The Following is a set of ten steps to serve as a how-to guide in planning your corporate event's menu.
How to Plan a Corporate Event Menu
1. Determine Your Available Meal Time - Review your corporate event's schedule to determine the amount of time your attendees will have to enjoy the meal. The type of meal you offer will be dependent on the amount of time available. Three types of meals to consider are: buffet/banquet style, boxed meal and sit-down. The more time you have available, the greater the flexibility for offering a full service sit-down meal. But if time is short, then a boxed meal could be the way to go!
2. Choose a Basic Theme - A cohesive meal is always well received. Choosing a basic theme for the event allows your caterer to create a menu that is central to that theme. You may choose a theme that complements the business that is hosting the event, the area in which the event is being held, or the topics being promoted through the event.
3. Consider Your Attendees - If the crowd you are serving is made up of young professionals, your menu options may be more daring than if it is made up of a more conservative group. If you are serving business persons who travel regularly, you may be able to serve a more eclectic menu. You should also consider the business that is being promoted. For example, if the event were for a holistic healing community, your menu would be different than if it were for a hunting association event.
4. Create a Scrapbook - As an event planner, you have likely attended a good number of other events. It is a great idea to keep a journal of these events in which you record likes and dislikes. Consider placing menu items that really impressed guests at other events on your corporate event menu.
5. Consider Special Guests and Honorees - If your event is being held in honor of a particular person or if you have VIP guests, consider asking around to see if they have particularly favored dishes. Serving these will leave a lasting impression.
In Meeting with your Caterer
6. Ask about Seasonal Options - In creating any menu it is essential to consider what foods are in season. This includes not only selecting fruits and vegetable that are likely to be at their peak but, also to determine the overall feel of your meal. If you know your event is in the middle of a scorching summer day, you would obviously choose a lighter menu with crisp refreshing options.
7. Require Options - Your caterer will work with the framework you came up with in the first three steps to provide you with potential menus. Be sure to explain to your caterer that you want to provide as many options as possible. Specifically, you want two options for appetizers, two for salads, three for entrees and two options for dessert. In providing these options, you are more likely to please every one of your guests. Always remember vegetarians, and those with special food requirements!
8. Inquire as to Their Specialty - A seasoned caterer is sure to be known for one or many of their specialty dishes. Offering your attendees the opportunity to experience this specialty would be especially well received.
9. Clear the Condiments - Most caterers will acquiesce to demands for lite seasoning and minimal toppings that would normally be served on a dish and opt to, instead, serve these on the side. Choosing to do this limits the possibility of serving a guest an item that they disagree with or are allergic to.
10. Offer a Preview of the Menu - Once you have finalized the menu with your caterer, offer registered attendees a preview of the corporate event's menu. When guests have had a chance to preview the menu they are more likely to choose options they are sure to enjoy at the event. This preview may also cause a welcome stir of excitement revolving around the corporate event.
With these 10 tips at your side, your menu is sure to please and be the talk of the event!