Those in charge of organizing and planning corporate catering services know that it’s tough to keep things fresh and unique time after time. However, with the company relying on you to make events run seamlessly, it’s useful to keep up with new corporate catering trends and tips. Fortunately, this year offers some ideas that will put a refreshing spin on any corporate event.
Types of Corporate Catering
Before anything else, it’s necessary to determine what kind of corporate catering services you’ll need. This will depend on the number of guests as well as the type and location of the event. Corporate luncheons, themed dinner parties and team building events call for different preparations. Carefully consider the goal of your event, whether it be networking, learning or celebrating, to cultivate the appropriate mood and meal options.
This year, several unique changes are in store for corporate catering companies, as guests are moving toward new preferences. New options related to diet, food sources, and table set-ups will be central this year.
Encouraging casual conversation is a great way to allow guests to loosen up and network with others. This can be done through interactive stations, or individualized stands that invite guests to walk up and watch their food be prepared. Interactive stations offer guests the opportunity to customize their food and interact with caterers and other guests. According to research, stations with chef demonstrations are often the tipping point between an average event and a memorable one.
As many people become more health-conscious and deliberate about their dietary choices, offering healthy options is a must. Delicious gluten free options are offered by many catering companies, as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes. To ensure your event accommodates everyone, always include some foods that are free of nuts, dairy, gluten and meat. This isn’t as complicated as it initially sounds. A fruit tray or a large salad is a great start.
Mash-ups are a fun trend that’s expected to grow this year. Essentially, mash-ups take two or more unlikely ingredients and combine them into one incredibly innovative and tasty treat. These could come in the form of desserts, appetizers or even entrees. Some common mash-ups include “dessert pizza” and donut ice cream sandwiches. While initially skeptical, guests will be delighted upon tasting one of these offbeat treats. This also gives guests a talking point during the event and after it has passed.
Get it Local
It’s expected that diners will seek out local, farm-to-table meals more and more frequently this year and beyond. Simply including a few local, fresh options at an event is a good way to keep up with this trend. Guests will be satisfied in knowing where their food is coming from. This also creates a sustainable, community atmosphere that fuels your company’s local ties.
Smaller Portions, More Variety
Guests seem to be gravitating toward smaller portions and more variety on their plates. They like picking at several foods without having to commit to one heavy entree. This trend is healthier, as it moves away from large, restaurant-size portions. If arranged buffet-style, this also eliminates waste, as guests can choose the amount of each food they want without predetermined portions.
Clearly, your options for planning a creative event are varied, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list of ideas. We’re Simply Elegant, a Calgary-based events and corporate catering company with innovative ideas and guidance on how to make your next event stand out. Let us know if we can help with your next event!