Today’s guest post is from Chris Kent, an entrepreneur who helps supply coffee to events all over the U.S.
Planning events can be stressful, draiving, and downright frustrating. As your event gets bigger it only gets harder, with more factors to consider and more elements to coordinate. One element that can easily make or break your event is the food or drink. To make the catering process easier for you, here is a list of eight things to consider before planning your next event.
1. Be aware of special diets. Make sure you find out if your guests are vegan, vegetarian, or have Celiac Disease (gluten-free) by collecting any special dietary information in the registration flow.
2. Shop around. Be sure to shop around before placing an order or signing a contract. Make sure to take into consideration what your attendees need, and how you will provide it for them.
3. Be aware of special venue rules. Make sure you’re aware of any limitations or requirements put in place by the venue you’re using, and that any additional staff (servers, bartenders, etc.) are made sure of those rules as well.
4. Offer options on beverages. Serving tea or coffee? Make sure you offer sweetened and unsweetened, as well as regular and decaf. You’d be surprised how picky people are about their coffee and tea!
5. Consider serving arrangements. If you plan on having a buffet line, make sure your attendees know and there is some sort of sign to indicate that. Same goes for waiters, or any other serving method.
6. Be setting appropriate. Organizing a longer, sit-down event? A heavier meal may be appropriate. Is your event a convention with lots of movement, snacks are more appropriate.
7. Always taste test. More than anything else mentioned here, taste matters. If the food is great, any serving confusion will likely be forgotten. On the other hand, bad food will trump all the waiters in the world. Take some time and make sure to sample what you’re serving ahead of time.
8. Triple check delivery & prep time. Always, always, always double…no, triple-check your delivery and prep times. It can never hurt to overcommunicate with the person deliverying/preparing the food. Trust us, you’d rather make one extra, unnecessary email or phone call to be on the safe side rather than explain to hungry guests that there was a mixup!