The Art of Corporate Catering
Have you ever wondered how Sun Tzu’s principles, as discussed in his work The Art of War could be effectively applied to improve your corporate catering? The work of this mysterious Chinese warrior has endured over thousands of years. When it’s time to get strategic with your catering, here are some handy principles to keep in mind!
Therefore, those who skilfully move opponents make formations that opponents are sure to follow, give what opponents are sure to take. They move opponents with the prospect of gain, waiting for them in ambush.
Just to clarify, the application of Sun Tzu’s principles must be done with discretion! Guests should be ambushed by the surprise of a successful and well-planned event, not a military attack. However, the principle remains the same, or somewhat similar. Since you will be delivering your meal at a location of your planning, and you know your guests will be coming from various places to attend, take advantage of what you know to ensure a positive and easy entry to your event. As they move into the event, some careful repositioning of furniture can create interesting new layouts and serving possibilities, even in much-used and familiar rooms. And – the hallmark of any successful catered event – “Give what opponents are sure to take”. Give your guests what they love!
When light vehicles come out first and stay to the sides, they are going to set up a battle line.
Eating is a social activity – best enjoyed with those you know and love. People are fussy about who they eat with. Usually, people either eat alone or with their friends or family. This means that manufactured, rather than spontaneous, company eating events can be an awkward or uncomfortable experience for some. A popular way to offset this discomfort is clique-mingling – to rely on the existing, established social clumps, harbouring together against the adversity of the social environment. The problem with clique-mingling is that the true power of the event, namely the informal bringing-together of people, isn’t realised. Depending on the social scene at your office, give some thought about what you can do to break up clique-mingling and get more out of the social side of your event. How? Here are three ideas:
a) Strategically assign guests to seating locations or tables to break up cliques
b) Provide opportunities for mingling in the way food and beverages are laid out
c) Find non-worked-related commonalities in your staff and introduce these thematically to your catered events
When there are murmurings, lapses in duties, and extended conversations, the loyalty of the group has been lost
Momentum! Every event should have a set start and finished time. This facilities planning for an optimal delivery of catering and also the event experience. As an event-organiser, there’s more to a successful catering experience than just getting food on the table at the right time. There may be speeches, pre-amble, dining stages, or special ceremonies to undertake. Make sure you have, as best possible, a map for how things are to unfold. This helps to maximise the loyalty of the group to your event – by providing cues, opportunities and contingency-planning, keep momentum. Keep your event moving!
The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership, so that they will share death and share life, without the fear of danger.
What’s your corporate catering goal? To:
a) Provide some hot food for your staff..
b) Unify your company, consolidate leadership, improve loyalty to the point staff will want your logo tattooed on their arm (below the sleeve, so it’s visible) and become fearless and able to access their own unlimited potential?
These possibility of the application of the essence of this objective exists in any shared dining scenario. Bringing people together informally is empowering. It creates the opportunity for shared interests and beliefs to emerge, and also levels the playing field to some extent. It’s healthy! It’s about sharing time, space and experience, and seeing similarities between yourself and others. It can be a unifying experience – accordingly, this should always be the goal of such functions.
Therefore if the smaller side is stubborn, it becomes the captive of the larger side.
Flexibility! If you’ve been doing something for a while, it’s easy to get set in your ways. After all, you know what works, right? Having ‘an approach’ is both a strength and weakness. It means you always have a strategy, but it doesn’t mean your strategy is always the best one. Catering and dining are social human experiences, but over time people and needs change. Make sure you know your guests and what constitutes a great catering experience for them. Apply the delivery of your event to best meet their needs. The minimal successful aspect of a catered event is for the guests to enjoy the food!
If you can strike few with many, you will thus minimise the number of those with whom you do battle
Bang for buck? Catering doesn’t have to be complex. By knowing your guests, knowing the purpose of your event and (gulp) knowing yourself, catering can be simplified. Like so many things in life, less is often more. It’s just a case of ensuring everyone is catered for and that options aren’t simplified to the point where they’re no longer applicable. To get the most out of your event, talk to our team about what you’d like to achieve. We’d love to help you make it happen!