Party Playlists For Every Cuisine

If you’ve made it here you’re already aware that booking a food truck is the easiest way to throw a killer party on the fly. Once you’ve chosen the delicious eats your guests will be noshing on, it’s time to plan the rest of your party!

Admittedly, there’s not so much to do (food prep, service, and cleaning are already taken care of – phew!), but there are a few key details that deserve your full attention if you really want to make the party a hit. Location, good communication with your vendor, weather-watching and activities are all important components to consider – but they all take a back seat to music.

Pop on the right playlist, and the party will be popping no matter what. Here’s a few playlists we’ve thrown together that mesh nicely with our most popular food truck offerings.

For summertime treats…
Nothing says summer like freshly grilled burger and a cold ice cream by the seashore. Throwing a party for friends or colleagues in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere is a great way to get everyone out in the fresh air and summer sun. Whether you’re down by the beach, posted up along a river or just out in a public space, there’s no better way to kick off some happy-go-lucky summertime vibes than with a relaxed, happy playlist full of summer classics and funky new tunes.

Heaven Only Knows – Towkio Ft. Chance the Rapper, Lido & Eryn Allen Kane
Party – Beyonce feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
Groove Is In the Heart – Deelite
Oui – Jeremih
Work – Rihanna feat. Drake
Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Fingerprints – Hiatus Kaiyote

For a New Orleans chow-down…
New Orleans is known worldwide as a mecca for food and music. Bring a little taste of the Big Easy to your next party with a New Orleans food truck serving up gumbo, po’ boys, muffulettas or beignets and throw on a fun playlist that highlights New Orleans music legends past and present. Anyone who has visited the city can tell you that the playful, joyful atmosphere is infectious. Let the good times roll and enjoy!

Iko Iko – Dr. John
Fire – Rebirth Brass Band
Black Bottom Stomp – Jelly Roll Morton
The Treme Song – Treme Brass Band
That’s It – Preservation Hall Jazz Band
My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now – The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Hurricane Season – Trombone Shorty
Halftime: Stand Up & Get Up – The Soul Rebels
Big Chief – Professor Longhair
Mother-in-Law – Ernie K-Doe

For a Mexican dinner party…
If you’ve booked a taco truck and are trying to go all out with a Latin theme, music should be your number one priority (after the food, of course). Music is a central part of any South American party, along – of course – with dancing. Put on a playlist full of salsa, bachata and reggaeton to get everyone on their feet. If you really want to kick it up a notch, bring a salsa instructor along to the party to give everyone a quick primer on the basic steps and twirls!

Micaela – Sonora Carruseles & Luis Florez
En Barranquilla Me Quedo – Joe Arroyo Y La Verdad
Lloraras – Oscar D’Leon
Pedro Navaja – Ruben Blades
Asi Es La Vida – Klan Destino
Te Compro Tu Novia – Grupo Merengada
O Te Vas o Me Voy – Hector Acosta “El Torito”
Barrio Negro – Sensual 990
Calla Corazon – Grupo Santa Garchia
Mambo De Feria – Orqueta Epa

For fusion creations…
Food trucks are the premier platform for fusion cuisines – the concept of blending two unrelated cuisines to make an unusual, tantalizing plate that just might attract a cult following. Korean tacos? South American sushi? Anything is fair game on a food truck, where chefs have full freedom to explore creative ideas without a lot of risk. Accompany an event catered by a fusion food truck with a diverse world music playlist that blends different genres and combines different musical styles from around the world to make something new and exciting.

Atrevete Te Te – Calle 13
Fiesta – Bomba Estereo
Ha Hao Sai Hua – Yodrak Salakchai
Jam 10 Kai Theit – Ros Sereysothea
Gendjer2 – Filastine
Sung Nang – Salak Silathong
Mamacita – Super Junior
Fiesta (Remix) – Bomba Estero feat. Will Smith
Temba, Tumba, Timba – Los Van Van
Lady – Fela Kuti


Tips For Throwing A Flawless Outdoor Movie Night

Planning a movie viewing party under the stars may seem like a breeze, but there are a lot of moving components to consider if you’re trying to make it a big success. In reality, the outdoor movie party is a sizeable challenge – but when done right, it really pays off. Read on for tips on how to throw the perfect outdoor movie night for your gang.

