Catering for Business Meetings
Are you in charge of planning another long business meeting at the office? Wouldn’t it be great if that long business meeting didn’t suck? Newsflash: It doesn’t have to! If it’s your job to keep the people in your meeting happy, then it’s our job to keep you happy and help you out of the mire. We’ll show you how office catering can make your next business meeting or conference successful, not stressful.
At some point in every meeting, people inevitably look at the clock and start wondering when the next break is and (more importantly) when the food is coming. We’ve all been there. Stomachs are rumbling. People start grumbling. Energy is dra-a-a-a-gging. You think to yourself, “How many minutes have passed since the last time I checked my watch?” We’ve all seen it happen time and time again. When people slow down and stop giving their best, the meeting suffers tremendously, subtly yet drastically affecting productivity and morale.
Bottom line: No one likes to work on an empty stomach, which is why choosing the right catering company for your next business meeting or conference is essential in order to keep the day running smoothly and productively. You’d be amazed at how well professional catering can positively affect employees and executives. It improves people’s attitudes, gives them a sense of camaraderie with the company and increases their input when the meeting resumes. In the simplest terms: offering your employees delicious, specially-crafted cuisine is good for business.
Some Simple Rules to Follow…
Rule 1: Find the Right Venue
Is your business luncheon in the office itself? If so, an experienced corporate catering company will know how to utilize the space and maximize its potential. If your office space doesn’t have a kitchen, for instance, mobile kitchens offer creative, highly functional solutions. Think “create your own omelet” stations with sizzling bacon, pancakes and maple syrup, eggs Benedict and other delicious, ready-to-go items.
Sure, food is important, delicious, and did I mention important? But, you might also be looking for a new location for your large scale conference with several stages, microphones, lighting, state of the art sound systems and AV equipment to support speeches or presentations. Our venue scouts will find you that perfect facility, with planning, setup, and take down executed to perfection.
Whether we’re talking about a sit down luncheon for five hundred guests with breakfast and brunch served table side or a more casual buffet style experience, your location, generally speaking, should never dictate what can or cannot be done. Large convention centers can be made more intimate by having professional event design and piping hot food on site. What may first appear to be a cold, empty industrial space can quickly be turned into an enlivened environment full of social, engaging energy.
Rule 2: Delegate
Delegate don’t contemplate! The first thing to keep in mind is: you’re not alone! Batman had Robin. Bonnie had Clyde. And Butch Cassidy had The Sundance Kid. Are you starting to see where this is going? It’s all about teamwork. Even if you think you’re a superhero, you’re still going to need some help. The whole Army of One thing doesn’t work here. There are too many logistics and details that need to be planned ahead of time including menu options, seating arrangements, utensils, table cloths, plates, glasses… and we haven’t even gotten to your beverage service yet! Furthermore, why would you even want to do all of this by yourself when there’s help out there?
An experienced corporate catering company will know what you’re up against because they’ve seen it all before. This is one day at the office for you, but for them, it’s the norm. They know how to build out mobile kitchens anywhere and are trained to cook and serve in small spaces, boardrooms, ballrooms and large convention centers. Whether we’re talking fifty guests or five hundred, they have a game plan for every type of scenario. A professional, experienced corporate catering company will know all the ins and outs of catering for medium and large groups. Where you might see an issue, they will see a solution.
Because we’re talking about business meetings, there may be the usual mess of papers scattered around, cell phones, computers and tablets on the table. And, when you throw in a full on-site catering service into this atmosphere it can get messy. You don’t want coffee spilled over tables and plates of food getting in the way. This isn’t a college dorm room! Case in point: you shouldn’t be trying to do this alone.
A corporate catering company will know in advance the space they’re working in. They will have separate areas for cooking, serving and eating. They will also clean up plates, glasses, napkins and utensils promptly so you can get back to your meeting in a timely fashion. As your meeting resumes, they will take care of the tear down, packing away tables, chairs and will disappear as if they were never there. Now, do you really want to try and do all of that yourself? Reach out for help and you’ll be amazed how smoothly things go. Every Batman needs his Robin.
Rule 3: Choose the Right Menu
This is a crucial aspect to successfully planning your corporate event experience. Do any of your guests have special dietary needs? If so, you’ll want to fully explore any vegetarian or vegan options with our event managers. Our executive chef has a vast range of delicious vegetarian choices that can be freshly prepared and served at your location.
Secondly, how can we turn up the heat on the monotonous and offer interesting choices for everyone attending? We’ve all seen the same old stuff rolled out on so many occasions; wouldn’t it be better to offer some unique choices this time around? You want your lunch menu to stand out from the rest and impress the people attending so they actually talk about the excellent food you organized. You want your guests to comment on the food, not just accept it and eat it because it’s there. How do you do this? It goes back to Rule 1: delegate the task to a professional catering company that has experience with serving and preparing corporate and business lunches.
The best way to achieve all of your goals is to offer choices. Some people will choose lighter food while others will want something more substantial. Lunch buffets are a fantastic option; they can be an excellent way to go for larger groups as people can serve themselves and watch as their food is prepared.
Buffet options include roasted loin of pork, carving stations with roast beef, top sirloin and prime rib, herb crusted roast turkey or marinated skirt steak roulades. With spice-rubbed salmon, fresh mahi mahi, steaming fresh vegetables and terrific pasta dishes, this won’t be just another day at the office.
Other times, your guests might prefer more energy boosting foods at lunchtime. Gourmet salads are always popular, as are fresh fish and chicken dishes. Take a peek at a sample menu and let us know what you think:
- Chinese chicken salad is served with a sesame ginger vinaigrette.
- Calamari salad is served with artichokes, olives, capers and endive.
- Japanese chicken salad comes with a delicious soy-ginger dressing.
- The grilled salmon salad is prepared with butter leaf lettuce, Belgian endive, pine nuts, Bosc pears and a touch of Gorgonzola and bleu cheese tossed with a citrus vinaigrette.
- Chicken pineapple macadamia nut salad is served with a homemade poppy seed dressing.
- Chilled oriental angel hair pasta with chicken is tossed with a sesame dressing and accompanied by an assortment of vegetables.
Other options can include our brown derby Cobb salad, the classic Caesar salad with chicken and shrimp and delicious antipasti consisting of freshly grilled and roasted vegetables.
It’s a Wrap!
With gourmet wraps made to order, fresh salads, a full breakfast and brunch service, and thick New York deli style sandwiches on hand, your next business luncheon will be anything but boring. Brunch or lunch? It’s up to you. You may prefer a formal sit down luncheon or a more casual buffet style service. You may want to have your lunch prepared and served right at the office because of time constraints. Whatever choice you make, no one will have to brown bag it today. We’re dedicated to making this a memorable experience for you and your team. See, there’s that word team again.
Don’t see the answer you were looking for? Have a question about planning your meeting or conference? Call us at 800-366-0603 or ask an experienced event manager online today!