Corporate events can take a vast range of forms, from product launches and team building events to seminars, meetings and fashion shows. However, certain things are consistent across the various types of corporate event that you could contemplate holding, with one of them being the sheer importance of choosing the right catering service.
You might say that your choice of catering for your corporate event will go hand-in-hand with your choice of venue, and that’s quite true. Here at Château Bouffémont near Paris, France, we place a big emphasis on serving on the precise needs of those who rent our noble stone-built property for their corporate event.
So – drawing on our hard-won catering expertise – what would we advise you to look out for when choosing a catering service?
First of all, do consider the venue
It’s the point that we’ve already touched on – many private venues will tailor themselves for corporate events by offering their own catering services, so you should consider whether your chosen venue’s services may be sufficient without the need for you to hire an external caterer.
Those renting Château Bouffémont for their corporate event, for instance, can enjoy 24-hour access to our complete equipped guest kitchen, and if you don’t have a caterer already, our private chef is always available as an option.
The capacity of your chosen venue is also crucial, with Château Bouffémont able to accommodate as many as 140 people simultaneously for seated dinners, and 200 for cocktail dinners.
Make sure your caterer is a listener
Given all of the important people who are likely to attend your corporate event – including bosses, high-profile clients and other key stakeholders in your firm’s success – it also couldn’t be more important to serve their exact dietary needs and dislikes.
Your chosen caterer should certainly not be dictating to you what you want at your event. Instead, they should be listening to you and then executing your requirements professionally, even if their informed guidance from their years in the industry might help you to choose the most suitable menu options.
Always plan around your budget
There’s little point in wasting time meeting caterers who you ultimately can’t afford, and it’s easy for those organising a corporate event to get a little overambitious with such other things as their choice of venue, so you should have a definite event budget in mind before you start planning.
The private venue, catering service and decorations – to name just a few things – all cost money, so you should carefully consider what proportion of your budget you wish to spend on these various elements.
Just bear in mind that a poor catering experience could have your all-important attendees rushing for the door or even the toilets, and even the most otherwise impressive venue won’t compensate for that kind of reputational disaster.
How many people will be at your event?
As we touched on above, different venues can cater to different numbers of people, and while it isn’t always possible to know in advance exactly how many attendees your event will have, you should at least have an approximate idea.
Some caterers are very much geared towards smaller and more intimate events, while others are seasoned at serving larger events in a cost-effective manner. You should therefore be sure that whatever caterer you choose will be a good match to your number of guests.
Place an emphasis on variety
Even if your corporate event will be for a relatively small audience, there will still be a wide range of dietary preferences and requirements to which to cater – and of course, providing a great experience could be the difference between securing that lucrative new contract with a client or not.
So, look for a caterer that can provide a genuinely diverse and interesting range of menu options that suits the likely or specified tastes and needs of your guests. Are there vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, and can all of your requirements be catered-to in a cost-effective manner?
The above aren’t all of the points that one should possibly consider when contemplating which caterer to choose for their corporate event, but they should nonetheless be a solid starting point. Here are some more tips on how to select the most suitable caterer for your next private event from the renowned financial advice site, The Balance.