A family meal or staff meal is a group meal that a restaurant serves its staff outside of peak business hours. The restaurant provides the meal free of charge, as a perk of employment. Typically the meal is served to the entire staff at once, with all staff being treated equally, like a "family". The restaurant's own chefs prepare the meal, often using leftover or unused ingredients. A chef may also use the family meal to experiment with new recipes.
Several cookbooks have been published describing family meals at well-known restaurants. Examples include:
- The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria by Ferran Adrià of elBulli (2011)
- Staff Meals from Chanterelle by David Waltuck (2000)
- Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants by Marissa Guggiana (2011)
- Come In, We're Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants by Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy (2012)
- Bonesteel, Matt (May 16, 2007). "What Your Waiter Had For Dinner". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Family Meal - A chef describes his experiences preparing staff meals early in his career.