How To Cater An Event At Work
If you are in charge of the food for a professional meeting, you'll want to learn how to cater an event at work. There are several things that you'll want to consider. However, the day need not be stressful, as long as you plan and prepare well in advance. It's possible to cater an event at work with ease, and you'll look like the hero of the work place when you provide delicious food that's appropriate to eat while mingling, talking and working.
- Compare the budget that you've been given with the size of the group. That will give you an idea of how much of a budget that you have per person. This can typically indicate whether you are looking at gourmet restaurants or to see if Burger King caters. Make sure to overestimate how many people will be there, by at least ten heads, because some people eat more than their portion, and there are often unexpected attendees. It's better to have left-overs to take home than not enough to feed your co-workers.
- Ask for input. You won't be considered unprofessional. While you don't want to make others feel responsible for your catering project, casually asking for what co-workers would most want to eat is perfectly fine. Take mental or physical notes. Once someone offers an opinion, you want to provide something that will be similar to that when you finally cater an event at work. If you don't plan on taking others' opinions, don't ask. You may even consult with your boss to make sure that there are no restrictions when you cater an event at work.
- Choose finger foods that aren't messy. You want to pick foods that are more filling than the typical hors d'oeuvres, because this is likely going to serve as your co-workers' full lunch. Cheese and crackers are great, as long as they are accompanied by something more filling, such as sandwiches. Other options include stuffed jalapeños, mozzarella sticks, deviled eggs, egg rolls, fruits and vegetables with dip, tortilla roll-ups and chips.
- Consider any allergies or dietary restrictions. When you cater an event at work, make sure that there is plenty for vegetarians and vegans to eat. While all meat eaters can enjoy vegetarian fare, vegetarians cannot consume any meat dishes. Ask around the office prior to ordering the dishes; that will give you a better idea. Even if you don't know of any dietary restrictions, plan something for all types, just in case.
- Ultimately pick foods that suit the mood and setting of your workplace. If it's a school, a pizza party may be appropriate. If your workplace is an Italian restaurant, you don't want to cater an event from competing Italian restaurants, as tempting and humorous as that may be. Err on the side of caution.
- Triple confirm the date and time of the catering delivery. If there's anything you don't want to end up with, it's a meeting room full of hungry people asking you what happened to the food. Let others know of the exact time of delivery. Enlist the help of a couple of co-workers, if possible, to make sure that the set-up of the catering goes smoothly.
- Be gracious and humble as you receive compliments. If co-workers criticize the catering or express dismay at the choices, take it in stride. Thank them for the feedback. Remember that it's not personal. It's about food.