From a simple deli sandwich to an executive boxed lunch; a hot breakfast to a buffet lunch for large training sessions – corporate catering requires careful planning. Understanding your guest demographics and meeting time frame will help direct the menu choices and food portioning.
Simply Elegant customizes menus to give your guests the ultimate in variety and remember to be sensitive to food allergies, ethnic and religious considerations. Budget conscious companies can enjoy our money saving meals utilizing our Weekly Specials.
Choose a catering company that takes the time to listen to your needs. Your caterer should deliver the highest quality of service throughout the year including peak seasons and be committed to pride in food presentation to keep it fun and varied.
Reasons for Catering Hiccups:
Did you confirm both eating and delivery times? Is the meeting a different address from your billing address? Is your loading dock difficult? Are you having a fire drill today? Let the caterer know if you only have stairs.
Deliveries are affected by Calgary blizzards, infamous road construction and special events like Stampede. Inform the office of the food delivery if you will not be present to receive it. Never assume – always ask your caterer questions. Don’t forget drinks and disposables and ask about potential food allergies.
Food expectations vary greatly from one company to another so be mindful of food styles – healthy vs. comfort food; sit down hot lunch vs easy to eat for Lunch and Learn’s. Your budget is proportional to food quantity, quality and style so utilize Simply Elegant Catering our Weekly Specials for variety and greater savings. Discuss platter pick up when ordering as it is usually the next working day after food deliveries. Manage your sandwich variety by changing up the type of breads and fillings for your staff.
Vegetarian Menu Ideas
- Baked summer fruits served with a of plain very low-fat fromage frais, followed by a slice of sesame Ryvita topped sliced apple and lemon curd. For the summer fruits, bake raspberries, peaches, strawberries and blackberries.
- Pea and pumpkin curry with steamed Thai fragrant rice.
- Vegetable moussaka
Lactose Intolerant Menu Ideas
- Orange juice, calcium fortified
- Turkey on Italian bread with Mayonnaise
- Roast beef with Noodles and Broccoli
Celiac Menu Ideas
- Eggs, Canadian bacon or turkey bacon
- Stir-fry with meat, poultry, seafood and chopped vegetables served over brown rice
- Pudding, ice cream or yogurt topped with berries and whipped topping
Peanut Allergy Menu Ideas
- Order simple dishes with only a few recipe ingredients.
- Avoid sauces unless you’re sure they don’t contain nuts.
- Confirm with kitchen that food processors, cutting boards, pans, knives, or other food preparation equipment have not been used for nuts.
Fish Allergy Menu Ideas
- Aerosolized fish proteins inhalation causes allergic reactions so people with fish allergies should avoid hibachi-style communal grill menus.
- Sushi offers high risk for cross-contamination due to the close proximity of fish and non-fish items.
- People with fish allergies should avoid eating any other food fried in the same oil.
Low Sodium Menu Ideas
- Avoid instant rice, pasta, and other pre-packaged foods, since they often have a high salt content.
- Choose raw nuts over salted, roasted nuts, unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas and lentils unsalted popcorn or fresh fruit instead.
- Choose any menu that is created using fresh, frozen or canned food items that are processed without added salts.
Muslim Food Restrictions
- Avoid any pork dishes at a banquet when Muslims are in attendance because the other dishes might become contaminated in preparation or serving.
- Do not serve alcohol in the presence of guests, especially government or religious officials, from the more fundamentalist Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait; even if you know that the individual may drink in private. Many Muslims, Muslims fast until sundown during the month of Ramadan.
Corporate catering needs a lot of special considerations when compared to a traditional catered event, like birthdays and parties. A corporate event usually means that it is related to a business gathering where one company is trying to impress the representatives of another company by looking professional.
Corporate event catering is more about presentation than anything else. Not only will the food be rich, but the dining table sets will look neat and organized. You will even have waiters that will take people’s plates when they are done.
The Event Ambiance
A corporate event is all about making the attendees feel as comfortable as possible. Chances are the event may be trying to sell a product or service that the hosting company is offering. So, if the clients are impressed with the professionalism of the event then they will likely be tempted to invest their money into what the company is selling.
Know Your Guests
You must consider knowing who your guests are and what they like to eat. For example, if you are hosting a dinner party with a Japanese corporation, then it wouldn’t really be appropriate to serve hot dogs and hamburgers at the event.
Instead, you will want to serve the kind of food they would normally eat in their native land. In the case of the Japanese, this would be fish, sushi, teriyaki, rice and etc. That way you will earn their respect and it will help you in developing a business relationship together. The same applies with business people of all countries, not just Japan.
Corporate events should also be indoors whenever possible. You don’t want your event to look like an outdoor picnic with flaming grills and flies buzzing around. Instead, you want to have your event inside a building with a comfortable room temperature and lots of cleanliness.
Remember that presentation of the event is just as important as the food that’s being served. Even the food should be presented in a professional manner with chefs placing the food on people’s plates or waiters bringing the food directly to the guests’ tables.
Serving the Food
Depending on the type of corporate event, you will want to figure out if it is a good idea to let people serve themselves or not. Usually an event with Fortune 500 corporate representatives won’t even want to get their own food. They will expect it to be delivered.
These are the considerations you have to make when hosting a corporate event. Let us know if you have questions or comments (leave below) about catering to your next corporate event.