How Do I . . . Cook for a Crowd?

Business wisdom applied to real-life endeavors

By Blair Campbell

Winter 2019

The party is starting, and you’ve got so many mouths to feed. . . . How do you tackle cooking for a crowd of diverse individuals with different tastes and inclinations? It’s a dilemma a bit like that of HR professionals trying to lure top talent with a smorgasbord of compensation, culture, training, and other tasty tidbits. "We find that when companies try to build the perfect batch of chili for everyone, no one ends up happy,” says Sheryl Johnson, HCM Cloud partner at PwC. “So it's wise not to overcomplicate processes and solutions.” Johnson adds that an HR technology strategy must carefully consider different employee populations. “Millennials in particular will demand mobile capabilities with a modern user experience. And some users only need to interact infrequently, so the ability for the solution to be intuitive is critical.”

1. Keep It Simple.

Expert party planners have long embraced the mantra “Be a Guest at Your Own Party,” and this requires a menu that will satisfy the largest cross-section of people with the least effort. Then you’re free to focus on more-strategic initiatives, like devising the perfect party playlist.

2. Customize.

Chili is often a go-to crowd feast, and for good reason. With two pots going—one vegetarian and one for meat-eaters, you’ve got the perfect template ready for customization in the form of delicious toppings. Then your guests can pick and choose what works best for them.

3. Innovate.

Given that they represent roughly 30% of the population, Millennials are likely to dominate your guest list— and you’ll need to bring the creative flair in order to meet their expectations. To that end, consider a hipster-friendly chili delivery system. Mustache mug, anyone?

Illustration by Wes Rowell