When planning the catering service for any event, we pay attention to many subtle aspects that guests might not notice. This attention to detail helps ensure a successful program for our clients. For corporate clients, the ROI of catered events improves with the quality of the food and the presentation. How well does our service fit into the structure of the event? Catering planning (menu presentation and serving style) ensures that our events obtain higher guest satisfaction than typical catered events.
With our Silicon Valley-based corporate clients, constructing a menu that will please such a diverse collection of palates is really an artful challenge, but we love rising to that challenge every day!
For more thoughts on how to build a catering menu and service plan to properly support the goals of the event, click here.
We Align Our Catering Service With Client Meeting Goals
Each event is unique. We need to know the agenda and the profile of your guest list to explore what menu options to offer. Some key guest needs we think about:
- Older groups of attendees often prefer a milder menu than younger groups in the Bay Area.
- Younger attendees tend to be more concerned about health and fitness, and so may prefer more vegetarian options.
- The client may be open to a mix of regional cuisines rather than hew to a safer menu familiar to the people attending. Younger attendees, in particular, may prefer more adventurous meals that fuse cultures in intriguing ways to gain new experiences.
Basically, we consider what your guests will enjoy the most based on the type of event you are planning.Provide Diverse Menu Choices for the Client to Consider
The dynamics of the event, both size of group and type of service, would determine some menu options (two salad choices vs four, for instance). To support event planners we offer several entrée sides, salad and dessert choices to combine into a menu that will please all guests. Some guidelines we discuss with clients include:
- Offer at least two choices of entrées
- Provide multiple salad dressing options
- Set out two dessert options: One could very indulgent, one relatively more healthful.
Anticipate Special Needs
Special dietary considerations may include:
- Food allergies
- Food Intolerances
- Religious requirements (such as Kosher or Vegetarian observances)
- Voluntary dietary restrictions (such as Keto or veganism)
Select a Menu that Fits the Event Schedule
The meeting schedule always drives the menu and service style for an event:
- Box lunches for short events or outdoor team activities
- Plated meals where the meal is an integral part of agenda, such as a formal presentation, or where people sit together to socialize
- Buffets for less formal meetings that still offer at least an hour to eat
- Cocktail receptions, either as their own event, or as prelude to a dinner
- Working breakfasts or lunches where the menu items and serving style need to fit into the spaces where the collaboration will occur.
A well-designed catering menu, presentation and serving style that meshes with and supports the meeting agenda and goals will deliver the meeting ROI that our clients seek.