No matter what kind of event you are planning, the food served can make or break it. Few things can put people in a bad mood like a bad catering menu. Luckily, you have a lot of options. When many business managers are planning an office retreat or conference, they pay less attention to the food. It is in everyone’s best interest to serve food that is healthy and tastes great. People are more receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things when they have been treated to a nice meal, whether it be at one of the restaurants in your area or from a good caterer.
Here are some tips for planning the right catering menu for your business event:
- Make sure you take care of anyone with any kinds of dietary restrictions. More than ever, people today are aware of food allergies and others have personal preferences such as being vegetarian or vegan. When you are working on your catering menu, you need to keep these in mind while also getting selections that are tasty and healthy. That may sound like a tall order but starting with the right cuisine can help a lot. Mediterranean cuisine, for example, can be tailored to any diet and can be very scrumptious. There are a number of cuisines that make catering to people who cannot eat dairy, gluten, or nuts, as well as people who do not eat meat, dairy, or eggs. If you are unsure about specific dishes, the catering company should be able to help. Also getting information about dietary concerns from your attendees can help a lot.
- Ask for a tasting. Before you agree to any catering menu, ask if you can arrange a tasting. Most caterers have no problem doing this and this is the best way you can tell if the food they make is up to your standards. Bring a few people from your business with you so you have more than your own opinion when you pick one catering menu over others.
- Get references and referrals. You probably know people who have used a caterer. Ask them. The best way to get a good product or service is to get good recommendations from people you know and like. Ask the different caterers with whom you are speaking about references. Reputable caterers will have no problem sharing with you some of their clients. Ask about more than if they liked the food. Was the food delivered on time? How was the presentation?
- Ask about the size of the events they do the most. Some catering companies are really good at very large events. Some are better when working with small or medium sized events. This can make a big difference in the quality of the food they deliver and how it looks. Talk to them about how many people you expect at your office event and see what their experience is dealing with that kind of crowd.
- How easy are they to deal with? You can tell a lot about a business by how responsive they are before you become a customer. If a catering company seems rushed or not that interested in answering all of your questions, move on to someone else. You need to get a written proposal for your event. This will help you compare and contrast the proposals you receive. If one company refused to do this, move on. You need this at the start because while some unexpected costs can come up, you never want to get a shocking bill after your event.
- Look for a catering company that you will want to work with again. Finding a good company for catering or anything else should be approached more like you are looking for a long term relationship, not just one date. If your business may do other events, it is better when you have a catering company you really like and can work with more often.
It is hard to overstate how much good you can do your business by getting a good catering menu and company for your office events. People are happier when they are well fed.