The world of corporate events is big business. Many organisations choose to put on events such as conferences, workshops, product launches, parties, and dinners, either for their staff members or clients. Corporate events have the ability to make a big impression on the attendees, so it’s important to get them right. One of the things that guests are likely to remember when they think back to any event is the food. Whether it’s simple canapes or a full three-course, sit-down meal, it’s undeniable that food is really important. As a result, you need to choose the right caterer and special menu for your event, whatever it may be. In today’s blog post, we’ll be sharing what you need to think about before you hire caterers for corporate events. If you want your next one to go off without a hitch and serve some truly unforgettable food, keep on reading…

What do you need?

The very first thing you need to consider before you decide which corporate caterer is best for you is to consider what your needs are. How many people will you need catering for? What format will it take- just light nibbles and drinks, or a full meal, or maybe something totally different and unique? Also, it’s important to think about your budget and how flexible you are in your catering needs. Once you have a firm idea of the sort of thing you’re looking for, you can start your hunt for the best caterer who can fit into your plan for your event.

Is your caterer experienced in corporate events?

Different caterers will be used to providing different food for different types of events. For example, some focus solely on weddings or parties, while others will cater for a whole range of events. It’s important to make sure that your chosen caterer is well-versed in everything that comes with catering for a corporate event. These events can have a very different feel from a private event or party. So, the caterer will need to adapt to these expectations and deliver a service that’s on par with the professional or formal tone. Experienced caterers for corporate events will be more than happy to tell you all about the events they have catered for in the past, to really show off what they can do for you.

What are their reviews like?

When selecting any kind of service, it’s important to ensure that you’re choosing someone trustworthy who will get the job done to a high standard. The best way to find out if your potential caterer has a good reputation is to look at their reviews. There are plenty of places where you may be able to find these online, such as Google, Facebook, or their own website. But, if you can’t see them anywhere, don’t be afraid to ask the caterer directly. You may also want to ask to be put in touch with one of their previous clients, so that you can get a first-hand account of what their services are actually like. Research is key to finding the best caterers for corporate events, so make sure you do some before you commit.

How customisable are their menus?

At any event, you want the food you serve to be memorable. One way that you can do this is by serving a unique menu that you have chosen and tailored to your exact requirements. This adds the perfect finishing touch to your event and is sure to provide a talking point for all of your guests. If you’re looking for a personalised menu, it’s a good idea to look for caterers that are used to providing this service. For example, here at Vanilla Bean, we love working with each client to come up with a menu to suit the occasion. We recognise the importance of brand recognition and corporate image. Not only will our team focus on excellence, but we’ll also promote your brand, ensuring that you leave a strong and accurate impression, every time.

Corporate events

What do they provide on the day?

When choosing the right caterers for corporate events, it’s important to know what they will actually provide in terms of service. For example, will they drop off your food or will you need to pick it up? Will they be on hand for the duration of the event? Do they provide waiting or bar staff? Will they work only in specific venues? Lots of caterers will be able to supply different packages depending on your needs, budget and venue, so there’s something to suit everyone, even if you have really specific needs. Bear in mind that, depending on your caterer or package, you may need to source some things separately, such as drinks or waiting staff to add the extra finishing touches.

Can they offer something unique?

Corporate events can have a bit of a reputation for being dreary and all the same. This really doesn’t have to be true. There are plenty of fun and unique options out there to make your event and catering stand out from the crowd and give your guests an event to remember. For example, we offer a Covid-secure drive-through cinema option that makes for an event that’s definitely unique. Either in your office car park or in one of the many open-air venues, we will transform the space ready for a feature-length movie from the comfort of your own car. On arrival, you will be greeted with heated blankets, a grazing food hamper, popcorn and retro candy. This offers a responsible way to bring your company together over the winter, and something they’ll be talking about for a long time to come. Caterers can often come up with full-package ideas like this, so if you’re looking for a truly original experience, it’s the perfect option.

Are your caterers familiar with your venue?

Choosing a venue for your corporate events can be tricky. There’s plenty to think about: size, location, costs – and more. It may be a good idea to check if your caterer is familiar with working at your chosen venue. This guarantees that they will know plenty about it and be able to ensure things run really smoothly. Also, some venues may choose to only work with certain caterers, so this is something to definitely bear in mind. Your caterer may also choose to only work at certain venues. It’s definitely not essential to choose a caterer who works with your venue, but may be something to think about.

Can you try the food before the event?

If you want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for your event, you might want to search for caterers who offer you the opportunity to taste the menu before the day itself. If you’re trying an experimental menu or just aren’t completely familiar with the dishes, a tasting session could be a good idea. Even if you can’t try everything, or your exact menu, being able to try your caterer’s food beforehand should be fun and gives you a good idea of the sort of thing they offer. Also, look out for your caterer at local food festivals and other events- this will also give you an idea of the quality of their food, and you can ‘try before you buy,’ so you know that you enjoy their food before it’s time for planning your event.

Are the caterers able to offer flexibility?

Corporate catering

Sometimes, plans change, and you may need to change what you need from your caterer. This could be as simple as catering to more or fewer guests than you originally thought, new dietary requirements, or even changing the whole menu. Is your caterer able to offer a degree of flexibility and go with the flow in case your plans change? Any caterer should be happy to change plans with sufficient notice in order to give you a great experience as a client and help provide an event that exceeds your expectations.

We hope this gives you a good start when you’re starting to look for your ideal caterer to help add a bit of ‘wow’ factor to your next corporate event. Whether it’s for your team or clients, giving a good impression is important and help you pull off an event to remember.

Here at Vanilla Bean, we love producing and catering for amazing corporate events of all kinds – in Surrey, London, and beyond. To find out more about our catering for corporate events and the options we have, click here!