Fun corporate activities for work are critically important to the success of your business. Finding the right caterer for your corporate event can be a challenging task. Corporate events, almost by definition, involve a much larger scale than something along the lines of a cocktail party or a mixer. There is also a level of professionalism that will need to be met where other situations might be more lax. If you are running the event, than the quality and behavior of the caterers will reflect upon you, fair or not. Here is a look at some of the unique challenges that finding a corporate event caterer poses and some tips on how to make a successful choice.
As mentioned, volume is an important factor to consider when selecting a corporate event caterer. Corporate events are typically sized anywhere from fifty to over a thousand employees. Not every caterer in the phone book or with a web site is equipped or experienced enough to handle numbers this large. Numbers this large also demand a certain set of variety. You cannot just have hamburgers and hot dogs for all. There should be options for vegetarians/vegans and food that accounts for those with common allergies. For example, over 1% of the population has a peanut allergy. If you are catering an event for 500 people, that means at least five are likely to be allergic to nuts if they are part of the cuisine. This is a problem that can be easily sidestepped by making an assumption that some people are going to need an alternate food and planning different options accordingly.
The style of the catering will need to be planned in advance. You need to decide whether to do a breakfast buffet, a boxed lunch, finger foods, or a plated dinner. Luckily the time and nature of the event often makes this a very easy decision. For example, a morning meeting makes breakfast pastries and coffee a most likely best option. Meanwhile, an all day convention would demand some break for lunch and possibly premade lunch boxes if that is something in the budget to provide. And an evening awards session would call for something closer to a plated dinner. It is the odd hours (i.e. mid morning, mid afternoon, etc) that make the decision more difficult. In these circumstances, it is likely best to let past situations and overall budget guide your decision making process.
Another tricky decision involves whether or not to make alcohol available. Typically, this is always a “no go” for morning events. Barring special circumstances, you would probably not want to have adult beverages for lunch time activities either. But for those later in the day, the decision becomes much complex. If the activity takes place outside of normal work hours, then it is often considered appropriate to include beer, wine, and cocktails. Use past event experience to help you make your decision. If employees have shown a propensity to get out of hand in the past, then you may want to scale it down a bit for the future. Corporate events can be fun and valuable, but it is never worthwhile if it ends up costing somebody their job.
If you have any other questions regarding corporate event hosting or catering, please contact the author where provided.
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