Whether it’s a sit-down business menu or a running buffet, the food and beverages served at a corporate event reflect the image of the company. Therefore, it is essential to use the best caterers and food suppliers that your company can afford.
While no-one can predict exactly how a meeting is going to turn out, providing delegates with a light, nutritious and memorable meal is a big step in the right direction. Whether the company uses an outsourced firm or the in-house canteen management team, both the food and beverage menus must be carefully and creatively planned. It is a sad fact that many business people groan at the thought of another ‘rubber chicken’ meal – a disparaging phrase used to describe the pre-cooked, reheated and hastily sauced-over dishes that seem to be a staple of any corporate meal. While offering delicious menus to a large number of people in a short time on a tight budget is difficult, it’s not impossible – top restaurant chefs do it all the time.
Profiling the population
An essential part of corporate menu pre-planning is the delegates’ profile. How often do they attend such events? What is their professional status? What is their ethnicity? What is their average age? Older management may prefer familiar, mildly flavoured dishes made with fresh locally sourced ingredients, while young executives who travel frequently may be familiar with unusual and highly spiced cuisine.
In general, the menu should be planned around what the majority of delegates are most likely to enjoy, but should also allow for those with special needs. It is essential that event planners make catering managers aware of food allergies, religious requirements and those on special diets. Vegetarian and ‘healthy eating’ options should also be included on the menu plan. A varied, interesting menu with plenty of fresh, natural, ingredients should ensure any meeting is a success.