Last-Minute Tips for Finding Corporate Event Catering Services Near You
Whether you’re a professional planner or a DIYer, the days and hours leading up to your event always have a bit of a mad dash feel to them. Even if you’ve prepared thoroughly and have everything lined up, there’s always something that can go wrong. Fortunately, with some careful planning and a few last-minute tips, you can keep the chaos to a minimum while finding catering services near you for your upcoming corporate function.
The most important factor when choosing a caterer is quality of food and service. Make sure you’re getting the most for your money by asking questions, reading reviews online, and getting sample menus before making a final decision. Look for a menu that includes items your audience will enjoy and a pricing structure that suits your budget.
Find Out if the Caterer Offers Gluten-Free and Vegan Options
If you’re hosting a large group, it’s best to communicate with the caterer in advance about any dietary restrictions your attendees may have so they can be accommodated. Most caterers will have a few meat-free entrees and some gluten-free and vegan options on their menu, but if you can’t meet those needs with the food you want to order, don’t hesitate to ask for substitutions.
Choose a Caterer with an Extensive Selection of Beverages
If your event is in the evening, you’ll likely need some cocktails to help keep the energy level up. Choosing a caterer with an extensive list of cocktails will allow you to offer a variety of drinks that suit the occasion without going over your budget.
Consider How Much Lead Time You Need to Book Catering Services
Most professional catering companies require a few weeks to months in advance to prepare food for an event. However, if you’re looking for a catering company that can provide food on short notice, some chain restaurants and grocery stores have limited drop-off catering services that can be completed with as little as one day’s notice.
When choosing a catering service, be sure to compare prices and read reviews before making your final decision. Also, look for a website that clearly displays all charges and fees so you can be confident in your financial arrangement with the caterer. The ordered services section of a website should include the quantity, unit price, and subtotal for each menu item and service provided. It should also note applicable local or state taxes, gratuities, transportation costs, and overage fees for longer service hours.
Special Promotions for Caterers
Running special promotions like discounts and sales on catering services is an effective way to attract new customers and increase brand loyalty among existing ones. Consider offering special deals during busy times of the year, like wedding season or during popular holidays, to drive business and revenue for your catering company.
Advertise your catering services to businesses that typically hire caterers, like wedding planners and conference centers. You can also use digital marketing to reach a wider audience, including social media and search engine optimization (SEO). You can even attend local events to promote your catering services and network with prospective clients.
The days and hours before an event are always the most hectic. No matter how well you’ve planned, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have a plan for last-minute problems and know how to handle them. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Choose a Local Caterer
Choosing a caterer near you is important. This way, they can be ready to provide service for your event as soon as possible. It’s also a great way to support local businesses. Many catering companies have a set menu and pricing structure, but some can customize their offerings for you. If you’re unsure of what to look for, ask for recommendations from colleagues and friends. You can also find some of the best catering companies in your area by searching online.
Make Sure You Have Enough Food
One of the most common last-minute problems is running out of food. To avoid this, you should have a clear understanding of your meeting’s goals and the number of attendees. This will help you determine how much food to order. You can also try adding a few extra attendees to your count in case some people cancel. If you do this, make sure to pad your ordering amount a bit so that you have leftovers.
To reduce the stress of putting together an event, create checklists for each task. Using these checklists will give your team a framework to follow, allowing them to focus on their individual responsibilities rather than worrying about missing something. For example, if you’re planning a corporate event, you might have a checklist for things like tablecloths, napkins, dinner plates, water glasses, flatware, and charger plates. If you need to, you can also include notes for other tasks that might be more specific to the event, such as making sure you have enough technology in each room or hanging signs before guests arrive.
Get the Right Permits
Before you start offering catering services, it’s necessary to acquire the right permits and licenses. These are essential to ensure your kitchen and employees follow food safety and hygiene practices. You can get started by getting a general business license and an employer identification number (EIN).
Promote Your Services
Marketing your catering company is important for creating brand awareness and growing your customer base. You can do this by utilizing various strategies like putting up flyers, advertising in local newspapers and magazines, and exhibiting at local events.
You can also use digital marketing tactics such as social media and paid search ads to reach your target audience. These methods can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, and they’re easier to track your ROI. Lastly, you can use networking events to connect with potential customers and build a referral network. These events can also be great opportunities for you to showcase your catering skills.