Planning a large event, no matter the occasion, can be a large undertaking. Planning a large corporate event presents unique challenges. Here are some tips to help you navigate working with a catering company for a large corporate event.
#1 Know Your Budget Before You Start Menu Planning
Before you start planning the menu, you need to have a clear idea of what your budget is for the catering portion of the event. You need to have realistic expectations of what you can afford to serve. Your budget will impact how the food is served and what type of food is served. For example, it is generally less expensive to host a buffet than it is to bring the food out to the tables in courses. The type of food you serve will greatly impact the budget as well. It is a lot less expensive to host a pasta and soup buffet than it is to offer steak and seafood dinners to everyone in attendance.
#2 Keep in Mind Food Restrictions
Since this is a corporate event, there will be an expectation in place that you will be able to provide for people's different food restrictions. As you plan your budget, be sure to include meal options for vegans, vegetarians, and those who can't eat gluten. With the prevalence of nut allergies, it is also a good idea to just keep nuts out of your dinner set-up altogether. Work with the catering company to come up with affordable options for individuals who have these food restrictions.
#3 Get a Headcount
Headcounts and RSVPs are tricky with most events, and corporate events are no exception. Set an RSVP date for those attending the event at least a week or two before you need to give the headcount to your catering company. As the headcount impacts more than just catering, be sure to follow up with everyone you have not heard from with a phone call or email to verify if they will be attending. When it comes to a final headcount, it is better to be a little more generous and order a few extra meals than it is to come up short. Giving yourself a little wiggle room will help spare you from any embarrassment over not having enough meals.
When planning a corporate event, make sure you have a clear idea of your budget. Use the budget to determine how you want the food served and what type of food to serve at the event. Keep in mind that you need to accommodate different types of diet and food restrictions, with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free the three biggest food accommodations you should prepare for. For your final headcount, it is always better to overestimate than underestimate. Bring all of these considerations to a corporate catering company like Uncle Bub's BBQ, Catering & More to find what will work for you.