Depending on what type of food you are providing your attendees, there are several ways you can distribute meals efficiently and timely.
Setting up the Venue
You are going to need several tables and volunteers to set up, distribute, and clean up for each meal you provide. Try to avoid having all of your meals at one table, even at small events this will cause long wait times and may overwhelm the team serving meals.
We recommend one of the following two table set-ups for prepared and family-style meals, so you can maximize the number of people being served at one time. This will speed up the line, and make the space less crowded.
Recommended table setups for food distribution
Distributing Meal Credits
If you are providing your hackers with meal credits to access your school’s dining hall, we recommend that you provide the credits upon check-in. If the credits are accessible via a physical card, you can put them in your event swag bags.
Supporting Hackers with Dietary Restrictions
We recommend that you store any meals that are specifically for folks with dietary restrictions at another table to avoid them being accidentally taken by the wrong person. We recommend printing out a list of hackers with dietary restrictions and checking off names as you hand them out, so you can ensure that the meals are being distributed to the right people.
Managing your Food Supply
If your event can only accommodate one meal per person, station a volunteer at the beginning of the food line checking off each individual as they are served. If someone gets back in line, you’ll be able to see that they’ve already been served!
This method can also be helpful for quickly identifying hackers with dietary restrictions, and redirecting them to a separate line.
If you make one big announcement that dinner is being served, it is likely that all the hackers will rush to grab food all at once and then end up in a big line. As a hacker, waiting in a 20-minute line to receive food may be frustrating.
To avoid long food lines, your team can release 1-3 tables/rooms to go get food at a time. Make a series of small announcements, and then a final call to everyone.