The task of planning your company party, a fundraiser or an important board meeting can be an overwhelming task. Where do you begin? How do you guarantee an experience that is praiseworthy? With details to consider, your last concern should be whether your caterer is the right company for the job.
We’ve pooled our best insider tips to make selecting a caterer for your next business function a breeze. Read on to uncover 8 things to look for to book the right candidate for the job.
Tip 1: Hire a Caterer That Listens
Due to the details involved in planning a large-scale event, it is important to choose a caterer that will help you every step of the way. High profile clients, board members, executives and other higher-profile guests may be specific in their needs and likes. You’ll want someone who will hear those details and execute them professionally. An all-pro caterer will not tell you what you want at your event – they’ll ask and then deliver to make your party one-of-a-kind.
Tip 2: Opt for Efficiency
Business leaders are busy people. Meetings are crucial part of business. Although the highest level of food and drink may be available, the main reason for gathering is often to get down to business. Look for a caterer that prioritizes efficiency with service while respecting guests and their most valuable resource – their time. One way of doing this is by using a double-sided buffet so there won’t ever be long wait times for guests to eat.
Tip 3: Know your Head Count
The most practical place to start with catering is your guest count. This will begin as a realistic estimate with built-in wiggle room to help set the planning stages in motion, both with budget and menu design.
Tip 4: Expect Professional Service
Look for a caterer with high service standards. While someone is handing out awards or conducting a presentation, can you rely on your caterer to offer quiet service? Your timeline will help determine the best way to manage your event and your catering company will be able to help design the best timeline for your meal.
Tip 5: Plan for Food Variety
It’s a given – when you host an event you’ll have a wide range of dietary needs and restrictions that may need to be considered. It’s important to satisfy all of your guests’ needs while also maintaining reasonable costs. Be sure to be thoughtful of your guests while designing your menu, ensuring those who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free among others, have an option available to them.
Tip 6: Drinks or No Drinks
Depending on the function, bar service is often a welcome addition to an evening gala, fundraising event or even a company holiday party. However, training seminars and daytime meetings are a better platform for non-alcoholic beverages. Look for a caterer that can guide you through the planning process and make smart beverage recommendations so you can have a successful event.
Tip 7: Create a Relationship
Depending on your business, your company may host quarterly or even monthly events. Streamline your corporate events and their planning by developing a relationship with a caterer you can trust. If you lock in a caterer for repeat events, you can take comfort in knowing that your event will be done to your specifications each and every time, you’ll always receive the highest quality of service, food and beverage, and they will be able to present new and exciting menu options to keep things interesting and enjoyable. This partnership will allow the caterer to become familiar with your ongoing needs and preferences which will expedite your time spend planning in the long run.
Tip 8: Don’t Forget Linens or Décor
We know you need to wow your VIPs with stellar food and drink, but décor is an equally important part of the aesthetic. Seek out a professional catering company with plenty years of industry experience to help you source the best décor and provide recommendations for the most reputable vendors. The more experience, the better connections that caterer will have with vendors for the services you need. Floral, lighting, entertainment, audio visual – the right caterer can connect you. Also, the best caterers will have wide varieties of linens available so you don’t need to worry about dealing with the rental through a vendor.