5 tips on how to successfully cater for a large group

It’s a very exciting (and nerve-racking) experience to plan a corporate event for a large group. Between all the diverse tastes and special diets, it can easily become overwhelming. If you need that extra hand, contacting an experienced corporate catering service is a great idea. They’ll take care of the catering menu, beverage selection, staff, equipment and any food related logistics for the big day.
Although, there are still a few things to keep in mind when arranging the day.

Here are the most important steps to make sure it runs smoothly, and everyone walks away satisfied.  

order-in corporate catering - conference catering Photo courtesy of Forte Catering

1. Preparation is the key to success

The more information you can give to the caterer, the better. Whether it is a multi-day event or a client lunch, a good caterer will be better equipped to serve your needs if they’re contacted early.

Important considerations include the type of event, time of day, budget, location, the number of guests, the length of the event, and a few ideas about what you’d like on the corporate menu. Many corporate caterers are flexible and can provide a bespoke service. A high-end caterer or service like Order-In will have plenty of expertise and ideas that you can draw upon.

Don’t forget to ask your guests for any dietary requirements beforehand, so there are yummy food options for everyone.

As the logistic requirements expand with the group numbers, it may be a good idea to engage the services of a dedicated event manager to ensure your event runs smoothly and professionally. 

2. Consider the event style

Once you have your guest list confirmed, it’s time to consider the style of the event. Are you leaning more towards a formal affair, or maybe a casual gathering? Whatever the event style, ensure the event catering you choose is suitable and appropriate.

Finger foods, canapes and grazing tables are excellent options. Not only can they feed a crowd, they are easy to shape into whatever style you need. From gourmet cured meats and cheeses, to catering classics like mini pies and pastries, there is something for any theme.

A pizza party is another fantastic option. Easily provide lots of food while catering for dietary requirements with this tasty crowd favourite.

3. Work out quantities

This can be a tricky thing to work out when catering for a large group. You want to find that sweet spot between not enough and too much food. So, how much is enough? Check out our handy catering guide here.

If you are concerned about food waste here are some tips on what you can do to avoid food ending up in the bin. Supporting sustainable caterers and donating any consumable food to organisations like OzHarvest are great ways to reduce waste.

4. Less is sometimes more

While the five course sit-down meal is impressive for a boardroom dining occasion, consider hosting a more intimate and casual affair. An American-style barbeque, a Mexican fiesta, a large daytime garden brunch, or a classy cocktail reception can be a trendy, fuss-free solution. Fresh finger foods like Vietnamese Bahn Mi rolls or Thai salad boxes can give your menu an extra lift.

An experienced corporate caterer will suggest delicious menus that can be executed flawlessly. It’s a cliché, but quality always trumps quantity.

catering for large groups - order-in conference catering Photo courtesy of Forte Catering

5. More is...not that hard!

Buffet catering and food stations are the way to go for large group settings and can be a very time and cost-effective way to cater for big numbers.

Step it up a notch and use these themed food stations to tell a story. We’re fans of the saloon style grill station, a midsummer's nights dream themed dessert bar, a secret garden cocktail station and pop-up style Mexican finger food stalls.

By having separate stations, ideally with dedicated chefs and staff, service becomes focused and efficient. This allows your caterer to cook dishes on site and minimise waste – and save you money in the long run. By taking complicated table service out of the equation, guests can control their own portions, select their own food, and dine at their own pace. They also encourage mingling and hungry guests can get to the food straight away.

Whether it’s 50 or 5000, a good corporate caterer will be able to scale their services to take your event from ordinary to extraordinary. Order-In’s extensive experience with catering for a range of clients around Australia and occasions means no matter the brief, you’ll get a fantastic result. Contact the corporate catering experts today to find out more!

Latest articles

Order food for the office now