Find the right spot.
This is your first step, and a very important one. Scout a location for your movie party that is relatively free of external noise, large enough to accommodate all of your guests as they lounge to watch the movie. If you’ll be providing seating, make sure the ground is fairly flat and can support the weight. If your guests will be on the ground, decide whether to provide blankets for them to sit on, or to request that they bring their own. If you want to go above and beyond, pick up some cheap woven mats and throw pillows from a home good store and lay them down for your guests to relax on.

Put some thought into your set-up.
Everyone knows that the thrill of watching a movie outdoors is the novelty of being outside in the fresh air while still watching the movie on the big screen in the dark. If you’re throwing an outdoor viewing party, a television just isn’t going to have the same effect. The simplest way to do it is to find a nice space with a flat white wall next to it and project the film there. Another option is to hang a large sheet or canvas from two windows on the side of a house of building. If these options aren’t doable, there are many online tutorials for building a simple frame from PVC piping from which you can hang your screen. As for your sound system, consider whether you’d prefer setting up a stereo speaker system or trying an alternative system, like several small bluetooth speakers scattered around your seating area. If the area is going to be completely dark, consider setting up some soft lights so that people can still move around while the movie is playing.

Test your technology.
The most classic movie party disaster is the technology fail. How many of us have settled in with happy anticipation for a great movie, only to have the wrong auxiliary cable? If you’re renting a projector for the occasion, do a little research beforehand to make sure you can select the model that will be best suited to your projection surface. Same goes for your speakers – there’s nothing worse than not being able to hear the movie! Run a few tests of your movie projector and stereo system before the big night to make sure everything rolls along smoothly.

Feed your guests!
Most people like to snack on comforting, satisfying treats like buttered popcorn or a big box of candy while taking in a movie. Bring your viewing to a higher level by booking a food truck that serves easy-to-nibble snacks like sliders, tacos and desserts. Having a food truck on site brings a festival-like atmosphere to an outdoor movie party, and it’s a great way to introduce your guests to exciting new cuisines. Food is a guaranteed way to bring people together, and party-goers will have the chance to socialize over a casual meal before settling in for the show.

Be a good neighbor.
If you’re going to show a movie in a public space, or somewhere that can be seen by neighbors, make sure the film is suitable for all ages. If you’re hosting it in a private area, make sure your neighbors aren’t going to be bothered by the noise or the crowd. Even better, invite them to join the fun!


Summer Birthday Parties Made Easy with Food Trucks

Those of us with summer birthdays will always argue that it’s the best time of year to celebrate a birthday – and you’ve got to admit that they have an argument. The weather is beautiful, the streets are full of color, and people are generally in a rather festive mood already!

Summer is a reason in itself to throw a party, so if you’ve got a birthday or other event to celebrate, you’re already halfway there. The warm outdoors sets the stage for a great party and the rest of the ingredients are simple – all you need is some summery jams and some good food.

Luckily for us, serving up fresh, zesty eats to a big crowd is as easy as booking one of the many talented food trucks in your city. Here’s why food trucks are our new favorite catering option – and will soon be yours, too.

Fresh eats.
Traditional caterers usually prep food ahead of time, and what they end up serving your guests is usually a bit worse for wear, especially if it’s sitting out in the hot summer sun. Food trucks roll up with a complete kitchen, preparing everything from scratch, made-to-order, from fresh ingredients stored safely in restaurant-grade refrigeration.

No dishes.
The last thing you want to deal with after a fun-filled afternoon of good eats and laughter is a pile of crusty plates and forks piling out of a sink. Relax and enjoy time with the people you care about most and let your favorite food truck take care of the kitchen.

Save money and time.
Food trucks can serve up a fresh and delicious meal to a big crowd at a far smaller cost than a caterer could offer. Because food trucks purchase their ingredients wholesale from trusted sources, they can offer complex dishes at a lower price than you could even get if you were to do the grocery shopping and cooking on your own!

It’s just plain fun!
A food truck frenzy has swept the country, but for most people there’s still something fun and novel about a truck pulling up to a party and miraculously doling out a beautiful plate of food to each person in a hungry crowd. People love to watch food truck chefs in their small-format kitchens and are always interested in how the whole thing works. Who knows – some of your guest may even be inspired to open their own!

