Why eating together is good for your team

Why eating together is good for your team

The business benefits of breaking bread

Great for team wellbeing and productivity, ditch the quick-snack-at-your-desk culture or daily migration to the local deli and put on a delicious spread to make everyone happy – and more productive. And with teams used to foraging from the fridge at home now back in the office, there’s no better time to get everyone connecting again over a great plate of food.

The workplace can be stressful. Managing new projects, new clients and new colleagues calls for a degree of emotional intelligence and regulation – both at personal and team dynamic level. And with so many of us working from home for over a year, this is not made easier when you consider the anxiety associated with returning to the office.

One of the most surprisingly easy and enjoyable ways to boost wellbeing and cut stress is getting everyone together for lunch.

The importance of self-care

According to author and psychologist Professor Paul Gilbert, humans function well when their three emotional states (namely drive, threat and soothing) are in balance.1Gilbert. P, 2019, The Compassionate Mind, Little Brown, London In a high pressure workplace, the drive and threat systems can get out of control, leading to burnout and high staff turnover.

Soothing and self-care are known to mitigate the threat system and encourage drive. So, if you want to get the best out of your team, getting everyone together to switch off, sit back and chill out over a meal is one way of including dedicated soothing time in the work week.

Getting outside

Getting outside is great for reducing anxiety and depression whilst improving mood and self esteem.2https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/ Nature connection on this level involves more than doing a power walk through the park, it means slowing right down and taking everything in. In good weather, this might mean a picnic or dedicated time under the trees in an urban green space.

Whether you’re a nature lover or not, the subtle, soothing power of birdsong, leaves and sky while you eat with your team will work wonders for relieving the stress of a heavy work week.

This elevates the simple picnic to a powerful but soothing way to keep your team happy. If you’re located in an out of town business park, why not take advantage of the open, landscaped areas. Or, if you’re in a more urban area, take the opportunity to find new unexplored green spaces.

Being human

Studies have also shown that positive interactions with the people around us boost our oxytocin levels and have a direct effect on the limbic system.3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045505/ Sitting around a table, away from the hubbub of the office, eating a relaxed lunch is the perfect way to spark and sustain these interactions. It’s a human thing – we’ve been doing it for a long time. 

You’ll also get to know your colleagues on another level, encouraging greater cohesion and understanding within the team. Who knows, being away from your monitor may allow your subconscious to work on a problem you’ve been dealing with for a while. A casual conversation might open up a new creative space, sparking fresh ideas. Think about the effect this might have across an entire department.

Simple tips for making it happen:

  • Set aside a space. It doesn’t have to be somewhere like a fancy restaurant around the corner – you could do a quick tidy in the breakout area, commandeer the conference room, or, if you’re on a campus or in a business centre, there may be outside space to take over for an hour or so.
  • Plan ahead and send out invitations or put it in the team planner.
  • Minimal fuss, nutrient rich and deliciously interesting, salad boxes are also a great option and there’s no reason why they can’t follow a theme. Popular choices from our menu include falafel mezze, Italian chicken and Asian noodle. Make sure you include options for vegetarians and vegans, so there’s something sustaining but appetising for everyone.
  • Note birthdays, cultural celebrations and anniversaries. If someone has a big milestone coming up, it’s a great excuse to get everyone together talking – away from their desks with a plateful of goodness in their hand.
  • For a special occasion or if you’re after a super-simple solution, get the caterers in. Here at Funnells Kitchen, we use local and seasonal produce to keep quality high and reduce food miles. We’re flexible, too, so if you tell us your ideas, we’ll come back with options that are just right for you and the team.

The important thing to remember is that it’s all about getting people away from their desks and breaking bread together – whether that’s in the conference room or under the trees. Encourage cohesion, balance emotional levels and have fun with great food.

If you’re as passionate about workforce wellbeing as we are about nutrition and catering excellence…

Featured photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Home comforts – from our kitchen to yours

Home comforts – from our kitchen to yours

We’ve always believed that good food gathers people together. It’s the reason we love what we do. Last week, we were all advised to start distancing ourselves, even from friends and family, to protect others and ourselves. These are difficult times and we’re all learning to deal with new ways of living. As we hunker down in our homes and wait for the storm to pass, the team at Funnells Kitchen have been trying to think of how we can keep bringing good food to your distant tables. 

