Have been recently given the contract to cater to a select group of corporate honchos? Are you finding it intimidating or exciting? Corporate catering needs to be planned properly. However, before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, ask yourself what plan of action you have for this event. Are there any specific pointers you need to address to make a success of your corporate catering venture? Perhaps there are. What are they? Well, here are a few salient ones to get you going so that you meet the required levels of standard…
Find out the number of people you will be catering for every day. If you are catering for a special event for corporate staff, find out the type of event it’s going to be because the type of event determines the kind of food you’re going to serve. If it’s lunch you’re serving, a thumb rule is to make it lighter and simpler than dinner, and less formal too, but with lots of choices.
Speak to the office administrator and arrive at a firm decision about the budget for your catered food and extra for services. If you are going to do this on a daily basis, it will necessitate getting into a contract to protect you and your client. Ask for a deposit before you start work.
Get a confirmation from the office administrator on the kind of service the company expects. Do they expect a buffet or do they want waitstaff? Both these require different budgets so you will need to make up your budget.
Plan a menu that fits in your budget and which meets their expectations. Offer several menu plans to your client and allow them to choose, or mix and match. In all likelihood, you’d be doing a buffet, which will include cold cuts, sandwiches, salads and side dishes. However, if you’re going to give them table service, your menu could include soups and hot entrees.
Now that you know the numbers they want and the food they expect, put your team together. You need cooks at various levels with different specific talents. You also need staff to deliver the food, serve it and clean up afterwards.
Do you have enough crockery and cutlery? If you don’t, invest in it now. You will need plates, dishes, cups, silverware and napkins. Though you may have the exact numbers in place, it always helps to have a few extra, just in case there are guests for lunch. For heating the food at the office premises, you’re going to need hotplates too and chafing dishes to keep the food warm. Besides, you will need cooking pots and pans to cook the food on-site.
Buy your stores in bulk from wholesalers that cater to caterers like you. All the chicken, meat, fish, spices, vegetables, canned foods and other supplies can easily be procured here.
Time your cooking so well that office staff are not delayed. No matter what you decide to serve, it needs to be piping hot and ready from the time you promise to serve. That’s because people at offices often eat in batches, so you need to keep everything ready so you don’t delay them. Ensure that your staff is attentive to the staff’s needs, as often they don’t have the luxury of having a leisurely lunch.
You and your staff should be attentive to the staff’s needs. Check if they enjoy your food or if they want something extra like salt, pepper, tomato ketchup, etc. If there are small niggling problems, tackle them with a cool mind.
There are several factors to consider before taking on catering for office staff. But once you gear yourself up by being organized, you’ve set yourself up for success.