Are you during planning for your company’s next corporate event? Looking to pull off an all-day event with food and beverages that your co-workers will love? We’ve got 8 catering tips you need for your next corporate event. Of course, you must choose each of those dishes carefully if you want to make a catered event a hit. Chefs can leave everyone at a corporate event satisfied with a varied menu full of tasty entrees and appetizers, achieving positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.
CUSTOMIZE FOR THE OCCASION
Each event has its own demands, so it’s important for caterers to understand the requirements for every meal they serve. An appropriate concept or theme can guide menu creation, with a common thread to make all the choices fit together. No matter the event, the catering company should present a minimum of two entrees (serving any condiments on the side), at least three salad dressings and two possibilities for dessert.
Depending on when and where the event is taking place, chefs may have different seasonal ingredients available. By making the most of the produce or seafood that’s currently abundant, you’ll end up with a fresher, more distinctive final product.
Have an estimated head count ready to provide a caterer or event planner that allows them to get started on menu options. Give continuous updates as your corporate event draws near. If you want a buffet, most venues require a minimum of 35 guests.
HEAD COUNT CATERING TIPS
Always overestimate your head count to account for last minute attendees. If attendance numbers increase on the day of the function, many venues reserve the right to substitute menu items to accommodate extra guests.
SET A BUDGET
Are executives at your company seeking steak and lobster but they’ve given you a hamburger and hot dog budget? Clarify and highlight what needs to be included in the budget and review it closely with management before you present your budget to a caterer or event planner. Don’t forget to account for linens, china, flowers for the tables and more. Event planners can help you budget and plan for everything you need.
What’s the focus or theme of your corporate event? If you’re looking to surprise employees for a job well done, a buffet will go over nicely. If your corporate event is aimed at thanking the sales team for being the highest earners of the fiscal year, that buffet won’t go over so well. Focus on the feeling you hope to convey and that will help you plan your menu.
STICK TO A SCHEDULE
Is your corporate event going to have multiple speakers and presentations? Plan the food service around the day’s schedule and work with an event planner and caterer to build in time for food service and cooking times.
BUFFET OR WAIT STAFF SERVICE?
Depending on how busy your corporate event schedule is, you’ll have to decide if a self-serve buffet or a full service waiting staff is needed to serve and take away plates. If the focus needs to be on the corporate speaker and you’re looking to save time, a full service wait staff keeps attendees in their chairs longer. If you’re seeking a way to break up the day, schedule a buffet lunch that allows attendees time to mingle.
SELECT A MENU
Follow these general catering tips for selecting your corporate event menu:
- Breakfast Functions on a weekday morning should include coffee, tea, fruit juices, a main entrée and two sides. Pastries can be offered too.
- Lunch should offer a 5-ounce entrée per person, two to three side dishes and two to four appetizer options.
- Dinner typically offers three to five appetizers, soup or salad, a 7-ounce main entrée and two to three side dishes. Plan on two servings of dessert per guest too.
- Cocktail Functions that don’t include dinner call for 10 to 15 appetizer servings per person.
It’s important to have enough menu variety to satisfy all your guests. Since many people are vegetarian or are on a gluten-free diet, you should inform your caterer or event planner that you’re seeking a few vegan and gluten-free options. If the catering service you hire needs to know about dietary instructions in advance of your corporate event, it’s important that employees with dietary restrictions select one of those options when they RSVP.
STAY AWAY FROM BOXED LUNCHES
Years ago, bring their own lunch or boxed lunches were popular at corporate events. While this is cheaper, you’ll never go back to boxed lunches once you’ve held an event with catered service. Clients and attendees are more impressed by a nice food spread and are more willing to pay attention to your event if they’re having a good time and are fed well. Hint: They will remember the food.
If you’re planning a corporate event in New York City or Long Island, Sarah Brown Catering can handle everything from start to finish. Their catering packages include beautiful buffets, perfect plated dinners, lavish luncheons and unbeatable breakfasts to pair nicely with all of your corporate events and functions. Contact them to discuss catering tips and review our catering menus.