How to order killer corporate catering for your next meeting

If you’ve ever been in charge of organising the food and drink for a meeting at work, then you know how stressful it can be. In addition to time and budget constraints, you’re also dealing with a full spectrum of palettes in the office. From picky eaters to the hyper-healthy – it can sometimes feel impossible to order corporate catering that will please everyone.

Next time you’re asked to manage the food and beverage for a meeting, consider outsourcing to a professional office caterer. An experienced corporate catering service will take away the stress of having to micro-manage every step of the ordering process. At Order-In, we make the process even easier by providing an easy-to-use platform to bridge the gap between you and hundreds of different catering companies. Whether you need catering for small groups, a regular in-house huddle, an important client meeting or you're catering for 100 people on a budget – there are hundreds of delicious catering menu options to choose from.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. Follow these steps below and your next business catering service will be a piece of cake.

corporate catering for lunch meeting

Establish the basics and confirm your budget

Before you dive in and start tossing up between Vietnamese paper rolls or gourmet sausage rolls, answer the following questions:

  • What type of meeting is it?
  • Who, and how many people, will be attending?
  • What’s the purpose of the food – is it for snacking or do you need to provide a full meal?

By answering these questions, it will help dictate your top-line needs in terms of delicious food, drinks and equipment. Once you have the framework, you can then confirm your budget.

Know the space

Next up, assess the space where the meeting or event will take place. If it’s an all-day conference or training session, you might consider meeting packages with our all-in-one event catering menus. If your colleagues are going to be shut away in private meeting rooms, space will be limited and will call for something simpler like a few well-placed platters at the back of the room or easily distributed lunch boxes. Never exceed the space you have and ensure that the food will be accessible to all.

Choose your food wisely

Whether you see this as the fun or daunting part, picking the type of food to serve is the most critical step. The sheer number of corporate caterers available today can be overwhelming. In fact, Order-In has over 750 independent vendors around Australia to choose from! From South American finger food to Indian buffet catering, from Instagram-worthy grazing platters to DIY bagel stations – the options are endless. So to help you narrow it down, consider the following:

Time of day

The first way to narrow down your selection is the time of day that the meeting will take place. A morning meeting will need breakfast-style snacks, an evening meeting may require buffet catering, or for special events such as cocktail parties, consider savoury appetizers like delectable finger food or grazing tables.

Choose a theme and cuisine

Some offices can get stuck in a food rut with the same old orders of sandwiches and muffins. But, when it comes to keeping your co-workers happy and not hangry, variety is key. If the meeting is a reoccurring affair, why not pick a new theme each time to mix it up? In the lead up to Australia Day, try a modern Australian grazing platter. For the Olympics, why not make it an international spread and order from two different specialty food services? Here are some international lunch catering ideas to help you get started. Don't be afraid to get creative and have some fun with your corporate and event catering!

international catering for your next working lunch

Does the style of food match your brand?

Do take the time to think about your company’s brand and the style of food you’re choosing. The snacks needed for a client meeting in a high-end law firm will differ from a working lunch at a creative start-up. The food you order is a reflection of your business, so make sure you stay on brand.

Will everyone be satisfied?

In every office, you’ll find people who fall into one of three categories:

  1. The food allergy group (e.g. gluten free, dairy free)
  2. The health-conscious (e.g. sugar free, paleo)
  3. The picky eaters (e.g. the coriander adverse, sauce-free eaters, no spicy food).

Before placing an order, do a quick scan of the list of attendees. Is there someone on the list who has made it known that they have a gluten allergy, or is someone a vehemently vocal vegan? Try and flag it before you order so that you can put in special dietary requests with the caterer – you’ll be surprised at how many services can accommodate these types of eaters. As a general rule of thumb, make 25 percent of your order vegetarian and gluten free.

Is this food the right fuel?

While it may seem like a great idea to order in a chocolate fountain at Easter, think about that 3 p.m. sugar crash. Always aim for a balanced spread and keep some healthy options on the table. Try swapping out your typical afternoon bickies for bliss balls, or swap out soft drinks for some nourishing pre-made smoothies instead.

delicious healthy catering options

Photo credit: Raw Trader

Be prepared

Organisation is key to successful business meeting catering. Ideally, it’s best to start planning one to two weeks in advance. But, let’s face it, last-minute requests are also a reality at work and sometimes a few days – or even a few hours – of notice is all you have. At Order-In, you can simply place your order the day before and for office catering emergencies, our express service has catering options that only requires 90-minute notice.

If you do have the luxury of time, the day before, make a list and brief schedule of what needs to be done and when. Make sure you answer the following:

  • Who will clear the space for the meeting?
  • Who will receive the order?
  • Who will set up the food and drink station?
  • Do you have enough plates, cutlery and napkins?
  • Do you need space in the fridge for the food or drinks?

 

Download our corporate event planning checklist here >>

 

make your next working lunch or meeting a success

Corporate catering made easy

At Order-In, we take the guesswork out of choosing the right corporate caterer and we're with you every step of the way. From catering for small groups to special events, we'll have a catering menu to suit your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Create an account and start planning your next event with delicious food. You’ll be earning major brownie points with the rest of your team in no time.

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