It is not easy to cater to a group of business people; they expect amazing food, impeccable service, and an unique experience. This, of course, has to be done within a given budget – most likely smaller than you would like. Thankfully catering doesn’t have to break the bank.
The advantages of having a professional catering service handle your food is compelling. Professionals save you time, money – and probably most important of all, stress. Your caterer will make it easy: they will cook your food, deliver it, prep, service it, and clean up when you’re done.
This ensures that you always come across looking like a highly professional organization that cares enough to service your staff and clients flavorful, well-prepared food. And, if you follow our simple and effective tips, you can keep your catering costs to a minimum, making it look like you spend more money than you actually did.
Choose Cost-Effective Menu Options
The biggest variable in your catering costs is the cost of ingredients and the time and effort the caterer has to invest in preparation. Some dishes and types of cuisine are less expensive to prepare which helps reduce your cost.
Italian-themed menus – such as pasta and pizza – are often some of the least expensive options, yet usually they are popular with guests because, let’s face it, everybody loves pasta and pizza. And there is generally something for everybody. You might want to think about gluten-free options for guests who have diet restrictions, but of course, this will be more expensive.
Buffet Instead Of Sit-Down Meals
Another simple but effective way of cutting costs is to have a buffet-style menu as it cuts down on labour costs. While sit-down meals are always considered fancier, more companies are having buffets and the stigma is decreasing. And while people don’t associate them with high-class, people tend to enjoy them more.
The other great thing about buffets is they are flexible and offer people more of a variety. Have a picky eater? A buffet is perfect for them.
Want to make a buffet fancier? Add some lobster tacos or steak tartare bites – since you’re buying smaller quantities of these items, it will be far less expensive than if you were to make it into a full meal for everyone.
Want to ensure guests don’t go hungry? Include a larger quantity of affordable, heavier snacks like mini grilled cheese sandwiches, tortellini and sauce cups, or even items like spinach puffs.
Order Only What You Need
This is another factor that will either increase or decrease the cost of your event. It’s important to accurately count the number of guests that will be there. This is not always easy as some, if not many people, say they will show up and then bail at the last minute. Or sometimes there are external factors like a snowstorm that prevent people from getting to the event.
When preparing for a business catering event, corporate clients tend to order more food than they need. The reason for over-ordering is understandable – you never want to be caught short on food – but it’s not necessary in most cases.
Talk to your caterer about quantities as based upon their experience, they should be able to accurate guestimate how much food you need. Catering companies are experienced at determining the appropriate amount of food and you can trust them to ensure you’ll have plenty to keep everyone well-fed.
Try A Vegetarian-themed Menu
Everyone knows high-quality meat is expensive. The good news is there are plenty of ways to create an enjoyable menu with little or no meat. And with vegetarianism being very trendy, it is easy to get away with a mostly vegetarian menu. You should ask your catering company how you can make an exciting vegetarian menu so most people won’t even feel like they are missing out on a juicy steak.
However, you should think about your guests first before committing to a vegetarian-style menu. If you’re holding a trucker union meeting then perhaps vegetarian isn’t the way to go!
Rent Smaller Plates
This is an old catering trick that might come in handy. Common sense tells us that, when left to their own devices, guests will often maximize plate space no matter what size they’re given. If you give guests slightly smaller plates, this might subconsciously discourage them from wasting food or taking too much of your carefully allocated dishes. While you might not save a huge amount of money, every bit helps!
Ask Your Caterer for Budget-Friendly Tips
Don’t hesitate to talk to your caterer and explain that you’re working with a limited budget. They can give you recommendations for high-impact, low-cost menus and strategies that can help you save money.
This is especially true when you work with a local corporate catering expert like DICED Catering. We have the experience and the knowledge to know exactly how to make you look good with your business catering. We specialize in making your events as stress-free as possible, handling every aspect of your event.
Give us a call today to book your event. We will be happy to help.