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Catering Must Haves: What to remember when providing food and drink at your next event

Posted By Mary Le, Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Catering Must Haves: What to remember when providing food and drink at your next event

By: Mary Le, Intern


When it comes to event planning, providing food and drink is a must. However, how do you know what to serve, how much to serve, and how to please your attendees? Katherine Ricker from events gave some great tips about planning a successful event when it comes to providing food and beverages.


What to serve? – Base what you serve at events on the client’s budget. The second factor to consider in your decision is the atmosphere and type of event. “If it’s a networking event, then it is ideal to have lighter food that people can eat with their hands,” says Katherine. Another factor to consider is the client’s expectations and what they have in mind. Many people have dietary restrictions, and it is important to provide options and flexibility. Don’t choose options that limit people’s flexibility such as pasta. “A sandwich bar can actually go a long way. People who can’t eat gluten can get rid of the bread and make it a salad,” says Katherine. Not only does this give people options, but it also gives them flexibility.


How Much to Serve? - When it comes to estimating the amount of food and drinks to serve, it can be difficult. “People think if they have 25 guests, they need to provide food and drinks for exactly 25 people,” says Katherine. It is best to underestimate a little below the actual number of attendees. Food and drink is an important indicator whether or not people enjoyed the event. It does not look good to the board of an association if there is a large quantity of excess food, because that tells them that the event was not successful


Caterers are here to help. - It is important to reach out to the caterers first. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from caterers. They will answer any questions you have whether it’s about staying in your budget or which items to serve. Another reason why caterers are a helpful resource is they are willing to accommodate to dietary restrictions, but it is very important to let them know ahead of time.


Communication. - Another important factor is communication. Attendees like to know what is happening. It’s never a bad idea to over-communicate with them When conflicts occur, like the food not arriving on time, make sure to let attendees know.


If you are interested in learning more about our meeting and events management please contact Julie Cygan at juliec@ewald.com.


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