A feast of flavours – delivered to your door (or collect from us)

From Monday, we’ll launch our meal delivery service: a daily menu of traditional dishes – freshly-cooked in our kitchen on the day – that you can collect from us or we’ll bring to you. We’ll cook up family favourites like rich slow-braised beef shepherd’s pie and vegan options like comforting dhals and warming sweet potato baltis, plus a range of delicious sides and tempting homemade puds. All of our meals are frozen ready for you to pop in the oven and plate up, or to pop in your freezer for those evenings when you want a break from cooking or if it’s been tricky getting to the shops. 

Self-isolating? We’ll come to you

We offer a no-contact delivery option. Just let us know you’re self-isolating and we’ll drop your dinner to your door without having to say hello – we’ll be happy with a friendly wave through the window. Or if you have elderly relatives, vulnerable family members or lone neighbours in the local area who are unable to leave their home to get food, why not send them a home-delivered, home-cooked meal?

Special deals for Key Workers

We’ve been so saddened to see some of our NHS staff struggling after long shifts to find fresh fruit and veg in the shops because of stockpiling. Key Workers are on the frontlines keeping things running, so they need to keep their energy levels high. If you’re a Key Worker, as a thank you for what you’re doing for the rest of us, you’ll receive a 15% discount on every order.

Health and hygiene 

We’re always rigorous with our hygiene standards but we’re very mindful that these standards need to apply all day, in our own homes and beyond. So we’re being extra vigilant both inside and outside our kitchen. We know some people are struggling to find all the supplies they need in the shops due to panic-buying. Our supply chain is in place and our meals are made with the very best ingredients, locally-sourced. We’ll continue to cook for as long as we can.

Remember, a healthy, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well. Take some time to slow down in these difficult days. Cook a meal together. Find comfort in good food and each other. 

Social distancing in a time of social interaction online means we can at least find new ways to communicate with the outside world. We’d love to hear what you’re cooking up at home and what food you’ve enjoyed from us, so stay in touch on our social channels. And if you have ideas for dinners you’d like to include on one of our daily menus, just drop us a note. 

Stay safe and look after each other.

Nick and the Funnells team. X

Book a Business Lunch and Get Free Doughnuts

Book a Business Lunch and Get Free Doughnuts

Free Gourmet Funnells Kitchen Doughnuts for your Team!

All you have to do is call us and quote the phrase “We want doughnuts!”… then book a Business Lunch at your company for at least 10 people*

We’ll then arrange for you to receive a box of gourmet Funnells Kitchen doughnuts to enjoy with your workmates.

And more…

Enter our prize draw to win a fabulous Funnells Kitchen food hamper worth over £200!*

Simply tweet us a picture of you and your workmates (with the yummy doughnuts) and using the hashtag #WeLoveFunnellsDoughnuts.


introductory promotional offer. book a business lunch for 10 or more people and get doughnuts for your team


*Terms and conditions:

Promotion is subject to availability. Orders must be placed in advance to guarantee free doughnuts. One free delivery per company. Once a delivery has been placed and the promotion is quoted, free doughnuts will be given to the person placing the order and their immediate team. Funnells Limited reserves the right to amend or alter these terms and conditions or withdraw this promotional offer at any time and without notice. The offer as stated, is not transferable and has no alternative cash value. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Party Catering – Funnells Kitchen Chocolate Lollipops

Party Catering – Funnells Kitchen Chocolate Lollipops

Party Catering can be fun with Funnells Kitchen chocolate lollies. They are great for parties, events or just something to make with your kids. Young or old people will love these delicious treats!

Main Ingredients

  • Dark chocolate minimum 50% cocoa solids
  • White chocolate
  • Round lolly sticks


  • Smarties
  • Granola
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chopped nuts
  • Mini fudge squares
  • Brownie pieces
  • Shortbread pieces
  • Freeze dried raspberries
  • Popping candy
  • Whatever is in your cupboard!

Party Catering: The Chocolate

1) Boil a pan of water on your stove. Then place a suitable bowl over the pan and drop in the dark chocolate  (50% cocoa solids). Stir until completely melted.

Party Catering - Funnells Kitchen2) Then place a piece of greaseproof paper on a tray and spoon on a dollop of dark chocolate. Use the back of the spoon to spread the dark chocolate into a circle. Continue making more dark chocolate circles depending on how many lollypops you want (or can fit on your greaseproof paper!)

Jamie’s tips and Tricks – Keep your lollies an even size and well-spaced on the greaseproof paper.


3) Take a lolly stick, place it in the chocolate circle you’ve created and gently roll the lollypop until it’s completely covered in chocolate.

Jamie’s Tips and Tricks – Ensure the lolly stick is well coated with chocolate to give it a firm grip.

