The Best Catering Tips for Your Meeting


Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, carb-free, peanut -free, Paleo, etc……the list goes on and on. Ordering for a meeting can be quite a feat, especially with all the restrictions and eliminations in today’s diets. It’s a daunting task gathering all the orders and individual requests.

sparkspace observation:

I see it all the time at our facility, the catering orders can get complicated. As the meeting planner attempts to gather all the participants’ individual needs into one coherent catering order, individuals often request multiple changes or add special requests. After the orders have finally been submitted, you think, “I’m glad that’s done”, and then here come the adjustments. These adjustments not only need to be followed up and confirmed by the meeting planner, but the facility and the caterers as well (because the order has already been placed). This is a complete time-sucker for the meeting planner.

Let me make this clear, I’m not talking about requests from people with allergies or certain sensitivities to food. I’m sharing this tip today to help reduce the time, stress, and added work for the meeting and event planners by providing some simple catering tips for beginners.

Most people don’t even order locally. For example, if you’re in NL, then consider using a company like Culinary Catering to order your catering in-house.

Tip #4: Catering Made Easy:

One of the most important guidelines for successful catering is to use the facility to do some of your dirty work! The meeting facility has a wealth of knowledge in this department, but is generally an untapped resource. Whether your facility has an on-site caterer or a close relationship with their catering vendors, they have a standing relationship which makes it easy to communicate the guests needs. Tell them your X’s and Y’s and leave it up to them to find the best catering options. Trust them — they’ve been around the block a few times. What an easy way to eliminate a task off your to-do list! They also know the most popular and yummy meal options.

Read more: The Best Ways to Reenergize Your Team Members

Useful idea:

If you do decide to order food on your own, it’s best to stick with something simple. Boxed lunches SEEM simple, but they can be a nightmare if you are having your team pick their lunch. Stick with “buffet-style” meals. Potato Bars, Salad Bars, and Taco Bars are ideal because they typically come with a variety of individual toppings, so your team can pick and choose what they want. They also usually come with cooling facilities like those from and heating facilities included with the catering company, or you could even invest in hiring one for meetings so the food stays at the perfect temperature, hot or cold. These types of meals are also perfect if you’re not sure of everyone’s dietary needs. Whether your vegan or Paleo, there’s something for everyone.

Click here to see our catering menus as inspiration to keep it simple (and to see what we’ve learned our guests love to eat).

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Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!