The Do's and Don'ts of catering a corporate event

Organising a corporate event is easy when you know how, however if you’ve never done it before or you’re a novice when it comes to arranging a large (or even small) event, you’ll be interested in the Brisk Catering’s Do’s and Don’ts. 

We’re used to catering all different size events in Melbourne’s CBD so we know exactly what works – and what definitely won’t. We’re always available for advice too, so don’t be shy and let us get involved.

Catering Do's and Dont's

Remember What You Don’t Like

Firstly, with any event, whether catered or just for pure pleasure, think back to what you’ve attended in the past and make a note of what you loved and what you really weren’t keen on. Your corporate event is extremely important because it’s showcasing your business and if it doesn’t look sleek, it will leave a bad taste in guests’ mouths – hopefully not literally! It should always be slick because if you have new clients attending, they’ll want to be impressed. If they’re left unimpressed it will subconsciously log in their minds and you could even risk losing a contract if they think you’re not up to scratch.

Clear Away Empties

As far as we’re concerned, what you serve is paramount. No one wants to peruse a buffet to be met with cold, dried out and lacklustre looking food. It has to be fresh, it has to be wholesome and it must look delicious. That’s all well and good, so your caterer needs to understand that there’s nothing worse than empty plates left on a buffet, waiting to be replenished and when food looks wilted or withered, it instantly loses its appeal. Make sure you’re on this and keep an eye out if your caterer hasn’t noticed (they should).

Served At The Right Temperature

You need to have suitable waitress and waiter staff available checking for food that needs topping up and instantly whisking away empty plates when they need replacing. As we’ve said, freshness is king. Your caterer should only use fresh food that has been procured that morning (unless it is aged for a reason, like certain beef cuts or cheeses etc.) Salads, fruit and fish should be absolutely spot- on. The worse thing that can happen is a case of food poisoning so check the reputation of your preferred caterer. Food should also be kept perfectly chilled if served raw or cold. Some food needs to reach room temperature before it’s served and your caterer should know how to do this safely, with the right food covering to protect from bacteria and bugs etc.

Seasonal Food

We think it’s a good idea to provide seasonal food too because that way you know it’s very fresh so ask your caterer what’s bang in season and try and incorporate it. If you’re conscious of cost, remember that seasonal fruit, vegetable and meat is always cheaper than food that is out of season. Along similar lines, find out if your caterer has good relationships with local food businesses too because it’s always good to support others and don’t forget to shout about it. If your caterer uses local produce, you can use this as a lever for your event; it really brings about a sense of community.

A Clean Kitchen

Kitchens should be kept meticulously clean and if you’re using a venue with a specified kitchen, make sure the hygiene standards conform. It’s easy enough to check and better to be safe than sorry. Your caterer can do this for you too and should be very aware of kitchen cleanliness if working at a venue.

Presentable Waiting Staff

If you are using waiter and waitress staff at your event it’s very important that they look clean, smart and very presentable. Make sure they have experience, because there’s nothing worse than a waiter who can’t carry dishes safely or transport glassware from kitchen to table without dropping one or two! Your caterer should be able to recommend the best staff for the job.

Never Rush A Finger Buffet

When your waiters and waitresses are ready to serve food, remember they should take it relatively slowly. If it’s a finger buffet, there’s no point in bombarding guests with lots of different options all at once. They should pace themselves and that way the reception food will last for the duration – very important, this is because some people get hungry during the reception rather than at the very beginning so make sure they space it out and have enough food from beginning to end.

You should also only serve a little food at the beginning, while your event is filling up. When you only have a handful of guests, you don’t need platters of food so wait for it to fill up a little before bringing all your goodies out!

Have More Than You Need

While on the subject of quantity, we’ve mentioned it many times but you must make sure you have enough for every guest. Of course, we don’t expect you to grossly over cater but you should plan for left overs. There’s nothing worse than people feeling hungry or unsatisfied after an event. You don’t want to bump into them half an hour after it’s finished at the local 24/7 where they’re picking up a grotty sandwich!

To make sure you hold the perfect corporate event, you really should use Brisk – we’re renowned for high quality food prepared fresh for your business breakfast, business lunch or business dinner in Melbourne.

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