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Top tips for choosing food & drink menus for your next corporate event

Selecting a food and drink menu for corporate events and conferences is a balancing act. It requires one to consider dietary needs, cultural preferences, and the event’s overall theme. A well-curated menu can elevate the attendee’s experience, while a misstep can taint the entire event. Eek! Here are some top tips to ensure your corporate gathering is memorable for all the right reasons, based on input from delegates and suppliers at the Event Organisers Summit…

  1. Know Your Audience: Understanding the preferences and restrictions of your attendees is the foundation of a successful menu. If possible, include dietary questions in your RSVP to gauge specific needs. Are a significant number of attendees vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free? Catering to these requirements is not just considerate—it’s essential.
  2. Seasonality Matters: Choosing in-season produce ensures fresher and tastier dishes. It also supports local farmers and reduces the event’s carbon footprint. Consult with your caterer about the best seasonal choices that align with the event’s timeframe.
  3. Diversity in Cuisine: Offer a range of dishes representing various world cuisines. It not only caters to diverse palates but also makes the meal experience more engaging. However, always ensure there are familiar options available for those less adventurous!
  4. Mindful of Portions: For multi-day conferences, avoid heavy dishes that might leave attendees feeling sluggish. Instead, opt for lighter, energy-boosting meals. For evening events, a mix of substantial and light options caters to varied preferences.
  5. Themed Menus: If your event has a specific theme, reflecting that in your menu can create a cohesive experience. For example, for a conference on sustainability, offering an entirely organic or plant-based menu can resonate well.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Ensure there’s an abundance of water, both still and sparkling, throughout the event. For daytime events, offer a variety of teas, coffees, and fresh juices. In the evenings, while alcoholic beverages can be provided, non-alcoholic mocktails should also be available.
  7. Interactive Food Stations: Live cooking stations or DIY food bars can add an interactive element to the event. It becomes both a culinary and entertainment feature, be it a sushi rolling station or a build-your-own taco bar.
  8. Tasting in Advance: Before finalising the menu, arrange a tasting session with your caterer. This allows you to experience the dishes firsthand and make any necessary adjustments.
  9. Presentation is Key: The visual appeal of food enhances the overall dining experience. Discuss presentation specifics with your caterer, ensuring that the dishes are not only delicious but also visually enticing.
  10. Budgeting: While it’s essential to offer a varied menu, it’s equally important to stay within budget. Work closely with your caterer to find a balance between quality, variety, and cost.

Crafting the perfect menu for corporate events requires meticulous planning, a keen understanding of your audience, and a dash of creativity. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure your event leaves a lasting impression on attendees’ palates and memories.

Are you looking for catering solutions for your upcoming events? The Event Organisers Summit an help!

Image by ally j from Pixabay


Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien