As a busy administrative professional, it may seem like catering is just one more task to check off your (already long) list of responsibilities. But, believe it or not, the quality and presentation of the food you order has surprising, hidden power. When you take the time to curate the right spread for your audience, it reflects your creativity, your diligence, and your attention to detail–all of which add value to your role.
At CaterSquad, we know a thing or two about streamlining the process for ordering the best possible business breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are three ways to take your office catering to the next level—and possibly become office royalty for doing so.
1. Don’t discount dietary restrictions
These days, it seems everyone has specifications about what they can and cannot eat. Between all the “-frees” like gluten- and dairy-free, the specialty diets like keto and veganism, and a worldwide increase in food allergies, you’ve got a recipe for a potential headache when ordering for a crowd.
If you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of meeting everyone’s eating needs, you may be tempted to simply order en masse and let folks fend for themselves. (And sometimes buffet-style offerings are an easy fix!) But remember that the old adage is true: The way to the heart really is (often) through the stomach. Your extra effort to order appropriately for each individual will earn you serious goodwill. Besides, many food restrictions are medically necessary, so it’s important to keep employees safe by accommodating their requests. Simplify the process by logging everyone’s food restrictions in a spreadsheet for reference.
2. Take presentation to the next level
There’s no denying that we eat with our eyes. Even the tastiest steak dinner isn’t all that appealing when served on a flimsy paper plate. To boost employee enjoyment of catered meals, take a few moments to consider presentation. No need for fine china! Simply making sure the serving area is clean and tidy goes a long way toward enhancing the dining experience, as does organizing food and utensils in a logical flow.
Before your order is delivered, it’s also a good idea to find out how it will be served and what materials will be provided. Then, if you have the time and budget, you might invest in a few amenities like tablecloths, centerpieces, and flatware to keep on hand. These small niceties can add up to a big difference in presentation.
3. Match food to the occasion
It’s time to let your creativity shine! As you plan ahead for an event, give a little thought to how you might match your catering order to the occasion. Spice up a Tuesday lunch meeting with a Taco Tuesday theme, or if an important client is visiting, do a little reconnaissance to find out what kind of cuisine they enjoy. It doesn’t hurt to account for weather conditions, too. Nothing tastes better on a chilly day than a warming bowl of soup, while summertime eats like salad and fresh fruit are super refreshing when it’s sweltering outside.
Finally, don’t forget that CaterSquad is here to help! We alleviate stress for administrative professionals every day by placing customized catering orders at local restaurants with excellent reviews. Our team takes meeting your catering needs seriously! With a little behind-the-scenes help from our services, you’ll have more time to spend on the rest of your busy job–and still get the credit for feeding employees the delicious food they crave.