Every successful event is the result of careful planning and considerate thinking. Like any other type of hospitality, providing a catered meal in, especially in the corporate context, requires a committed effort and an excellent team. Here are some handy tips and insights to help get you connect with catering success.
1) Start Planning Early
From an organisational point of view it’s always best to start planning early. Why wait until the last minute? The earlier you can plan your event, the better it will be.
2) Plan Your Dietary
It’s always been relevant to be aware of what type of food your guests like or dislike. Nowadays it’s even more important to ensure you’re accommodating your guests’ dietary requirements. In many cases, it’s not just the food but also the way it’s prepared.
Knowing common requirements and their implications is imperative. People have dietary requirements for different reasons, but all requirements need to be equally respected.
3) Structure Your Dietary
For successful catering, you need to look after everybody equally well. While it’s essential to provide for people with dietary requirements, it’s also important to do so in an inclusive way. They may feel excluded if they can only eat a single item from the provided catering.
A solution to this is the strategy of structuring your order so that dietary requirements are met on a larger scale through the entire order. In other words, if there is a single gluten-free guest, consider adding more gluten-free options to the catering order. Everyone else will be able to enjoy them as well, and nobody will be excluded.
This approach can create a more inclusive dining experience for everybody.
4) Include Vegetarian Choices
By the same token, the inclusion of vegetarian options even for a non-vegetarian guest-list is a sound strategy. Why? Here are three reasons:
a) What if an unexpected vegetarian guest arrives?
b) Everyone can eat vegetarian food, but not everyone can eat meat.
c) A more diverse and rounded meal.
5) Communicate Expectations
Use great communication to create the right expectations for your event. By aligning guests’ expectations with what you’re organising, you can increase your chances of success. If you advertise a feast, make sure you deliver one!
6) Order Enough Food
Like a tumbleweed blowing through an empty town, guests without sufficient food to eat may have no reason to stay. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “It is better to have it and need it, than to need it and not have it.” What constitutes “Enough” varies – appetites vary and different combinations of guests have different eating capacities.
Here are some tips to help with the process:
More is Better..
If in doubt, order more. An ideal catering scenario (depending on the purpose) will have leftovers. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to precisely synch your catering volume with your guests appetites, so by going over, you will be safe at least. Have a plan for any leftovers so they don’t go to waste.
Ask The Pros
Talk to our team about your catering quantity requirements. We’re professionals and we’re experienced. We help our clients with volume and also options for the best result. We’re here to help – just ask!
7) Know Your Guests
Planning meals for different groups through different times of the day can be daunting, but don’t worry – it gets easier after you’ve done it a few times! A successful meal is an intersection between the needs of the group, the time of day, and the event. Approaching meal organisation successfully is about knowing your guests. What will make things perfect for them?
8) Timing is Everything
Timing is everything. It’s important to ensure your food & beverages will be ready to go at the same time as your guests. Let our team know what time you’d like to serve your meals, and depending on the type of food and the serving temperature, we’ll work with you to ensure everything is in the right place at the right time. As much as possible, work with time windows rather than precise times to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
9) Contingency Planning
Any successful event is the product of careful planning. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and this is when having a contingency plan can work in your favour. You can’t guard against every single possible thing that can go wrong, but you can consider major ones and imagine how you would respond if it occurs.
10) Bringing Contrast into Your Catering
Rather than just selecting your catering inclusions because of food you think your guests may enjoy, another approach is to consider your catering from the point of view of contrast. It’s a powerful idea for dynamic results – by including items that contrast, a more exciting, colourful and flavoursome catering experience can be created. Contrast can be strong or subtle. Innovative contrasts may make your catering memorable!