Here are some tips for hosting tips for hosting a slam-dunk food truck party (though it’s pretty hard to go wrong…)

Find a great locale. As long as you’ve got a great outdoor spot with plenty of places to sit, you’re good to go. Make sure you pick a place you have full license to use for the occasion so none of the festivities are disrupted!
Plan ahead. Figure out how many people you can expect to attend your event so you can ensure that there will be enough food for everyone, and check the weather forecast to avoid getting rained out!
Communicate. Organize closely with the food truck owners far ahead of time to inform them of any special needs and to give them the information they’ll need to do the job right.

And that’s about it! Get your gang together, and let the food truck handle the rest. Enjoy!


Book a Food Truck & Bond with Co-workers

There’s nothing like a food truck for bringing people together. A brightly colored mini-restaurant serving up specialty foods you can enjoy outside? Yes please!

Food trucks, once patroned mostly by young, adventurous foodies, are now a mainstay on the streets and at events in cities around the country. The affordable, delicious and diverse food served up out of food trucks is a great relief from chain restaurant lunches and deli sandwiches.

Whether your team needs little boost in the camaraderie department or you just want to reward them for being great collaborators, a food truck is a great way to kick off a team bonding day. Here’s some ideas for great icebreakers and team-building games to accompany your picnic lunch!

1. Run a photo contest. Have a food photography competition among your team members. Thanks to smartphones, we’re all suddenly professional food photographers – give the people a chance to show off their talent! Bonus tip: upload the photos to Instagram and tag your food truck to show them some love – you might even get a little extra something in thanks for the free publicity!

2. Host a food drive. Teams who do good together stay together. On your team bonding day, consider holding a food drive. Ask people to bring non-perishable items that you can donate together to a local food bank. It feels good to help out in your community, and your own lunches will taste that much better.

3. Challenge everyone to a blind tasting competition. Got some foodies in the group who think rather highly of their palettes? Challenge everyone to a blind taste test, where they get blindfolded and have to guess the ingredients in the food trucks’ signature dish!

4. Plant a community garden. If you’ve got the space and the time, take the afternoon to prepare a small community garden. Growing your own food is super satisfying, and it’s a great way to get people to engage with each other, problem-solve, and socialize regularly.

5. Have an outdoor yoga class. Feeling a bit full after your beautiful food truck picnic? Get an experienced yogi to lead an outdoor yoga class for your team. Doing physical activity as a group is a fun, and sometimes very funny way to build a strong sense of friendship within a team!

Got any ideas for bonding exercises? Let us know in the comments!


Featured Street Eats - Say Fish Taco in Los Angeles

After working long hours in restaurant kitchens for the better part of a decade, Chef Mark Alberto packed up his knife roll and headed south for the more relaxed pace of the surfing village of Sayulita, a bit north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In 2001 he opened up shop, serving lovingly crafted fish tacos out of a simple four-stool food stand right across from the beach. His tacos were a slam dunk with everyone who lived or was passing through the town. By the time Lonely Planet got word of the tacos (they would pronounce them “the tastiest fish tacos in Mexico”) Sayulita Fish Taco was already an institution.

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In 2015, Mark decided to bring his handcrafted tacos to L.A., hoping to bring more authentic Mexican cuisine to the city. A good friend painted up a food truck with a slightly terrifying long-toothed fish on the front and a mural of Mark Surfing along the side. The artwork is a huge draw even before customers get  whiff of the aromas wafting off the grill.

Say Fish Tacos tops handmade corn tortillas with creative toppings that still manage to stay true to the classics. The fish in their famous fish taco gets a garlic beer batter, and is topped with a secret jocoque crema creation. The rice bowls have cauliflower rice, which is surprisingly hearty and satisfying while also being a much healthier alternative to white rice. The carnitas are injected with tequila (another of Mark’s areas of expertise), crusted with spices and left to marinade overnight before being slow cooked for hours to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The carnitas are served with a refreshing apple and poppy seed slaw, giving a nice pork-and-apples feeling. All of Mark’s ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible.

