If your company is hosting a seminar and will be having visitors from other companies attend, you need to put some careful thought into the catered meals you'll provide. The better you feed your guests, the more they will think of your company. Plus, a good catered meal will keep everyone focused throughout the seminar, allowing them to get more out of it in an educational sense.
Here are four tips for hiring a caterer and otherwise arranging the catering for your next corporate seminar.
Get a head count.
You don't want to find out you are out of food when there are still five attendees in line to be served! When you first hire a catering service, let them know how many people are invited to attend. Then, about a week before the seminar, send an email out to all of the invited guests, and ask them to confirm whether or not they are attending. This way, you will have a final head count to send to the catering company, ensuring that they provide the right amount of food.
Take special dietary needs into account.
Obviously, you cannot cater to every single guest's allergy needs and dietary preferences. However, you can offer options to suit the most common restrictions. Talk to your caterer and make sure they offer the following versions of whatever dishes they'll be providing:
Keep the feasibility of these restrictions in mind when choosing a menu, too. For instance, it is a lot easier to include gluten-free and vegan sandwich varieties than it is to accommodate these restrictions on a menu of pasta dishes.
Include some hand-held options.
In addition to serving a lunch or brunch, make sure you include some handheld options, like fruit or little bags of pretzels. Those who are in a hurry to take care of other seminar responsibilities can grab these items and eat them while they're working. Plus, others can enjoy them later in the day when they might be getting a bit hungry. If someone does not like the main dishes, they will at least have something to munch on.
Be generous on the schedule.
It will take longer for a big group of people to eat than you might imagine. So, be generous when scheduling the catered meal. Allow at least an hour, and make sure the caterers arrive about 30 minutes before you plan on having attendees eating so that the food is set up and ready when everyone has assembled.