Continuing our blog series from our event planner contributor, this week she gives her advice on organising catering for events. Here are her tips and recommendations when planning the food and drink for your event.
“We all have a bunch of friends whom think they throw amazing parties and think they could do our job standing on their heads don’t we?!
Whilst at its core, everyone can essentially produce an event, what makes those of us that do it for a living so special? It’s the fact that we are specialists and every aspect of the event planning process is finessed to the minutest of detail and none so much than the catering piece of every event.
Food is the heart of every event and quite frankly, it’s the most thing that is feedback on. Below are my top tips on catering when planning your event.
Planning the menu
In the planning stages for the catering, not only do we think about dietary requirements and allergies, but we go so far as to think about food balancing across courses on one off and residential events. We think about what people ate the day before, what will they eat tomorrow and what they had for breakfast and lunch. We think about how much they will be talking during their meal, we think about how they will eat. Will they be standing? Will they need food in bit size pieces? Will they be asked to speak during the event? Then if so, we wouldn’t serve anything pesky that can get caught in their teeth. Is there anything political or religious about the food we are serving? Then we would stay clear. There is literally so much to think about when designing and choosing menus and that is just the food aspect.
What about the wine…
In terms of beverages, everything from how heavy, how light, the alcohol percentage of wine and a million other things is considered when choosing what wines go with our meals. I like to look at where we will be holding the event and look at choosing only wines from that region along with the pre and post-event drinks and make them unique. If you can’t find fabulous local wines, then find a garnish to go with your drinks that is typical of the location for that extra added touch. If I was in Australia, I would add a mini Akubra to my trayed drinks (along with the Fosters!). It really is all in the detail and going that extra mile will ensure your guests have an amazing experience at your event, taking loads of pictures and shouting about it on social media and mostly importantly for those of us in corporate, give great feedback!
Remembering for next time
With the introduction of the forthcoming GDPR legislation, make sure you are keeping all the information on your guests that will ensure they next time they attend, they are well looked after BUT remember to tell them you are keeping it. Storing dietary allergy information and preferences for your guests is an amazing touch as you will be able to cover off any restrictions without having to ask them again. How amazing to be invited to an event and have your host remember what your preferences where the last time you attended. This is a wonderful touch but of course make sure you are only storing the data you have permission to keep. Imagine if you were running a repeat event and you ran a dietary report before you contacted your caterers for those initial menus. Imagine being able to tell them that 80% of your guests are vegetarian! It is all in the detail.
I have thousands more tips and tricks but by ensuring you have amazing food and drinks you will ensure you have a wonderful event… trust me!”