Good food? Food is the staff of life as the Cambridge English Dictionary will tell us and depending where you are in the world, it could be bread, it could be rice, but one thing is certain for us mere mortals – we have to eat to live, so we may as well enjoy good food whenever possible!
This month we are focusing on food for events – anyone who has had to organise an event will understand just how important a role good food plays. In simple terms, food can make or break an event.
So, how do you go about ensuring that you have the best possible food for your delegates or guests?
It starts with the suppliers that a venue uses – they must be sure that food is handled safely and delivered on time and always use a reputable supplier. Cutting costs or corners can result in poor quality supplies.
Then food storage has to be taken into account. If your event is quite large, then the venue will have to order large quantities of food in and they need to have adequate chillers and freezers and room to store raw and cooked foods separately.
Hygiene training is really vital for all staff both those preparing food and those serving food and there are many courses available as well as training videos.
Having ascertained that you are comfortable with the kitchen set-up at a venue, then you can start to think about menus.
Spend a little time looking at your delegates’ profiles – how senior are they, do they attend events regularly? What is the average age of your delegates? Younger attendees tend to be more adventurous with food, some may be concerned about health and fitness.
Think about menu choices and offer two or three options to include healthy options and more indulgent options plus an option for special dietary needs for food intolerances, allergies, religion and vegetarians.
What time of the year will you be holding your event? Don’t forget to take this into consideration and ask the chef what is in season.
Next thing is how long are you going to have for your meal break – a plated meal usually takes 1.5 hrs, whilst a buffet takes approximately 1 hr. If time is short, then consider a boxed lunch as this only takes about 30 mins.
Of course if you are using a venue where you can provide your own catering, then why not try Food Trucks? These are massively popular at some events and they provide really tasty street food such as burgers and hotdogs. Gives your delegates a chance to stretch their legs and chat at the same time.
If you opted for either the plated meal or the buffet, make sure that the venue is geared up properly for service. There is nothing worse than having to wait for your meal when time is tight. Most of us eat with our eyes, so presentation has to be the most important factor after the quality of the food which of course is key to it all. It should be visually colourful and fragrant and appetising. If it doesn’t look good or smell good, then you will not have happy guests!
Watch out for our next ‘Foodie’ article which will be featuring event food trends for 2017.
Posted within: Blog