Tips for catering your next corporate event

Tips for catering your next corporate event

Work events are often held for numerous reasons – be it to impress clients; treats your employees for a big project you’ve landed or a special event such as Christmas; or, to celebrate a certain milestone that your company achieved such as an anniversary etc. Whatever the reason, these events always revolve around one central thing and what is that do you ask? Food! As it’s already that time of year that many businesses may hold events in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. In this post, we share a few tips for catering your next corporate event.

Planning Considerations

Even if your business is already in the food industry, many of these questions can also apply when planning your work event:

  1. Goals – what would you like to achieve with the event you will be putting on? This is the starting point for where you will design and base your event happenings.
  2. Demographics – who do you want to attend the event? Your food and venue should be based on your guests and attendees. The numbers should be estimated, although it won’t be 100% accurate so make sure to have a bit of leeway as extras may come (make sure to always talk to caterers the chance of having extra for food since the expected number will not always be the same with real numbers).
  3. Availability – will most of the attendees be available on that date? Is your caterer available at your chosen date?
  4. Budget – Can you cater for your event’s needs at a given price?
  5. Quality – Does your caterer have good reviews in terms of food quality? Is their service as commendable as their food?
  6. On-site or off-site – where’s the best place to hold the event? In your company premises or somewhere off-site? Consider the amount of people, parking availability, stage area, lighting etc. Budget will play a big part in this decision. Furthermore, you’ll have to look at your refrigeration needs, off-site you may need refrigerated truck rental or mobile cold room hire, even on-site you may need them too to compensate for larger events and hold more stock than usual
  7. Health and business permit – does the caterer or your venue have all the necessary permits to operate and serve food/drinks?
  8. Themes – if you have the budget for it, consider the amount of time needed to fine-tune the details needed for a themed event. From invitations to food, decorations, props, giveaways, etc.
  9. Sit-down or buffet food – sit down catering is great for structured events and best when you want to ensure that a large number of guests can be served quickly. Buffet style is the best way to keep everyone socialising.
  10. Drinks – Will you serve alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages? Are you going to do a package or put it on a tab to a limited cap? It will depend on the type of event, and again your budget.

Other ideas to create a ‘memorable’ corporate event

  • Include trivia on each table – trivia about the company or in general is a great ice breaker among your guests. It can keep them talking and socialising with each other.
  • Souvenir – they could be pieces that are relevant to the event or your company, for example at an end of year party, some companies set up a photo booth for their staff to take pictures and take them home. Another idea, at another corporate event, guests were able to take home ball pens. Whatever the souvenir you choose, just make sure it’s properly labelled, date and everybody gets one.
  • Entertainment – if it’s a formal event, you could opt for a singer or a simple band fit for the crowd; if the party is lighter, you could include a dance floor and incorporate games with prizes. Will some of your people give speeches? Or will you have a guest speaker?

Cost saving tips

  • Watch the time – keeping the event short and timely will also help you keep costs down.
  • Limit bar – An extensive bar offering is one of the things that can easily inflate your budget, limit your drink options or limit the bar time.
  • Venue selection – choose venues that have flexible time; have pre-existing kitchens; allow for refrigerated trucks or mobile cold rooms to be set up near these kitchens; and, offer flexible load ins.