Selecting a meeting venue or function space for your next corporate event will inevitably lead you to a choice on catering. But faced with what cuisine to offer and how it should be delivered, what should guide your decision making in choosing a corporate menu?
Self-service, cocktail or seated?
One of the most essential decisions you can make for a corporate menu is how you serve your guests. Whether seated, cocktail or self-service, each option comes with its own benefits
Shorter events tend to be more suited to cocktail or self-service arrangements. They offer guests an opportunity to have a chat and stretch their legs – a welcome break from long periods of being focused and seated. Additionally, self-service provides your guests with more choice in their selection of food.
Seated service lends itself to more formal events, while providing more intimacy and a less hurried approach to the meal. A seated arrangement is useful for evoking a sense of occasion around the event and will ensure the meeting is more memorable.
Consider the background of guests
Although it is increasingly likely that your guests’ background will be diverse, you are still in a position to make a judgment call on what is most suitable to be served.
Consider, also, that guests who regularly attend functions or meetings such as yours are likely to show an extra appreciation for food that offers a new take or a different slant on the normal fare.
Consider dietary requirements and current food trends
The simple request to your guests of their dietary requirements will go a long way towards making the event enjoyable for them and their showing of gratitude towards you.
With the increasing awareness of the effects of diet on health, your guests will be extra appreciative if some thought has gone into ensuring the food is nutritious as well as delicious. Health-savvy guests will appreciate a menu that is light on carbs and heavy on quality and flavour.
Consider the season
Although ideally your corporate event will be catered for using fresh, seasonal and local produce, you can employ your discretion to guide the menu towards foods that suit the time of year.
Warm, heavier foods are more likely to go down well in winter, while fresh, lighter foods are more likely to be appreciated in summer.
Select fresh, flavoursome and visually appealing food
A menu that provides fresh, flavoursome and visually appealing food is likely to spark comment and create engagement between clients, employees and colleagues. Such a menu will also boost energy levels and morale and ensure that the meeting or event is more memorable for your guests.
Utilise the experience of your event manager
Event managers are a fountain of experience that should not be ignored. They are the ones best positioned to provide advice on catering for business meetings and corporate events, and good event managers and function centres will always be happy to consult and communicate during the planning stage.
Ask your event manager about past corporate menus, the choices other businesses have made and whether they have any suggestions for ensuring an interesting event. These words of wisdom can be an extremely useful guide for helping you to decide what might – and might not – make the cut for your final choice of corporate menu.