10 Things You Didn’t Know About Corporate Catering
Many misconceptions surround corporate catering. These include the safety of the food ordered and the policy regarding take-out.
You will never learn all there is to know about catering for company events, no matter how many times you have done it.
That is, at least for now.
We are industry insiders and have access to information that isn’t widely known. We’re happy to share this knowledge with you!
Keep reading to learn 10 facts about corporate catering and what you need to consider before you plan your next big lunch or dinner for your team.
1. Buffets are expensive. People underestimate how much they can consume.
Clients often ask why ordering a buffet spread for a large group is more expensive than ordering bento box lunches for the same amount of people.
One simple reason is that people are terrible at guessing how many calories they can eat.
Bento boxes have a controlled amount of food. Buffets are a common way for people to eat more than they can eat, leading to a lot of waste.
Catering companies must consider this wastage and have a buffer in place to ensure that enough food is available to all guests. This will result in a higher cost per head for the same amount of food.
2. High tea catering is not what you think.
High tea catering is a complex concept. Typically, high tea involves a cup of tea or coffee with sandwiches, cakes, or dim sum in a nice hotel.
High tea catering menus can be a little different. High tea menus aren’t as balanced or filling as lunch or dinner menus. They don’t typically include a meat, vegetable or seafood course. They usually include appetizers, finger foods, light carbohydrate drinks, and desserts.
3. Some live stations may not be appropriate for your venue.
As they bring a sense of interactivity to your buffet spread, live stations can be a great addition.
Not all venues can host a live food stand.
Ask your office manager about any restrictions on smoke and open fires if you are having an indoor event.
Live stations for char-kway teow and grilled satay are not recommended. Setting off the smoke alarm is not a great way to celebrate an event.
4. It is not a good idea to combine half-courses into one whole course.
Clients often request a combination of different flavours for a specific type of food.
To feed 40 people, you could order 20-pax lemon chicken and 20 pax teriyaki poultry.
It would seem that half-and-half of one type of food, whether it be meat, seafood, or vegetables, would be a good way to please all palates. But the results are often contradictory.
Everybody wants to try everything. So, the rule is that the first 20 people at the buffet line will get lemon and teriyaki chicken. The last 20 receive nothing.
Although we don’t advocate mixing things up, this works well with carbs like noodles and rice. It is better to have enough carbs for everyone than overloading your plate.
5. You can’t takeaway leftovers
You can’t take away leftovers from corporate catering meals. The National Environment Agency (NEA) guidelines state that all catering food must be consumed within three hours of set-up.
Instead of filling Tupperware containers with food, gather colleagues from other departments and teams to help you eat the buffet after your main guests have finished eating.
6. Takeaway boxes don’t usually come with this in mind.
Takeaways are prohibited, so caterers do not offer takeaway boxes.
Caterers cannot take responsibility for any food consumed after the three hour window.
7. You are not allowed to heat your food on the buffet.
A common misconception is that buffet food is heated up at the venue.
Truth is that your food should arrive hot and be kept warm on the buffet line.
Delivering food cold or lukewarm means that it has been below the minimum food safety temperature (60°C) and is susceptible to bacteria growth. This is something that is not welcome at a buffet.
8. “Golden” is a euphemism that refers to ‘deep-fried’
Catering menus often feature ‘golden food’, such as golden prawns and golden nuggets.
Although it sounds glamorous to eat golden food, it is really just a way of eating processed food that has been deep-fried in large quantities.
You should avoid ‘golden food’ unless your guests are happy to indulge in little oily bits.
9. Deep-fried food won’t ever be crispy
Deep-fried food is not a perfect choice.
Science is the reason soggy fried food is not a favorite. When the food is heated, water vapor from the container turns into condensation. This moisture can make crispy, crunchy fried foods soggy and mushy.
10. Saucy dishes make the best meals
You can’t go wrong with soups, curries, or any other dish that has gravy if you want to ensure a safe corporate catering experience.
These delicious saucy dishes are wonderful because they don’t dry out or break down during transport to your venue. They also hold up to constant heating at the buffet line.