Family meal

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A family meal or staff meal is a group meal that a restaurant serves its staff outside of peak business hours.[1] 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".[2] 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.[3]

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)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ First, Devra (July 29, 2009). "Chef's table". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ Elder, Nina (September 2008). "The First Seating". Bon Appetit. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  3. ^ Rudalevige, Christine Burns (January 11, 2012). "Restaurant "family" meals". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 9 May 2012.

External links[edit]

  • Family Meal - A chef describes his experiences preparing staff meals early in his career.