How Do You Host A Brown Bag Lunch?

Many people outside a firm or that don’t work in a firm or corporation usually wonder how they host a brown bag lunch, in this article you are about to find out the details of a brown bag lunch.

We will start with the definition of brown bag lunch.

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What Is A Brown Bag Lunch?

A brown bag lunch, also known as a brown bag meeting or a lunch and learn, is a casual training session that takes place over lunch. 

The name derives from the fact that employees used to carry their own lunches to these meetings in order to participate in lunchtime training sessions. 

Employers are increasingly providing lunch or snacks as an incentive for employees to participate in brown bag lunches. 

These gatherings are rarely required and usually focus on broadening professional skills. Brown bag lunch sessions are commonly held on the following topics and may not be restricted to formal topics alone.

They include :

  • Tips on how to effectively network.
  • An overview of the company’s incentive program for employees.
  • How to have a healthy life at work and at home.
  • Tips and techniques for retirement planning.
  • Effective investing strategies and advice.
  • New technology training.
  • Safety protocol updates

While most brown bag lunches are work-related, other brown bag meals are entirely social, allowing coworkers to get to know one another on a personal level rather than a professional one. 

These lunches help to establish community and are frequently utilized to increase employee morale. 

However, not all brown bag lunches are consumed during the lunch hour. Some take place before or after work to accommodate the company’s employees’ schedules.

A presenter or expert who facilitates the meeting is frequently included during brown bag lunches. 

This person could be an outside guest, but most of the time, the speaker is a corporate employee.

Brown bag lunches are a cost-effective and simple way for businesses to teach or enlighten employees while saving money. 

Employees will bring their own lunch to the meeting, which is the fundamental assumption. 

Formal meetings are typically catered or conducted offsite, with the corporation footing the bill for all meals. 

These fees can be substantial depending on the number of attendees. 

Read also:  How Do You Make Brown Bag Sessions Interesting?

Types Of Brown Bag Lunch Or Meetings

Brown bag meetings are divided into four categories.

  • Seminar
  • Gathering of a small group
  • Combination meeting
  • A social gathering


The most popular type of meeting is a seminar, which usually involves a guest speaker or expert who shares their knowledge and experience on a specific topic with the audience. 

At the end of the session, there is usually a short question and answer time.

Gathering Of A Small Group

Each participant in a small group gathering answers a single question or a set of predetermined questions. 

Other attendees may make comments, ask for clarification, and discuss the responses. 

The process will continue until all of the participants have responded to the topic questions. 

This style maximizes the transfer of knowledge and experience while also reinforcing group dynamics. Workshops are a common term for small group meetings.

Combination Meeting

A combination meeting is a meeting that combines the elements of a seminar and a small group meeting. 

The meeting begins with a speaker introducing the meeting’s main topic. The rest of the day is spent working in small groups. 

Problem-solving, brainstorming, and team-building can all be done in a small group setting. 

The participants will meet frequently, and each small group will share their findings with the entire group.

A Social Gathering

The social gathering format allows attendees to get to know one another in a casual setting. 

Participants will be able to learn about each other’s roles and career goals. This format fosters collaboration and generates trust.

These sessions can also be used to share information on issues that are not directly relevant to work but are beneficial to employees. 

Healthy living, finance, retirement possibilities, technology-related themes, and job safety are among them.

Read also: What Is A Virtual Brown Bag

Brown Bag Lunches: Examples

Brown bag lunch sessions are more relaxed and informal than other forms of training and development sessions, and they can be just as successful. 

Brown bag lunches can successfully include a variety of sorts of training, including:

  • Cross-training
  • Product training


Cross-training educates employees on how to do things they wouldn’t typically do. 

It can boost productivity and expose individuals to valuable skills that can help them advance in their careers. 

Showing a receptionist how to produce and submit invoices to assist your accounting department is an example of cross-training.

Professional Development

Brown bag lunch sessions are excellent for transferring information between departments. 

Developers, for example, may educate the rest of your team on how to write simple code. This can help employees discover new skills and hobbies, raise morale and engagement, and learn about various elements of the business.

Work-life Balance Skills

Brown bag meetings are ideal for encouraging work-life balance. 

You may invite a life coach to offer stress-reduction advice or a yoga instructor to demonstrate basic meditation and deep breathing techniques. 

Employees will feel cared for and valued if you provide useful lectures on well-being.

Product Training

Ensure that all employees have a thorough understanding of a product to make it more successful. 

Employees should be familiar with the product’s functionalities, basic specs, and how it can benefit customers. 

Brown bag lunches are an excellent method to introduce new products to your customers.

Steps On How To Host A Brown Bag Lunch

There are steps to host a brown bag lunch although you can go about it your own way, the necessary steps include:

  • Pick the Date
  • Take a poll of your coworkers.
  • What You Will Require
  • Menu Preparation

Pick The Date

Begin by deciding on the day of the week for your gathering. 

You can choose Wednesday for a midweek break from the hustle and bustle of your office, or Friday for a fun and social way to ease into the weekend. 

Then make a reservation for your company conference room or set up a lunch area. 

When it’s time to eat, the desk chairs can be gathered into a circle.

Take A Poll Of Your Coworkers

Write an email to all of your coworkers encouraging them to participate. Assign three colleagues to bring an appetizer, entrée, or dessert to feed your entire group. 

Make the meeting a weekly tradition if there are more than three people attending, so that the persons bringing the food to rotate and everyone has equal cooking responsibilities. 

Make a calendar for your break room so that no one forgets when it’s their turn to prepare.

What You Will Require

If your office has a full kitchen with a fridge and sink for storage and cleaning up, hosting a brown bag potluck is simple. 

Have each person bring their own plate, utensils, and napkin (which they may hide at their desk or in a kitchen closet) for budget and eco-friendly dining, and make sure you have utensils on hand for serving. 

Also, keep some cleaning spray and paper towels available to wipe out any dropped food or crumbs.

Menu Preparation

Consider what you’d bring to a potluck gathering, a picnic lunch, or when you’re preparing sandwiches ahead of time when deciding what to bring. 

Choose low-mess foods so you don’t end up bringing your brown-bag lunch to work. A juicy tomato salad that leaks is a disaster waiting to happen. 

If you have a microwave, reheating your favorite cheese dip is simple.

With all these, you are practically ready for it.

Read also: How To Use A Brown Bag Lunch For Internal Training


Brown bag meetings encourage attendees to talk and share information. Sharing among participants improves training and ensures that information is disseminated consistently.

They also boost employee morale by promoting teamwork, reinforcing corporate values and missions, and reinforcing company values and missions. 

They can also assist employees in learning and developing important skills that they can apply outside of the office.

The sessions can be planned or unstructured and are typically used to share knowledge, solve problems, brainstorm, and establish trust among attendees.

Brown bag meetings help to ensure accuracy and consistency by ensuring that the audience hears the same message or receives the same training.


Basically, if you know how to host a brown bag lunch properly, it’s a pretty interesting event to organize. I hope the description above was helpful.

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