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  • Writer's pictureEvents Team

What Are The Best Options For Corporate Catering?

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

One of the most important aspects of a successful conference or training event is having great catering. Regular access to good quality food and drink means that the attendees will have a much more favourable experience of the event. There is nothing like scanty or unappetising catering to lower the morale!

Besides the importance of keeping guests well hydrated and nourished throughout the day, refreshment breaks provide those all-important opportunities for informal networking and socialising. There are several points to think about when organising the catering. Here are some ideas and tips.

Cater for different dietary requirements

A vegetarian or vegan diet is now nothing unusual, so all menus should have some appetising meat and dairy-free options, beyond predictable salad and baked potatoes. It is also good practice to ask in advance if any guests have special dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, or nut allergies, and so on, and have alternatives set aside for them.

Promote healthy options

Attendees now expect to be able to eat healthily at conferences and events. Look for caterers who offer nutritionally balanced meals which have a good range of vegetables, carbs, and protein. Avoid serving too many dishes which are high in unsaturated fats, salts and sugar, and look for reduced-fat alternatives to traditional menu items.

Serve plenty of whole foods with minimal processing. Look for slow-release carbohydrates which release energy gradually throughout the day, boosting physical and mental stamina. For example, sandwiches with wholegrain brown bread, sweet potatoes, and wholewheat rice and pasta dishes, which can be combined with tasty fillings and sauces.

For sweet dishes, include foods such as oat flapjacks and fresh fruits, which are enough to provide a boost of sugar, without spiking and crashing the energy levels too sharply.

Choose local suppliers

As the business world becomes more eco-conscious, it is important to demonstrate sustainable choices with the catering. Use local suppliers where possible to reduce carbon emissions from transportation, and support the local economy.

Where possible, source ingredients which are grown with minimal environmental impact, and make sure that any animal produce complies with ethical and welfare standards. Be transparent about the origins of the food by supplying information on menu boards or conference handouts.

Sit down or portable options?

Most modern conferences are moving away from sit-down menus and towards portable food, which can be eaten standing up, to allow for informal networking. This could mean finger food, or food which can be easily be carried in a bowl or plate.

Introduce variety with world foods

Many businesses and organisations now have employees from different nationalities, and world flavours and dishes are becoming standard at conferencing events. Some caterers combine traditional staples such as pasta or potato-based dishes with Middle Eastern spices and herbs, for example.

There is also a trend for serving street food at conferences, such as burritos, falafel, fajitas, jerk chicken, crepes, and nachos. These items are popular and easy to eat, offering a good balance between fun and flavour and nutritional value.

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