Like everything else in today’s world, the times they are a-changin’, and the low-key business meetings and sandwich lunches are no longer cutting it in the corporate world.
Here at Ryan John Private Chef we specialise in corporate catering. Our food is always skillfully prepared and exquisitely served using only the finest local ingredients. Our staff are highly skilled and trained and stand by their reputation.
So just in case that Christmas function wasn’t the success you hoped it would be, or the New Year’s staff BBQ was something the staff would rather forget, here are a few of my top corporate catering tips to ensure your next corporate event isn’t a fizzer.
Corporate Catering Tip # 1 - What is the reason for the event?
Very few corporate gatherings are organised just for the helluvit. There is usually an agenda or reason for getting the troops gathered together. Whether it be to wow potential new clients, reward or motivate the staff or celebrate a company milestone, decide what you would like to achieve and work towards that goal.
Corporate Catering Tip # 2 - Budget
Once you have decided on the goal, you will now need to crunch the numbers in order to come up with an agreed budget to work within. Your budget will set the scene for the event you will be catering which might be anything from a sausage sizzle to a sit-down executive banquet accompanied by Margaret River wines.
If you work within your budget and communicate that early to your catering company there will be no surprises at the end of the day.
Corporate Catering Tip # 3 - Number of guests? Who’s attending?
Your food and venue will be dictated by the number of guests you intend to invite. This number will be a guesstimate to start with, of course, and can be finalised later down the track (note to self: for catering purposes, it’s important to include an RSVP deadline in your invitation).
If you are using caterers, we suggest that to get things rolling the estimated number of guests is conveyed to them at the time of booking.
Most caterers will ask for a definitive number of attendees closer to the event and will usually work with this final number on the night, allowing for a little wiggle room.
Corporate Catering Tip # 4 - Drinks
Depending on the event and the venue, you may or may not choose to serve alcohol. A flat out business meeting or training seminar probably doesn’t call for bar service. However, a celebratory dinner rewarding your staff for a job well done may well do.
You will need to decide early on in the piece whether or not alcohol or bar services are required for your event as this will affect the budget as well as the planning. Some caterers do not provide bar staff (of course we do!) so check that early, and ask your catering company what wines they would recommend to best suit the menu.
Corporate Catering Tip # 5 - Venue
Whether you are organising the end of year celebrations for 200 staff or throwing a surprise thank you lunch for 20, book your venue early and get your confirmation in writing. We have a great post about venues in Perth which is worth a read.
This will save you panic, stress and headaches down the line and can’t be stressed enough. Don’t leave it until the last minute!
Corporate Catering Tip # 6 - Lighten up
Yes it’s a business gathering but that doesn’t mean it has to be ho-hum and boring. Don’t forget to entertain your colleagues. If speeches need to be made or business matters need to be discussed keep it short, focused and try not to put your audience to sleep with long corporate-sounding monologue.
Focus on your staff, your clients and your colleagues. Keep it light, give praise where it is due and remember - you wouldn’t have a business without them. So wine them, dine them and entertain them! They will love you for it.