However long your event will last, whether it’s an afternoon meeting or a two-day conference, at some point you’ll have to feed your delegates. Not only will this keep everyone comfortable and focused, but it will also help to improve the atmosphere in the room and provide a more relaxed, sociable environment for networking and collaboration.
Hiring a caterer is always the best strategy - drafting in professionals will look better on you and reduce the chances of things going wrong on the day.
Know what you want
When you approach suppliers it can be easy to get sucked in by the different menu options they offer, so it helps to have a checklist of everything you need. First of all, decide whether you need a sit-down meal, buffet or just tea and coffee, and then work out an estimate of numbers - an online delegate registration system can help with this.
Make sure you’re aware of the full range of dietary requirements, too. You may not know about individual needs, but for example, if you know that some delegates are likely to have religious considerations then bear this in mind.
Pay attention to third party reviews for quality of service and overall satisfaction, but when it comes to food, the proof of the pudding really is in the eating. Would you be happy to have this served to you? Are you going to be proud to serve it at your event?
Remember that small tasting menus often come out tasting different to dishes cooked in large quantities, too - you might want to stay away from foods that are hard to prepare, such as fish.
Seek out flexibility
You’ll know all too well how easily plans can change, and you might find that you have more or fewer delegates than originally anticipated. Caterers who are willing to be flexible, in terms of price as well as quantity, if you suddenly need more or less food than expected are always worth seeking out.