If you’re ever down in Sayulita, you can still visit the original taco stand and then come back for happy hour at the adjoining SFT Tequila Bar, which boasts over 250 types of tequila and was named one of the best 100 bars in the world by Bars of the World. The tequila bar and restaurant have been a huge success, but for now Mark is still happy to have gone mobile. “The best part of my job is getting to see different parts of the city and meet all my customers,” he told us.

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Say Fish posts up at festivals, concerts, art fairs and events around the city when they’re not roaming around looking for the perfect new lunchtime location. The tacos have been a huge hit around the city, and there’s plans in the works to take the truck on the road in the coming months to Chicago and possibly New York.

When asked about the secret to his success, Mark gave a word of advice to anyone who owns a food truck or has dreams of one. “You’ve got to have a story,” he insists. “Do what you love. If your food comes from a personal passion, people will recognize that and appreciate it.” His philosophy definitely shines through in his own menu, which can just about transport you south of the border to a warm beach, watching the surfers roll in.

Want to book Say Fish Taco at your next event? Click here to get started!


Why book one truck when you can book two!

Why book one truck when you can book two – Healthy: Organic truck + juice truck; Brunch: waffle truck + coffee; Sweet Treats: shaved ice truck + ice cream truck

One of the best things about food trucks is that you’re pretty much guaranteed a good nosh. Food truck owners generally serve a limited menu, but you can bet they’ve chosen the one or two things that they do better than anyone else in town.

Having only a handful of items on offer ensures that a lot of thought, love and care has gone into crafting each dish. The only downside is that that one dish may not be everyone’s favorite, and a single food truck may not be able to please everyone.

At Fulfilling, we’ve recruited a beautifully diverse crew of food trucks serving eats from around the world so that our clients can pick and choose a combination that everyone will be happy with. Here are a few ideas for some killer combos that will do the trick!

Breakfast Binaries
Trying to get a crowd to be somewhere bright and early? A hot, fresh breakfast from a food truck is a great motivator, but breakfast is a highly personal meal that people have pretty unyielding opinions about. Make sure everyone gets off to a good start by booking two food trucks – one with smoothies and healthy breakfast bowls and another one serving up hearty breakfast burritos or egg sandwiches. Different people have different ways of powering up for the day – no judgement!

Salty And Sweet
When it comes to the afternoon pick-me-up people will drop everything for, there are two camps: salty and sweet. Some people can never say no to an ice cream, but others will always opt for a savory bite. Offer both by hiring an ice cream sandwich truck with a steamed bun truck, or a shaved ice truck with a taco truck.

International Lunch
One of the greatest things about the food truck boom is that people are being exposed to lots of new cuisines. You might not make a reservation at a Hawaiian restaurant if you aren’t familiar with the food, but chances are you’ll check out the menu board on a Hawaiian food truck! Shake up lunchtime by choosing two highly contrasting cuisines. It’s always good to try something new!


4 Tips for Throwing a Great Cinco de Mayo Party

Cinco de Mayo, which falls on the 5th of May in case your Spanish is a bit rusty, commemorates the Mexican army’s shocking victory over French troops on May 5th, 1862.

Though sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is actually a lesser holiday in Mexico and only holds special significance in the U.S. due to the importance this victory had in our own nation’s political history. These days, most see the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture, heritage, music and food… with a big emphasis on the food!

If you’re looking for a reason to throw a party and celebrate your team, there’s no better spring day than Cinco de Mayo. Mexico is famous for its lively, fun-loving party style, and thanks to the excellent Mexican food now roaming the streets on board food trucks, you can bring the party to your office! Here’s some tips for throwing a Cinco de Mayo fiesta of your own.

1. Food. When people think Cinco de Mayo party, they’re going to think tacos. There’s just no way around it. Luckily, everyone’s favorite taco can easily be found among the excellent taco food trucks that have sprung up across the country. Satisfying, creative, and appropriate for any appetite – perfect!

2. Music. What would Cinco de Mayo be without some festive Mexican tunes? Set up a sound system outside wherever people will be eating, or ask your food truck to pump up the volume on their own sound system. If you want to go all out, consider hiring a mariachi band for the occasion!

