How To Successfully Host A Corporate Catering Party
Plan the Details
The most important thing you can do when hosting a corporate catering party is to plan out all the details. Make sure one person is in charge of checking over everything, to make sure it is all coordinated properly. You’ll need to know how many people you are inviting. Is it all people from one company? Are people going to need other accommodations? Will they be allowed to bring a plus one? What will be the dress code? How much will it cost per person? These are all details you will want to start thinking about in the beginning stages of planning for your catering party.
Number of People
One of the first things you will have to decide is the number of people who are coming to your party. Once you figure that out, you can start working with a menu and figuring out plate price and a budget. If you are only going to have 30 people, you might be able to afford fancier dishes than if you are feeding 500.
You will want to send out some sort of invitation because it always makes things easier if you ask people to RSVP by a certain time so you know how many people to expect and whether or not they will need specialized meal types. Make sure on the instructions for RSVP you ask them whether or not they need a specialized meal such as vegetarian or gluten free.
Type of Food
The food is one of the most important parts of any catering event. Do you want it to be casual food, such as sandwiches? Do you want it to be just one course or multiple courses? Should it be a serve your self-type buffet or do you need waiters? Should it be lunch food, dinner food or cocktail appetizers?
These are all questions you must think about and answer depending on the type of atmosphere you want to create. If you want to create an informal atmosphere where people can get to know each other, perhaps a cocktail hour type atmosphere is best. If you want it to be a formal dinner with a presentation, perhaps a multiple course meal served by waiters is best. If it is just a luncheon at a conference, perhaps sandwiches in a serve your self buffet is best.
Another possibility that you need to consider when planning the event is whether or not you want to have a themed catered party. If it is a fancier event, sometimes it is fun to have a formal theme like white and black or masquerade. If it’s a less formal event you can just have themed decorations such as southwestern and then serve southwestern style food as well. Depending on who comes to your event will determine the type of theme you want to have, if you even want to have one at all. Your caterer can usually be a great person to talk to for ideas about a theme and they can talk about what they have done in the past that was successful.
Alternate Diet Options: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free
Don’t forget the special diet needs some of the guests might have when making plans for the food for a corporate catering party. You will want to have options available for vegetarians, vegans, and even sometimes people who only eat gluten-free foods. One of the best ways to find this out is to ask before an RSVP so the caterers can bring the right amount of food to meet these special requests.
Hosting a corporate catering event shouldn’t be painful! If there is no one in your corporation who wants to take charge of planning the event, don’t forget that you can always reach out to private event planners as well as the restaurant that is catering. They often have good ideas and are very practiced in the art of hosting catering parties!
Sammy Jo writes for Lutz’s BBQ, a catering restaurant in Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo.