Corporate catering planning arrangements are usually placed on the PA or secretary or similar person and are usually on behalf of the boss or superior within the organisation. Corporate catering is meant to impress, be professional and fall within budgetary constraints. If the task of corporate catering falls on you, here are some tips to a successful result.
Plan ahead. Ensure you have all your requirements at hand. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving calls from under-prepared clients. Style, number of people attending, demographic of attendees, time of the event, duration of the event, location, facilities, food and or beverage requirements and last but not least, budget. Each area is discussed below.
Style: Is the event formal or casual? What is the desired outcome? Who are you trying to impress?
Number of people: Often referred to as ‘pax’, the number of people attending the event is of paramount importance in planning both seating arrangements and catering alike. Have an idea before calling around.
Demographic: Understanding who your guests are will allow for appropriate corporate catering requirements to satisfy a range of tastes and styles. Are the guests mainly men, therefore requiring more substantial food items? Or are they likely to be a greater female demographic who usually prefer smaller, daintier food items? Possibly the attendees are form a particular cultural or religious sect and more thought and panning is required not to offend. These are all important issues to a positive outcome.
Time and Duration: Have a clear understanding of when the event will start, have breaks and finish and the appropriate catering requirements for each interval. Both food and beverage components need thought and attention to satisfy each delegate to the event.
Location and Facilities: Where the function is held has many implications for the caterer. Access, operations and bump out are all of paramount importance. Is there a lift, a goods lift or just stairs? Does the venue have a kitchen or an area for a kitchen to be setup? Does the caterer need to set a kitchen space themselves? What other facilities does the venue have including, water and power access and usage, rubbish receptacles, recycling bins and cleaners?
Food and Beverage Requirements: Obviously the most important factor for the caterer, this can be a wide area of discussion. Understanding the demographics, duration and all the above indicators will assist both you and the caterer in determining the desired menu and beverage package. There are a huge variety of options that your caterer will be more than happy to discuss.
Budget: From a caterers perspective, if a client has a clear budget to work towards, it makes the process a lot easier in terms of formulating a proposal based on actual data and therefore saves time and effort in the back and forth negotiations that can take up valuable time
Know what you want and how much you want to pay but be open to suggestion from your caterer who should guide you through the process to a successful event.
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