3. Dancing. Clear some space for people to shake their hips. If you want to take your party to the next level, you could even hire some dancing instructors to come and help people learn the basics to a few different latin dance styles.

4. Laughter. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a notorious party animal holiday. It’s good to let loose every once in awhile, but if your team has to go back to work after your party, best to keep things a little more tame. Margaritas are still delicious as mocktails, and can actually be super refreshing alongside spicy food.

There you have it. Food + music + dancing + laughter = all the elements you need to host a super fun Cindo de Mayo party. Take the opportunity to teach the team about the history of the holiday – our neighbors to the south have had a beautiful and dynamic influence on our culture, and definitely deserve a celebration!


Incubate USC Startup Feature: Fulfilling Catering

WHAT THEY DO
“Fulfilling is revolutionizing how food is consumed in America—for every meal purchased, we donate one meal to someone in need. Operating in every major US Market, Fulfilling books food trucks for private events and schedules trucks at corporate office parks that lack food amenities.”

HOW FULFILLING WAS BORN
“After studying entrepreneurship at USC, I spent several years in the food truck industry managing events, attending food truck festivals and sampling various cuisines. While the food truck industry temporarily my palate for an exciting, innovative career, I again grew hungry. Looking to fill this void, I sought to develop a business built on a sense of purpose.

Originally published on Incubate USC. Read the full article here:
http://incubate.usc.edu/startup-feature-fulfilling-catering/


Netflix & Chomp: The Definitive Guide to Food Shows and Movies On Netflix

If you’re a foodie or a food truck groupie – first of all, wise choice. More and more people are starting to sit up and pay attention to how they’re feeding themselves, and fresh, real food is on the up and up.

The line-up on Netflix is a great barometer for our current obsession – there are shows covering every aspect of food from the abominations thrown together by horrible amateur cooks to the painstaking precision employed by the world’s finest sushi chef.

We’ve compiled the master list of food-related shows, movies and documentaries that will whet your appetite, inspire you in the kitchen, take you on a culinary journey or just teach you what not to do – bon appetit!

SHOWS

The Great Food Truck Race
Each season, seven food trucks are pitted against each other in cities across the nation in this reality show.

Chef’s Table
Every episode features a different world-renowned chef. Jiro Dreams of Sushi director does it again with this beautifully-shot mini-doc series.

Kitchen Nightmares
Gordon Ramsey takes over in the kitchens of failing restaurants and gives you even more reasons to prefer the light-hearted, free nature of a food truck.

Chopped
Contestants on this reality show are challenged to create three courses of beautiful, tasty dishes within a strict time limit using bizarre and mismatched ingredients that they’re presented right before the timer begins.

Man vs. Food
Adam Richman cruises around the U.S. to take on the most ridiculous food challenges he can sniff out in his fascinating and kind of repulsive travel show.

No Reservations
A long-running food and travel show hosted by former chef and current luckiest man in the world Anthony Bourdain. Watch as he travels all over the world, eats only the best food, and hangs out with the locals.

The Mind of a Chef
Anthony Bourdain produces and narrates his own series combining food, science, travel and history. Each episode centers around a different chef or aspect of food.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Andrew takes us around the world to try local specialties that aren’t exactly huge hits in the U.S.

Worst Cooks In America
Competitors battle for the chance to improve their skills under the guidance of a professional chef.

Good Eats
Alton Brown explores the science and technique behind cooking things just the right way.

Cupcake Wars
If you’re into cupcakes, this show is a total treat. Every episode features trays as far as the eye can see, and some serious decorating game.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Guy Fieri did a lot of people a huge favor by mapping out the best places to get your chow on whenever you’re roadtripping across the county.

The Great British Baking Show
A BAFTA award-winning reality show testing every aspect of competitor’s baking skills.

America’s Test Kitchen
Episodes explore the most common mistakes made with popular recipes and offer scientifically tested ways around them. Extremely useful.

MOVIES

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A documentary about 85-year-old chef Jiro Ono and his relentless quest to perfect the art of sushi out of his tiny, world-famous restaurant in a Tokyo subway station.

Chef
A famous chef unwittingly gets involved in a Twitter war with a top food critic and quits his prestigious job in Los Angeles to start a food truck. A great film set in some seriously fun cities with lots of food to feast the eyes on.

