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Lunch Roulette: Worth the Gamble

Dana Moore
Lunch Roulette: Worth the Gamble
Dana Moore

Here at the NYC Vector office we’re always up for new challenges. We’re also seriously  competitive and don’t back down from dares. When our Director of Technology Ben Smith proposed a risky game of Lunch Roulette, we were all in.

1) What is Lunch Roulette?
Great question. Simply speaking: Lunch Roulette is a simple game of chance that involves giving your lunch order to someone else and getting someone else’s order in return. Think of it as a white elephant gift exchange - with food.

2) Why is it risky?
In the words of our Lunch Roulette leader Ben: Hidden behind the game’s simplicity is great risk. The nature of roulette is chance, and not all who play will be satisfied. If you receive a lunch that you do not care for, too bad. You're stuck with it, there is no trading (you of course do not need to eat it). Think long and hard before you decide to confirm your participation.

3) What are the rules?
As outlined by Ben:

  • Anyone interested in participating must register using a Google form by 10:30am. We will honor dietary restrictions, which you can specify on the registration form.
  • All confirmed participants will order a lunch for $15 or under (including tax, tip, and fees). You, however, will not be eating this lunch. It is crucial that you do not share what you ordered with anyone. Sharing this information will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Each lunch will be randomly assigned to each confirmed participant by the independent Lunch Roulette Moderator [editor’s note - This was our office manager Maggie].
  • Your lunch needs to be on the table by 12:30pm.
  • At 12:30pm sharp, all participants will eat together, and each will be able to see what the other participants were assigned. Q&A and discussion is not only allowed, but encouraged.
  • Each participant will cast one vote, and only one vote, for the lunch that they believe is the "best" and which they believe is the “worst”. This will be performed by paper ballot.
  • The lunch which received the most "best" votes will with The Prize. The lunch that received the most "worst" votes will receive The Punishment.
  • The Prize/Punishment goes to the person who ordered the lunch – the person who ate the best lunch already got their prize.
  • All orders must be $15 or under (including tax, tip, and fees).

4) What were the final scores?
Though there were some strong contenders, these were our results:

Worst: A cold turkey sandwich and split pea & ham soup from the cafe inside Bed Bath & Beyond, given by Ben & barely eaten by poor Kate. Ben’s punishment? A symphony of “boo”s from everyone who participated and no Vector-provided lunch for a day.

Best: Waldy's pizza and brownie - given by David & eaten by Catie. David’s prize? A Vector-provided DOUBLE lunch money budget for a day, and a piece of artwork from Ben’s personal collection that Ben didn’t want anymore. Later, we hung it up in the office within eyesight of Ben’s desk for him to find in the morning.

5) Can I play Lunch Roulette in my office?
Absolutely. It was great opportunity for team bonding across departments, and learning about new food options in the area. If you end up hosting a Lunch Roulette, tweet @VectorNYC and let us know it goes - may the best lunch win!


Feature Photo by: Thomas Hawk via / CC BY

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