Lunch Company Lottery

I sent out an e-mail to the entire office (170 people) a couple of weeks ago:

Are you back in the same old lunch habits, with the same people as always after the vacations? Take the chance to break of the habit and get to know a new colleague! You just have to accept this invitation to participate in the raffle for lunch company. Guaranteed prize every time for all participants: a lunch with a colleague at Kentor.

I know that there are many interesting people working at my office, that I never get the chance to know because we work in different teams and projects. As a consultancy company where new teams are formed for each project, it is a great advantage to know what colleagues are possible candidates for different assignments. To get to know someone new and encourage internal networking I arranged a lunch company lottery.

I sent out the mail above and then randomly combined those who accepted into pairs and sent out a list. The feedback I’ve got is that those participating really enjoyed the lunch and that some new cross team contacts were established.

What a nice lunch! :-) I’d like to participate again.
Thanks for a good initiative.

You’re fantastic that have fixed this :-) Not just thought of it, but actually done it and created a lottery with possibilities to internal networking, I really like it!

Great initiative!

I will definitely arrange more of those lotteries in the future as a way to learn to know more of my Kentor colleagues. Try you too – it’s just to send out a mail, and a few minutes in excel to arrange the list.

Arranging the List Efficiently

I sent out the request as a meeting invitation. That way a time and meeting point (our office) was already established, to reduce the burden on the participants to find a free time.

The night before the lunch would take place, I opened up the tracking page of the meeting in Outlook and copied all the contents over to excel. To get the list, I used a few quick steps:

  1. Sort on the response column
  2. Delete all declined
  3. Added another column next to the names, filling it with the =RAND() formula
  4. Sorted the entire list on the random column
  5. Marked the second half of the list and copied it up besides the first half, establishing pairs
  6. Marked the first half and copied it down besides the second half, establishing the same pairs but in opposite order
  7. Sorted the entire list on the first column

The result is an alphabetic list of all names, with the appointed lunch company in the next column. I pasted the list into a mail and sent it out to the participants.

Totally I spent 3 minutes sending the initial mails and 5 minutes of excel work to send out the final list. The newly established contacts are definitely worth much more than 8 minutes of my time.

Why don’t you try at your office? If you do, please leave a comment sharing your experiences.

1 comment

  1. Anders, that is a great article. We have made the same experiences as you – the lunch lottery in companies works. While we started also with an excel file and manually send out the invitations, we now switched to rotize. The platform is organizing the matching and sends out the invitations automatically. From my perspective really valuable for larger teams. Maybe worth a look for you too.

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