplies. You’ll need plenty of coffee beans or grounds, filters, carafes, and mixings. If your office offers cold brew on tap, keep an eye on that keg! Peet’s coffee and Joyride Coffee are some of Managed by Q employees’ favorite brands.

Place fruit bowls on the countertops so that employees can pick up an apple or banana for a healthy start to the day. You can also use glass jars or baskets to store bagged snacks in your kitchen, and dispensers for dry goods like nuts, granolas, or breakfast cereals.

While the office microwave is standard, don’t forget about the other small appliances you need to toast, bake, or heat meals. It’s great to have a regular (four-slice) toaster, as well as a toaster oven that can do more without taking up too much space on the counter.

Keep paper towels and recyclable napkins on both sides of your office kitchen, that way they are always on hand if someone makes a mess.

In the pantry

While many of your employees may bring their lunch to work, not everyone carries spare hot sauce in their purse. Keep your pantry full of a few basic seasonings, spices, or condiments that everyone can share. Salt, pepper, and sugar are obvious choices, but you might also consider honey, cinnamon, olive oil, and even nut butters. Leave room for perishable items like milk, creamer, dressing, ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise in the fridge amidst other office snacks.


In the cabinet

Your office kitchen should be equipped for every lunch, work anniversary, and happy hour. Employees can’t chop vegetables for their salad without a good knife, or cheers to the new hire without a bottle opener. Follow this checklist of essentials and nice-to-haves so that you’re prepared to serve, eat, save, and clean up whatever the occasion.

  • Mugs, glasses, and pitchers
  • Dishware (large plates, small plates, large bowls, small bowls)
  • Silverware (forks, butter knives, steak knives, spoons)
  • A chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated knife
  • Cutting boards
  • Serving spoons, ladles, tongs, and spatulas
  • Large serving bowls and serving trays
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Can opener, bottle opener
  • Bagel slicer, apple slicer
  • Peeler, grater, zester
  • Reusable or compostable straws
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc bags
  • Oven mitts and pot holders
  • First aid kit

Under the sink

There should be hand soap, dish soap, and a good sponge already on the counter so that employees can wash up, but keep any extra sponges, soap, and dishwashing detergent close. This is also a great place to keep your cleaning supplies. We recommend microfiber dish cloths, Clorox wipes or Lysol kitchen spray, and a drain cleaner for common sink clogs. You likely have multiple trash and recycling bins in your space, so store enough replacement bags under the sink as well where you can easily grab them.

In your space

In any workplace kitchen, it’s important to have ample fridge space to store both shared and personal items. Depending on your company’s size, it may be helpful to have one fridge dedicated to office food that’s up for grabs, and another fridge for employees to store what they prepped for lunch that day. If you’re relying on reusable dishes, a high-performance dishwasher (or two) will also come in handy when the last mug gets taken off the shelf.

Now that your employees have what they need for every meal and snack in between, make sure they have someplace to come together. Use a combination of seating arrangements, such as bar seating or larger tables that double as working areas, so that meals can be paired with friendly conversation.

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