The Uruguayan said that it was an effective method during his time as a player, one which was not being utilised when he arrived at the start of the month.
"The meal was my decision," The Mirror quotes the 45-year-old as saying. "I used to do it myself as a player. I didn't see it happening here, so I did it. The manager goes once - after that, they don't want him there.
"I think it's important. We need to spend time together, talk about things. Sometimes, you know a player better when you know something about his life - How's your wife, how's your family? Sometimes in this situation you learn plenty.
"Oh, and there are 14 new players. I said I would pick up the bill - I am lucky the club backed me up on this one. It is not about having a laugh. It is about getting together. I cannot ask the fans and the club to be together and us, the main ones, not to be together. We need to be together."
The Black Cats are bottom of the league with one point from eight games.