The key to creating a memorable event for your employees is to offer something they can’t get on a routine night on the town. Do you have an accessible alley on your property where you can set up a row of food trucks? Are you looking to breathe some life into the dated and overdone wine and beer bar? We have rounded up some fresh ideas that are sure to go over well for your next corporate event.
Whichever direction you choose to go, please keep in mind that you need to cater to a variety of dietary options, including booze-free options, to appeal to all of your employees.
Food trucks have exploded in popularity among mainstream diners in the last decade. A push for authentic experiences drives the trend–many people would rather have authentic street tacos than sit down in a template Mexican cuisine diner. Food trucks are a way to connect with authentic culinary talent because they take the overhead of running a restaurant out of the equation.
If you have room on your property or work with a local park, consider rounding up the local food truck talent and using food to set your theme. With food trucks, you have a potentially limitless opportunity to curate a unique dining experience. Your employees can travel the world in cuisine without leaving the HQ parking lot.
Benefits to Food Truck Catering:
- Supports small businesses in the local economy.
- Good way to move the event outdoors.
- Fresh, local, and variety cater to a wide audience of dietary needs.
Tapas is a Spanish word for ‘small eats.’ Imagine serving an expansive menu of appetizers and small plates instead of a traditional seated dinner. This is a perfect solution to corporate events where you want to encourage socializing. Although we have borrowed the name from Spain, the selections can follow any food theme.
Our favorite perk of serving food tapas-style is that you aren’t nailed down to two or three meal options. You can cater to every dietary need under the sun with an exponential supply of appetizers. And, there is plenty of opportunities to add gourmet touches and seasonally fresh ingredients.
Benefits to Tapas-style Catering:
- Steady flow of small portions keeps food fresh and available.
- Promotes socialization.
- Cost-effective and seasonally fresh.
Related: Why You Need Event Support
Bento boxes are a fast-casual dining trend that fits a variety of event styles. A bento box is essentially a pre-packaged, single-serving meal. These meals usually contain an assortment of small-bite foods and can be tailored to any theme. Think: sushi, dumplings, antipasta, taquitos, brightly colored vegetables, gourmet meatballs — anything goes!
Benefits of bento box catering includes:
- Portable, individual servings perfect for hybrid events.
- Portion control makes planning easier.
- Small-bites are good for on-your-feet social events that keep guests mingling.
DUNAJ AGENCY is a full-service corporate event planner. We take care of the details of a memorable event or meeting while you focus on your business. Contact us today to start a conversation about planning your next event.
Zero-proof cocktails can be a great option for companies that would prefer to forego alcohol service at their events. Or as an addition to a traditional bar for guests who prefer to skip the booze. When done well and by a trained mixologist, mocktails can be delightful.
A good mocktail is served in a fancy cocktail glass with garnishes to complement the drink. The recipe contains a variety of unique and robust ingredients to create complex flavors. And, the drinks are prepared by a trained mixologist for quality and entertainment value.
Benefits to Mocktail Catering Options:
- Alcohol-free events keep everyone on their best (corporate) behavior.
- Opportunity to try unique ingredients.
- Promotes healthy alternatives to consuming alcohol.
Hire a barista and set up a Starbucks-Esq coffee bar with a full menu of flavors and customizations instead of a generic pot of hotel coffee. Coffee bars are exceptionally popular with morning and daytime meetings and appeal to a wide audience. Plus, the caffeine content can help keep the energy flowing.
With a coffee bar, you have the flexibility to set it up yourself or partner with a local coffee shop. Either way, multiple options, including cold-brews, specialty flavors, and a variety of milks and garnishes, will make the regular cup of Joe a lot more memorable.
Benefits to Hosting a Coffee Bar:
- Wide appeal including caffeinated and caffeine-free options, as well as milk drinks instead of coffee.
- Pairs well with small treats.
- Good, energizing option for morning and afternoon meetings.
The truth is that COVID has redefined the food and beverage industry, and we will probably never see a full return to buffet lines and indoor seated dinners–at least not without some compromise.
So, how can you plan a company event with catering that is mindful of public health concerns? Anything that is portioned as an individual serving, including Bento boxes, gourmet popcorn bags, boxed cocktail parties, and many more ideas, is perfect.
When it comes to catering food for your next corporate event, hard pass on the alfredo pasta bakes and rubbery chicken breasts. Conference center catering menus leave a lot to be desired. Do something fresh, fun, and local instead. Food trucks, small plates, and gourmet coffee drinks are just the tip of the iceberg. And, the biggest lesson learned in 2020 is that options that include virtual attendees are important too.
Planning the perfect meeting is in the details, like food and beverage choices. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but there is some art to it. DUNAJ AGENCY is a professional corporate meeting planner with an eye for those details. Contact us today to see how we can help make your next meeting memorable.