Are you familiar with the phrase rubber chicken circuit? It’s an expression used by busy professionals who travel frequently and attend a lot of networking events and catered meetings—and who find that, generally speaking, the quality of food at such events leaves something to be desired.
When you’re planning a catered event, whether professional or social, you don’t want people to describe your menu with such a dismal phrase—but how can you avoid it? How can you plan a catered event that will knock your guests’ socks off?
Know Your Guests
The first step is to come up with a basic profile of who’s attending your event. Will it be mostly young professionals? Older folks? People who attend many such events? Think in terms of the demographic breakdown of your guests’ age, ethnicity, and background.
From there, you can make some educated guesses about your guest preferences. Older folks might like a milder menu, while young people might prefer spicy and daring. If you know that many of your guests will be health-conscious, then some light and vegetarian options might be good.
Something else we recommend is allowing your guests some options. This makes it more likely that everyone will get something they want. A few rules of thumb:
- We recommend at least two options for entrée, ideally three.
- For salads, offer multiple dressing options, on the side.
- Serve all condiments on the side.
- Offer a couple of dessert options, too—one that’s indulgent, one that’s comparatively light.
Also be aware of any dietary needs that might be represented at your event—food allergies, food intolerance, Paleo or Whole 30 lifestyles, etc. You may need to provide options that accommodate these dietary needs, as well.
Aim to Impress
A few additional tips we’d offer:
- Ask your caterer to incorporate as many fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients as possible to give the menu a wow
- Consider a regional or ethnic menu, if you want your food to really stand out from the more typical catered fare.
- Also think in terms of event schedule: If your guests only have 30 minutes to eat, a box lunch makes a lot more sense than a full buffet.
Use these tips to guide you toward a truly memorable—and exciting—catered presentation. Also, enlist our help: Contact Mosteller Events today to learn more about our event catering services!