Food isn't just a physical necessity. It also helps to fulfill emotional needs and is key to a successful event.
It activates all your senses so that you can better remember events. It gives people something to talk about so they can come together. It's something to look forward to regardless of whether you're at a cultural haven or a corporate event.
If you're hosting a corporate get-together, it's important to know some food trends for catering. Read on to get some tips and tricks on how to get great food for your business gathering.
Aligning with consumer values is one of the best ways that you can get them to come to your event. They'll see that you value what they care about and listen to your needs. This makes them more likely to experience positive feelings about your brand and establish brand loyalty.
This is also true if you're hosting an employee-only event. Matching workers' needs and expectations makes them more likely to care about the company they work for. They'll work harder and you'll have better employee retention rates.
Food is an important place to start.
70% of Americans are more health-conscious in 2023 than ever before. When you host a corporate event, it's important to keep this concern in mind. People will enjoy their food more when it contributes to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
This means substituting traditionally unhealthy foods for healthy alternatives. Instead of fried meats, try sauteed chicken or grilled fish. These taste great with the right seasoning and are much leaner than deep-fried options.
Use wheat bread for sandwiches and brown rice. For snacks, try low-fat cheese and fruit plates rather than potato chips.
Rather than offering sugary soda, try giving out natural iced tea with optional sweeteners on the side. Water is, of course, a necessity. People can choose their own comfort level and experiment with healthier drinks.
Speaking of choices, make sure that there are multiple options for things to eat.
Some people have allergies that need accommodation. You might want to send out an email form asking people to write down any serious allergies that they have. This will ensure that the event is safe for everyone attending it.
Other people will have similarly serious dietary restrictions. Vegetarians, vegans, and those on kosher or halal diets will need accommodation.
You also may just want to offer multiple food varieties for people who don't like certain things. After all, it's important to keep everyone happy!
But it's important to remember that offering too many choices is also a bad idea. This is a company event, after all, and it's important that people can network and conduct business without distraction. Studies show that too many choices lead to inaction.
People will take a longer time selecting food and forget about other things. They will fear making the wrong choice and the decision becomes more complicated. This can cause stress and nervous tension. Give about 5 options for each meal. This should give people choices without overwhelming them.
A great way to let people find something they like is by offering a build-your-own catering bar. These bars have multiple ingredients set out buffet-style so people can choose what they like.
Taco bars are one of the most popular options available. You put out the shells, a couple of types of meat, and other ingredients like cheese, fajita vegetables, guacamole, lettuce, and salsas. People can create just the taco they like this way without any problems.
Build-your-own bars can be anything. Burgers are also really popular as long as you have vegetarian options, as are salads. Waffle bars are great for breakfast time.
There are nearly unlimited possibilities!
Build-your-own bars also tend to be less expensive than other catering options. So make sure that you look into the cost and budget when you sign up for an expo event.
Waffle bars are a great option for breakfast. So are variations like a pancake, breakfast sandwich, or omelet bar. But they're far from the only possibilities.
You could leave out many different varieties of fruit for guests. This is easy and healthy, and it allows people to pick a light breakfast. Add in some healthy blueberry muffins or lemon poppyseed alternatives, and you'll be all set.
Egg whites are another great option for health-minded eventgoers. Think about getting something like egg white and roasted pepper egg bites.
These are small, bite-sized, and easy to carry around and eat. They also are really easy to store and leave out because they keep for a long time.
This is about when you might want to pull out your build-your-own food bar. But if you don't, that's totally fine. There are tons of other things you can do.
Pre-assembled lunch boxes are a great way to save time. Cold foods work best in them because you won't need to heat them up. You can just pop them in a refrigerator, take them out at lunchtime, and hand them out to everyone at the event.
Sandwiches and wraps are always great ideas. Simple cold-cut subs and chicken caesar wraps are generally allergy-friendly and go over well with picky eaters. Veggie and cheese sandwiches also work well for vegetarians.
Chicken and egg salad also are awesome choices, but you need to make sure that you keep them in a refrigerator until immediately before serving time. You can include a small size of fruit and a small roll for a balanced meal.
If you're looking to give out something protein-packed, consider a fruit and cheese plate.
Get a few varieties of sliced cheese and some crackers for each box. Salami slices or pepperoni are also great choices if you're looking to add something extra. Serve it with grapes or berries.
Set aside vegetarian and allergy-friendly boxes for people that requested them in advance. Make sure that you have a few extras for people who forgot to fill out the form or didn't realize that they needed to. You don't want anyone to be left without something to eat.
Snacking is really important to health, especially at a corporate event where you need to move around, interact with others, and keep your mood up. It gives people a boost of energy between meals, keeps blood glucose levels up, and gives them some extra nutrients.
These benefits mean that offering people a wide variety of snacks and hors d'ouvres is essential. Some simple self-serve snacks might include individual pieces of fruit like oranges, apples, and bananas. You can even save these as leftovers from breakfast time!
You also can put out individually-wrapped bags of nuts or trail mix. These keep easily, don't need any storage, and give people a huge protein boost. Protein keeps people feeling energetic and strong throughout the day, so it's definitely something to consider.
Looking for an even classier event? Hummus and pita bread is always a great idea. Fruit skewers, mini quiches, yogurt and granola, and chips and salsa are also great options.
You also may want to get some delicious dessert options. Cookies and brownies keep well and taste great. Plus, since there are so many varieties out there
If your event still hasn't wrapped up by dinner, you're going to need to give people something around 5-6 PM. Corporate events are like holiday parties in that dinner is one of the most important meals. It gives people a chance to sit down together, socialize, and connect.
This is usually the time that hot food comes out. Some people decide to make dinner fancier than the other meals because it's generally a longer sit-down affair. Professional corporate catering services will often offer pre-made meals like sushi, various types of meat, pasta, or other ethnic cuisines that will get people talking.
The more unique your meal is, the more memorable your event will be. Do some research and look into interesting kinds of food that people may not have had very often. If you give them something good, they'll remember your event for many years as the one with the good food.
Since food is so closely associated with memory and emotion, they'll think back on your entire event kindly.
Beyond Corporate Food Trends
There are many different food trends for corporate expositions, and knowing what they are can make your event a hit. After all, everyone loves food. It's a great way to keep people happy and bring them together.
Now that you have the best catering guide on the web, it's time to chow down. Get your tickets to the Event Planner Expo to begin networking, promote your business, and enjoy the many kinds of food a corporate event has to offer.