Party Catering: The Fun FillingsParty Catering - Funnells Kitchen

4) Carefully drop your chosen fillings onto the chocolate. What you put on your lollypops is up to you. Have fun and get creative. I found the more variety the more people will enjoy these treats!

Jamie’s Tips and Tricks -Always place the toppings on before the chocolate sets.

5) Melt some more chocolate white or dark and carefully drizzle over the lollypops. This will give extra hold for your toppings and boost the effect of these tasty looking delights.

Party Catering: Let Them Set

Party Catering - Funnells Kitchen6) Once you have created your lollypops place them in your fridge for 10-20 minutes. Once the lollypops are set you can carefully peel them off the greaseproof, there is a bit of a technique but you’ll be fine.

7) We find a great way to display them using some oasis (the foam florists use as a base to stick flowers in). If you don’t have any oasis you can use a tall jar or mug to pop the lollypops into, but trust me they won’t stand around for long, theses Lollypops will vanish very quickly!!

Party Catering - Funnells KitchenGet in Touch

Tell us about your creations. Tweet us your pictures of your “Funnells Kitchen Chocolate Lollypops” we would love to see them!!!

Need party catering we are here to help. We take the stress out of your party and let you enjoy the event! contact us today email hello@funnellskitchen.co.uk or go to our contacts page

Caterer in Norwich – Funnells Kitchen opens it’s 2nd Kitchen in Norfolk

Caterer in Norwich – Funnells Kitchen opens it’s 2nd Kitchen in Norfolk

Caterer in Norwich: Funnells Kitchen’s success over the past 14 years has allowed us to create great corporate catering for our fantastic customers. We love working with Suffolk’s most vibrant businesses and we are excited to announce we are opening a second kitchen in Norwich to allow us to bring our culinary delights to Norfolk as well.

An Incredible Year

It’s been an incredible year at Funnells Kitchen, we’ve been working hard opening our
second kitchen in Norwich. It’s great to be caterer in Norwich.  Norwich is such a vibrant city and Norfolk is full of exciting and growing businesses, we can’t wait to help them grow and develop further over the coming years. Caterer in Norwich

Our chef’s passion for good food is something we believe we can bring to Norwich and Norfolk. Our approach to good quality food means that we bring handmade food from locally sourced ingredients to create corporate catering like no other.

A Caterer in Norwich: From Strength to Strength

Over the past few years Funnells Kitchen has gone from strength to strength. Being nominated for Archant’s Future 50 showed us just how far we have come!  For us this was a clear indication that our approach to corporate catering is working.  We have always seen our role as support for our clients in the day to day running of their business. Delivering good food, on time for any sized event is our passion.

Caterer in NorwichSetting up our second kitchen means we can bring out unique approach to being a caterer in Norwich . Our Norwich clients have been supportive and delighted with the opening of the second much closer kitchen allowing us to service them more fully and for us to feel truly part of the Norwich and Norfolk Business community.

Strong Long-lasting Relationships

We are looking forward to forging strong long-lasting relationships with the businesses of Norfolk and deliver corporate catering that helps take their business food to the next level.

Catering Services Funnells Kitchen | A “Future 50” Company

Catering Services Funnells Kitchen | A “Future 50” Company

Catering Services in Norfolk & Suffolk: Funnells Kitchen are proud to be a Future 50 member. Over the past few years Funnells Kitchen has been growing and expanding, this journey has culminated in being chosen as an Archant Future 50 2016 member.

A Catering Services: Our Ethos

Future 50 looks for many attributes in a business and we were very pleased to be asked to be a member. They look for leadership in a business, driving forward performance and engagement. They want businesses that create a well-defined culture that promotes skill development and acquiring knowledge which I am proud to say is a key part of the Funnells Kitchen catering services ethos.
catering services


Being named a Future 50 member has allowed us access to some huge benefits. We’ve been able to connect with other Future 50 members offering support and services to one another. A key part of being a member of the future 50 is the access to funding and business support. This has allowed Funnells Kitchen catering services to grow more rapidly than we might have done and we are able to take advantage of our unique position within the corporate catering market place in Norwich.


A Business of Value

I think what has meant the most to me is to see the catering services I have helped build over the last 14 years be asked to stand next to other businesses that are growing and valued within Norfolk and Suffolk. It makes me proud that Funnells Kitchen is there as a business that gives real value to it’s customers and the community and I can’t wait to see where Funnells Kitchen goes next.

I would like to say a big Thank you to everyone who has made Funnells Kitchen the business it is today.

Find out more at Future50.org


Our Catering Business Captured on Film

Our Catering Business Captured on Film

Our catering business has been taken to the next level with our latest marketing videos. We are so excited to show your how we made our catering business’ promotional video. I first met Michael Stiff back in March of this year. The idea of online video being able to convey what makes Funnells Kitchen different really excited me. I knew online video was becoming more and more relevant in modern business marketing and I was keen to keep Funnells Kitchen moving forward with as a progressive catering business.

Catering Business: The Whole Package

At the time we were looking to update our own image, website and branding. Talking this through with Michael he pitched to me the idea of a complete package where he and Aaron Fickling would spearhead a whole project including a brand realignment, a new website, a series of promotional videos and a launch campaign as we opened our second Kitchen in Norwich. I was really excited and we set about taking Funnells Kitchen to the next level.

catering business captured on filmOver the next few months we worked closely with Michael and Aaron as they began to help us discover what made Funnells Kitchen different in the catering business market place. Through discovery meetings and talking with our clients we built up an even sharper picture of would we are and what it means to be a Funnells Kitchen client.

The Shoot Day Arrived

A big part of our brand realignment and the opening of our second kitchen was a set of promotional videos. It was great when the shoot day finally arrived and our chef’s began making the first of our extensive list of recipes for the two day shoot.

The crew was large and we had photography as well as film to do. The team worked well and the chef’s soon got into the swing of things it was very different from their usual day to day. On an average day our chefs would be making pizza for thirty people on the shoot they made the same pizza thirty times!

I was very impressed with the crew and their devotion to getting just the right shot to show off our food in the best way possible. Everyone worked hard under the direction of Michael with Aaron heading up the photoshoot, together they kept it all on an even keel. It was interesting to see exactly how a film is put together and the time it takes to light, arrange, rehearse and finally shoot each shot. You realise that these guys were professionals and knew how to get the most out of our lovely food.

catering business captured on film

It’s a Wrap

When the two days came to an end, Michael called “It’s A Wrap” and the crew were very excited to be finally able to try Jamie’s signature donuts. They all set about enjoying something they had watched being made for nearly two days!

The final video really does show what Funnells Kitchen is, what we believe as a company and why our aim is for each of our business catering clients to experience good food.  The video has given us a promotional tool that sets us apart from our competitors and shows our clients why Funnells Kitchen is a catering business with a difference. The video allows us to connect with new customers by showing them what is important to us and why we feel quality catering business is so important.

Something Unexpected

Unexpectedly the video has also given our staff a real understanding of what it means to be working for Funnell’s Kitchen. It’s helped us craft our mission statement going forward, it’s added to our great business culture by helping us to continue to work towards the same goals.

Any business is thinking about video marketing I would say go for it. You will have a lot of fun making it and get a real marketing asset at the end of the experience that will help you drive growth in your business.


Catering For The Perfect Afternoon Tea party

Catering For The Perfect Afternoon Tea party

Afternoon tea catering doesn’t need to be stressful. Read our top tips for serving the best British Afternoon Tea and give your guests a party to remember!

Afternoon Tea is a great British tradition, introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon and would ask that a tray of tea, bread & butter and cake be brought to her room. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her and so the traditional Afternoon Tea was born.

An Afternoon Tea party is suitable for many celebrations from baby showers, weddings, birthdays, a graduation or even just a catch up with friends.

The trick to good afternoon tea catering is to have the food prepared before your guests arrive, the only thing you will need to serve is the tea itself, giving you time to relax and enjoy the party.

What you will need for your Afternoon Tea party:

  • Scones (preferably homemade)
  • Jam
  • Cream
  • Finger Sandwiches
  • Teapot
  • Sugar Cubes
  • Teacups, saucers and spoons
  • A selection of teas
  • Cream/Milk
  • Lemon Slices
  • Selection of cakes
  • Napkins
  • 3 tiered stand to serve on
  • Preparing for your Afternoon Tea party
  • Decide on your guest list and send out invites. The invites can be very casual or formal, depending on the type of celebration.
  • Purchase your Afternoon Tea accessories for your party. You don’t necessarily have to buy your tea set; there are local companies that offer a hire service especially for these types of occasions.

afternoon tea cateringAfternoon Tea Catering

Planning your menu is the important part and the most fun. There will be three courses that you will need to plan for;

First Course: Sandwiches

There are no rules when it comes to the sandwich fillings but it’s always best to keep it quite light and delicate so easier to serve. The traditional white bread and cucumber sandwiches are still popular. Other traditional favourites are:

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Egg and Cress, Tuna…

TOP TIP: Use good quality bread and a light spreading of butter to prevent the bread from going soggy. Only serve four to five different sandwich fillings and always cut the crusts off then cut your sandwiches into three fingers.