Like Water For Chocolate
A woman forbidden from being with the man she loves shows him her feelings through food by literally infusing her cooking with her emotions in this magical realist film based on a Mexican novel.

Somm
An intense documentary about the journey of four sommeliers who are attempting to pass the near-impossible Master Sommelier Examination. Not exactly about food, but if your favorite sense is taste, it’s a must-see.

Today’s Special
A sous chef at an haute cuisine Manhattan restaurant quits and finds himself taking over at his father’s Indian restaurant in Queens. Funny and heartwarming.

Kings of Pastry
A thrilling look into the fierce competitive world of French pastry chefs as they compete for the most prestigious award offered in the field.

Haute Cuisine
A comedy based on the true story of how Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch was appointed as the private chef for French President Francois Mitterrand.

I Am Love
A beautiful and delicious tour of the food scene in Taiwan, where food is placed on a pedestal.

Bottle Shock
A 2008 comedy/drama starring Alan Rickman about the 1976 wine competition in which a Californian wine finally vanquished a French bottle in a blind taste test.


Celebrate! 6 Great Excuses to Book a Food Truck

First things first - there’s no bad excuse to book a food truck. Even if you’re not celebrating a holiday or a special occasion, there’s something about food trucks that lends a festive atmosphere to the most mundane of days.

But if you’re looking for a reason, don’t fret! There are national and global holidays for every food from raspberry popovers to frog legs. Don’t get too excited - these aren’t federal holidays, and it’s unlikely that your boss is going to give everyone a day off because it’s National Candied Orange Peel Day (May 4th) or National Seafood Bisque Day (October 19th).

Many of these holidays were dreamed up by a company’s marketing department, lobbied for by an association and decreed as unofficial holidays by a government official. But many of them were created by regular folks who just wanted to honor their favorite food, declared a holiday, and talked about it enough to get it accepted as a fact by the general public.

That’s right - if you have a favorite snack that you don’t think is receiving enough love, all you have to do is generate some buzz on social media and... presto! Pesto Penne Day! As far as we’re concerned, there aren’t enough days in the year to celebrate all of our favorite foods, but here are a few of our favorite holidays that provide the perfect excuse to celebrate with a food truck.

January 16th - International Hot and Spicy Foods Day

Many parts of the world celebrate hot and spicy foods day in and day out - sometimes even for three meals a day! There are no less than 14 cultures with seriously fiery cuisine. For this special day, try out a Southeast Asian, South American or Indian truck, and hold a contest to see who can handle the most heat!

February - National Hot Breakfast Month

Most parts of the U.S. have been chilly for a few months come February, and we appreciate anything that makes those freezing mornings slightly more bearable. Luckily, you’ve got 28 days (or if you’re lucky, 29) to celebrate hot breakfasts with a nice breakfast sandwich or waffle. It’s a great way to get people out of bed and excited about being somewhere on a dark winter morning!

April 23rd - National Picnic Day

For most of us, the end of April means birdsong, flowers, balmy breezes, and eating outside in the sun. No easier way to throw together an impromptu picnic party than by getting a food truck to park next to your favorite park or plaza and laying down a few blankets! You may just want to do it all over again on International Picnic Day, which comes on June 18th.

May 11th - National “Eat What You Want” Day

By May, most of the magazines in the grocery store check-out line are laying down some serious guilt about your “beach body” and how to get fit for the summertime. Relax - it’s important to stay healthy, but any type of body on a beach is technically a beach body! Show yourself some real love by letting go for the day and encouraging everyone to eat what they want with a big array of different food trucks. If you happen to miss it, don’t worry… National “I Love Food” Day rolls around on September 9th.

November 16th - National Fast Food Day

This holiday may have been established to bring business to fast food chains, but we think it’s time to think differently about on-the-go meals. A good food truck can deliver the same convenience and affordability while serving up a much healthier, fresher and more delicious meal.  

November 25th - National “Eat With A Friend” Day

It’s been scientifically proven that it’s healthier to eat with friends - sitting down with a buddy has been shown to increase happiness, help alleviate depression, and establish stronger relationships and connections. Time to celebrate!