How To Create a Menu to Impress Guests At a Corporate Event
A corporate event is a reflection of the company to its guests, speakers, and sponsors. Everything from food, location, and atmosphere will either elevate a company’s reputation or tarnish it. To ensure your catering menu is a hit, take the following steps ahead of time.
1. Tap into the guest profile
Younger, entrepreneurial guests may be more open to trendy cuisine than seasoned executives. Or, you may have seasoned professionals who are tired of the standard catering menu and would like something new and exciting. Either way, before planning the menu consider the following:
- The guests’ professional level
- How often your guests attend similar events
- Guests’ home city
- Guests’ ethnic background
2. Know guest preferences
Some age groups and ethnicities may prefer spicier or health-centric menu options. The industry you’re targeting with your corporate event may be a good source of insight into guest preferences. Consider doing a quick survey during event registration to learn about guests’ food preferences.
3. Offer sufficient menu choices
To make sure everyone’s happy with the menu choices, consider:
- Offering at least two or three choices of entrees
- Offering three or more salad dressing options
- Serving all condiments on the side
- Offering at least two dessert options: one healthy and the other indulgent
4. Plan for dietary restrictions
Create dishes that are free from the top allergens, such as gluten, nuts, and lactose. Also offer dishes that meet religious requirements and appeal to vegans and vegetarians.
5. Incorporate seasonal and fresh items
Certain foods go in and out of season, so take the time of year into consideration when planning the menu. Some regions also have popular food items that reflect the local culture. Incorporate seasonal and locally sourced foods to give guests a truly memorable culinary experience.
6. Consider ethnic or regional tastes
If your guests skew to one or two different ethnic backgrounds, consider hiring a catering company that can serve their ethnic foods. Common ethnic catering can include menu options that are Asian, French, Greek, Italian, and Mexican.
7. Consider the event schedule
Some events are on a tight schedule and food should be served in a timely and efficient manner. The way food is served will impact the type of food guests can enjoy within a set time period, so plan accordingly.