Second Course: Scones with Jam and Cream

Serve fresh clotted cream with fruit scones and a handmade jam.

TOP TIP: Scones are best served warm.

Third Course: Cakes

It’s entirely your preference when it comes to the cakes. Éclairs are always a popular choice as well as chocolate cupcakes, rich fruit cake and marbled coffee cake.

TOP TIP: The three courses are best presented on a 3 tiered stand.

Selecting the tea itself

Use your favourite tea leaf type in a pot with a strainer, never use teabags. The list below contains some of the top teas to include.

Earl Grey Tea, Assam Black Tea, Darjeeling Black Tea, Chamomile Tea

TOP TIP: Pop in the sugar first, this is because the sugar will melt before you add the cold milk allowing for better taste and ALWAYS add the milk after the tea. While you drink your tea, think superior thoughts and lift your little finger!

A few little facts that you may not have known about Afternoon Tea

  • As a nation we drink 165 million cups of tea per day
  • The world’s most expensive Afternoon Tea is priced at £550 for two at Cliveden House, Berkshire
  • The Teabag was born in 1904
  • If you would prefer to just enjoy the party (and we don’t blame you) and not worry about planning the menu, we can help.

We have three different but equally delicious Afternoon Tea menus to choose from. Not only do we provide the food, we can also provide the necessary equipment to make your afternoon tea catering experience extra special and so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.

For more information please visit our Afternoon Tea Page or call Nick on 01502 573457.

How to Book the Best Business Lunch

How to Book the Best Business Lunch

How to Book the Best Business Lunch

You may not realise this but there are a few things that you will need to think about when booking your business lunch and that’s where we come in to help. We have compiled a list of handy tips that you will need to think about so that you can organise your way to a better business lunch!

Things to think about when booking your business lunch

  • The time you would like your lunch served
  • Is it just a lunch that you require or do you also require a breakfast or afternoon pastries/cakes and how many servings of teas/coffees will you need
  • How many people you will need to cater for
  • Is there a need for any special dietary food such as Gluten free or Vegetarian/Vegan options etc.
  • What type of food will you need; buffet, BBQ, canapés etc.
  • Will you serve your lunch in the same room as your meeting or a separate dining area
  • Arranging a clean-up, will this be your responsibility or will you need to ask the caterers to do this for you

What to ask your caterer before you book your business lunch

  • Do they offer other services such as waiting staff and hire of equipment such as glasses and crockery?
  • What are the prices per person?
  • Do they offer flexibility in their menu and is there enough variety?
  • Do they require a deposit?
  • Do they charge extra for travel?

We have many years experience in catering for business lunches, corporate events and networking events and always with excellent feedback from our customers. We often provide all day catering this could include breakfast, lunch or even afternoon teas. All of these can be fully staffed with our courteous, professional catering team.

We Hope your Business Lunch is the best it can be!

Organise the perfect BBQ with help from Funnells Kitchen

Organise the perfect BBQ with help from Funnells Kitchen

Why do the British love to BBQ?

Unfortunately because we don’t get to see the sun as much as we would like to, as soon as it does make an appearance one word immediately pops into our heads…BBQ! We have all done it, rushing to the supermarket as soon as the sun comes out only to find cheap burgers and sausages left on the shelves and by the time we get home the clouds are starting to appear. So why do we love BBQs so much?

BBQs give us the perfect excuse to invite family and friends over for a get together, it is one of the very few meals where it is acceptable to use plastic cups and cutlery, the list of food you can cook on a BBQ is endless and best of all it’s an excuse to have a good time!


Funnells BBQs

Organise the perfect BBQ with help from Funnells. If you love BBQs but would prefer to let someone else to do the cooking this is where we come in.

Here are a few things you need to know about our BBQ service…

  • We have TWO BBQ menus to choose from, Hunky Dory BBQ and Gourmet BBQ, each served with mouth-watering salads and desserts.
  • Our prices include condiments and a fully trained chef with a helper to cook and serve.
  • Set up includes a 3m x 3m gazebo and two 6ft tables with covers. We supply china plates, napkins and cutlery as standard (disposable items are available if requested).
  • We can cater at all different types of events such as Weddings, corporate events, celebratory events and even school proms.
  • Most importantly the food tastes delicious!
  • The food, condiments, crockery and service is sorted so all you need to worry about is the Pimms and having a good time of course.

For more information about our BBQ menus or to book one, please call Nick on 01502 573457.