5 steps to a great office tailgate party

5 steps to a great office tailgate party

By Indi Rooney


There’s no doubt about it, ‘tis the season… football season and we’re in crunch time (literally). An office tailgate party is a great way to celebrate bowl season or the playoffs and boost employee morale in the process! That’s right, we’ll call it a team-building exercise! You can raise team spirits with food and fun while the grey winter cold takes hold. Plus, you can practice your team cheer. Say it with me now: “Sea-HAWKS!”


Not your team? Noted. Let’s break down this tailgate at work thing in five easy steps:


1. Plan ahead. Decide if it‘s a breakfast, lunch, brunch or happy hour or tailgate. Set the date near game day (or possibly on game day). In Seattle, we have a little thing called Blue Friday that is perfect for office tailgates. Everyone wears Seahawks colors and even if you’re not, um, a football fan – blue looks great one everyone. Hop on your PC and communicate your plans via email or team chats using Slack or Glip or just post an old fashioned flier to the bulletin board in the break room.


2. Scope out a space. If you live in a warm climate, parking lots are great for a tailgate. If not, improvise with conference rooms, break rooms, hallways or your boss’s office. Yeah! That’s the spirit! She can work around those folding tables and bubbling Crock-Pots for a day. Figure out where you’re going to put food and make sure you can access outlets to keep the vittles warm (mmmmm, melted cheeeeese).

football cupcakes

3. Decorate properly. Whether it’s professional football, high school or college… rivalries are key. Avoid decorating in one color scheme to represent ONE team… unless y’all are on the same page and root for the same team, then go crazy. If you want a more sports-neutral theme, bring in festive decorations that match the season such as pumpkins, decorative squash, paper fall leaves or a fake tree.


4. Games are fun. Plan to have games at your event. If you have space, cornhole is popular and for some reason brings out the competitive spirit in most people. For smaller spaces, board games such as Jenga® and Connect 4 are a hoot. You could also set up a video game. Who’s up for some Madden?

5. Food. Food. Food. Much like playable games, food is for everyone, even if you don’t like football… you probably like food. Regional favorites are a fun way to carry a theme. Chili is universal with regional takes from Cincinnati to Texas to California. Portable finger foods such as toasted ravioli, Swedish meatballs, mini hot dogs, wings, chips and queso are easy to nosh or pile onto a plate (check out Harry & David delivery for a great selection of yummy snacks).


Beverages such as soda (or pop, you savages), sweet tea, spiced apple cider and lemonade are solid go-to’s for work-safe libations. If your boss allows, you can spread some holiday cheer with a variety of adult beverages.


And don’t forget the desserts! Team-colored cookies and cupcakes or time-tested homemade brownies are always tempting during sweater weather.


Finally, plates, cups and cutlery can easily be supplied by the company. The right break room supplies go a long way toward energizing your team and bringing together a smashing tailgate party. Use your NPP Office Depot discount to score the best breakroom essentials for your tail gate party and beyond. They have you covered with beverages, paper goods, cleaning products, coffee supplies, snacks and so much more.


When you sign up for NPP office supply deals, there are even employee discounts you can share with your team. They might want to rock their own home tailgate parties!


If your business is not already an NPP member? Join NPP for free today and take advantage of discounts on a catalog of business essentials. There’s no membership fee and there’s even deals for your employees. Welcome to the best kept secret of more than 300,000 members coast to coast.