If you’re in charge of organizing the food and drink for a business meeting, you know that the task can be stressful. In addition to keeping your budget and time constraints in mind, you must also deal with a full spectrum of tastes and diets. From the hyper-healthy to the picky eaters, it can sometimes feel impossible to find corporate catering that will please everyone. But it’s easier than you think.
Getting Your Budget on Track
Before you jump in and your stomach gets the best of you, think about your budget. Are you looking for something fancy or more casual? Clarify expectations and your budget with the meeting’s organizers before you order the catering. And don’t forget to account for extras like linens and any decorations you might want to include.
One of the biggest impacts on your budget will be the number of mouths you have to feed. Get an estimate on this and then pad your ordering to account for any last-minute attendees. It’s always better to have a little bit too much food and some leftovers than not enough and hungry guests.
Understanding Your Space
Take a close look at the space where the business event or meeting will take place. If it’s an all-day training session or conference, is there a separate area you can use to serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks?
With business catering, self-serve generally works best. This approach can save you money, and it’s also more comfortable for attendees who can choose what they want to eat when they are ready.
Picking the Perfect Food
Now you’ve reached perhaps the most vital step in the process – choosing the right food for your catered business meeting. Here are some tips to help you get it right:
Consider the Time of Day
The time of day you have your meeting will impact the type of food your attendees will be craving. Whether you are planning a breakfast meeting, a working lunch, or an afternoon seminar, you’ll want to order food that is appropriate.
Choose a Theme or Cuisine
If you order pizza for every company event, your staff is going to get tired of it pretty quickly. Variety is the key to keeping your attendees happy and motivated. For example, you can choose a different theme each time, such as sandwiches, finger foods, Italian, or barbeque. And don’t forget to add something delicious to your catering order for dessert.
Treating Food as Fuel
While the bowls of candy for your office Halloween celebration might seem like a fantastic idea, the resulting sugar crash won’t do much for productivity and innovation. When you choose your catering menu, always aim for some balance between fueling up and healthy options. Sure, you can include cookies, but don’t forget about the veggie tray or some fruit options.
Catering for Special Diets
Speaking of fruits and vegetables, it’s important to remember that some of your meeting’s attendees might have dietary restrictions or different preferences. Whether your guest is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, or just plain health-conscious, make sure you address any special dietary requirements when you place your catering order. As a rule, you should make about 25% of your order vegetarian and/or gluten-free.
Starting the Process Early
When it comes to catering for a business event, you may not want to wait until the last minute to figure out your needs. Ideally, the best time to start planning is about one to two weeks in advance. But, let’s face it, last-minute meetings pop up all the time, and people need to eat! If you only have a few hours’ notice, give Nick’s of Calvert a call to see what we can do to accommodate your needs.
If you have an abundance of time, make a schedule and a brief list of what needs to be done and who needs to do it. Make sure you answer the following questions during your planning:
- Who will place and receive the order?
- Who will prepare the space for the meeting?
- Do you need additional refrigerator space for drinks and food?
- Do you have enough plates, napkins, and utensils?
Get Business Catering Help from Nick’s of Calvert
Nick’s of Calvert stands ready to be your catering partner for your next business meeting or other special event. We have an extensive catering menu of fresh and delicious items and would be happy to help put together your selections. Give us a call at (410) 414-7105 or stop into our store today to place an order or get the assistance you need.