How to Plan Your Catering Menu for Any Corporate Event
Food sets the tone for any gathering whether it is as festive as a wedding or as formal as a corporate event or meeting. Food doesn’t only provide sustenance for those long hours of brainstorming and discussions it also enables the guests to relax and unwind and to have a more open disposition for various suggestions and ideas.
Whether you are organizing a product launch, hosting a company meeting, doing a seminar or celebrating a company milestone, people will always remember one thing and that is the food. More often than not, guests observe what catering company was used and how the food service was done so that they can recommend or not recommend to their bosses for their next corporate event.
So if you want to impress the bosses and your guests, your dinner arrangements should be a major decision you should think about. In planning the menu for such events, you have to consider things like guest profile, ethnic backgrounds, dietary restrictions and food allergies. As such, the food you prepare must cater so to speak, to these various preferences and at the same time be top notch enough so your event won’t be described as part of another rubber chicken circuit.
When you plan the food to serve, you need to consider the style of the event as this will set the pace for what the caterers will serve so it’s also important that you get a caterer with experience and who understands a wide variety of palates. The time when your event is also an important consideration since you can’t exactly serve bagels and coffee during cocktail hour even if you do want to keep awake and alert for the event ahead. And talking of time, you also need to be one step ahead of everything – make sure the food tastes great before serving, the table set up should be perfect that everything is easily accessible, etc.
On the other hand if you are hosting a casual business meeting, you can have the caterer prepare boxed lunches for convenience and ease. Depending on what time the meeting will be, you should always aim to keep everyone alert enough so avoid food that is too heavy on carbs and starch as these tend to fill you up quickly and make you feel kind of sleepy, not a good thing when the CEO is just sitting across you.
For a breakfast meeting for example, you can serve bagels with an array of cream cheese or jam spreads along with a coffee service or you can set up a breakfast burrito bar with eggs, sausage, cheese and tomatoes so the participants can just create their own burrito. You can also opt for a selection of cut-up fruits sprinkled with granola or bran muffins. While pastries may seem like a good idea, the sugar crash that can occur after is not.
If it’s a lunch meeting, you can opt for something light but satisfying like pre-made veggie trays with a selection of low fat luncheon meats and a variety of cheese slices or salads with French or dill dressing. You can include celery and carrot sticks, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber as well as fresh fruit cups for dessert. Skip the chips and go instead for kale or pretzels as snacks.
If you’re opting for boxed lunches, you can ask the caterer to come up with selection of gourmet sandwiches and wraps that you can choose from. Avoid any items that are messy or difficult to eat such as pasta, soups and barbecues which can also cause hard-to-remove stains. The last thing you want is the CEO going home with a huge red stain on his pants with a face that’s equally red with embarrassment. You also need to avoid spicy food that may cause indigestion and discomfort, as well as greasy foods like pizza.
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