Whether you run a catering company or you are a company that always holds events, this article will be the one stop guide for you. We’re giving you the ultimate cheat sheet on running a corporate event catering and ensuring that it is successful.
As you notice, corporate events have changed dramatically over the past years. They no longer consist of the typical board room meeting serving sandwiches and typical finger foods you can get from the supermarket. Instead, corporate events are usually lavish, held at off-site locations and have become more of a social event, rather than business. Corporate event is more like an excuse to take a break off work, socialise and eat. Socialising has become a big part of networking and getting to know more people when it comes to expanding your business. So how do we ensure a successful corporate event catering? Here are a few pointers:
A good caterer should be able to prepare good dishes within the given budget. List down menus that will allocate the budget given to you. Take note on special needs like vegetarian options, halal or kosher menu and food allergies. If you have to prepare for these clients, will you need to charge extra? Or can you find an alternative that will not cost you more? The goal is to not work for free, yet still keeping your food up to standard.
More like ambience, you would want to discuss on the company’s preferences. If the client wants Italian food to be served, you can’t add wonton to your menu.
On another note, understand what the event will be like. Are you supposed to prepare finger foods that are easy to eat in one bite? Are they having a proper sit-down event?
After figuring out all of the above, you will want to come up with your food presentation, the most important of it all. Are they having a festival themed event? If so then you would want food that can be presented on skewers and desserts such as cotton candies and popcorns. You would also want food that is fun and colourful.
Prepare a set-list of menu for different occasion and events. This way, when you meet your clients, you will be prepared. This will also help you save time in preparing and presenting your food for the event. This will save you the hassle of coming up with food that suits your client’s catering budget and coming up with food menu that the client will agree to.
Having a prepared menu with price-list will save you and your client the hassle. You will probably have to do some minor tweaks but it still is better than starting from scratch every time you meet a client.
As a caterer, you will need to keep all your contacts for other caterers and event organisers. Why have other caterers contact? You might land a big corporate event and will need extra help and manpower. You might also come across clients that want specialty food. For example if your specialty is Chinese food and your client wants Italian cuisine as part of the menu, you might have to contact a caterer that is good at that.
Some clients want to organise events outside of their office without the hassle of contacting different people. Having a list of event organisers in your contact will work in your favour as it might not only give you an extra star, it might also help you get paid more.
Not every corporate event will require alcohol, but when it does, you have to make sure it is done right. If your client has requested alcohol; go through a wine and drinks list with them and select their drinks of choice as early as possible. This will give you enough time to source, in case their alcohol of request is not in stock. On the day of the event, make sure that only the available drinks are on display and that the bar staff are informed of this. Your client might be aware of their drink list, but other attendees won’t and to avoid attendees ordering alcohol unavailable to them, ensure you inform bartenders. If your clients prefer a cash bar, make sure that there are card and cash facilities and that attendees are informed that it is a cash bar. Depending on which country you are in, you may or may not need a special license to serve alcohol, so make sure you and your clients are aware of the laws.
To avoid food shortage or food waste, ask your clients for the numbers of attendees. Also be aware of food allergies. If some of your attendees are allergic to nuts, make sure you clearly label food that contains nuts. A good way to do so is to request your client to ask their attendees to fill up an RSVP form with an additional food allergy query box for safety.
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