Office Party Planning and Catering Checklist for your Corporate Event

In order to plan and execute a successful corporate event or office function, you should create a catering checklist. An office party or social event’s success and satisfaction will depend on how well you plan it. Planning helps you organise your thoughts, ideas, and your priorities. It is also important as it serves as your primary reference to ensure that all tasks are completed and all activities that are involved in catering are being taken care of. 

A catering checklist is an important element when planning a corporate event. Given that food gets the lion’s share in terms of budget, you need to keep track of where your money goes and that the budget is allocated accordingly. A checklist also ensures that all the food items, tools, and other miscellaneous activities will be fulfilled on the day of your event. Simply put, if you want your next corporate event or office party to be a success, make sure to have a carefully-planned and strategic catering checklist at hand. 

So, what are the things that you need to incorporate into your catering checklist? Here are the most important ones:

The Essentials

  • Pick a date and time for your event. 

If you are planning a holiday corporate event, be aware of your office demographic. Choose a date and time around the holiday season when most of your guests are available and guaranteed to show up. For instance, if you are planning your office’s Christmas party, you can set the date during the first few days of December. Make sure that your party does not interfere with dates when people typically spend time with their loved ones. 

When it comes to the time, choose a time that does not interfere with working hours. Evening corporate events and office parties are always ideal, since your workforce can finish their task for the day followed by a fun and relaxing event at night. 

If you want a full attendance, you may also consider hosting a luncheon for your office party. In this way, you are sure that all the employees will be showing up. You may simply request the management to offer the rest of the day as your company day off. 

Since you are paying for lights, evening parties are always more expensive. Whereas, luncheons are usually cheaper, especially if you are hosting the event at your place of work.

  • Create your guest list

For office parties, it’s easy to create a guest list. Request a list of current employees from HR, make an invitation, and send them out via email. You can also include an option where guests can invite their significant others to your corporate event. You need to have a ballpark range on the number of attendees. This will help you arrange the catering and the budget that needs to be allotted for food. Other suppliers such as chair and table rentals will need to be notified on the number of guests, so you can start requesting quotes for food, decorations, and venue during the planning stage. 

  • Select a venue

If you are planning to host an office party or corporate event on a work day, make sure to choose a venue that isn’t too far from your place of work. It should be centrally located and accessible to most of your guests. 

Choose a venue with ample space for the number of people you are expecting to show up at the event. If you are hosting an office gathering for a small number of people, we recommend you look into function rooms of restaurants. 

For major corporate events and exhibitions, it’s best to choose a specialty events place. Most event places also offer rental for tables and chairs, so that will be one worry off your list. Event spaces have an open and empty layout. These spaces are recommended for large crowds since you can certainly accommodate hundreds of people at one time. You are also given the freedom to decorate and style the events place based on your theme. 

There are events venues that offer in-house catering services, while some strictly offer rental. If you choose to employ a catering company separately, make sure to conduct your research and choose a caterer a month or two before your actual corporate event. Having them booked early allows you to plan your menu and organize the other important aspects of the event.

Catering Menu Ideas

  • Pick your food style service

Food stations and stand up hors d’oeuvres are an excellent food style service for casual office events as they are filling and inexpensive. For formal corporate events, you may choose between a buffet food style service or a sit-down dinner instead. You may also install an open bar where guests can indulge on cocktails and alcohol throughout the event. 

  • Choose a menu for your office party

Pick a menu that features great-tasting dishes. Don’t depend on the budget that you have and compromise by choosing the most inexpensive one. You can choose from set catering menus or you may work closely with a catering company if you want to build a menu from scratch. A reliable catering company should be able to showcase flexibility when it comes to catering menu creation. 

Make sure that your menu carries an assortment of meats, veggies, fruits, and sweets. Planning ahead is also important if you are hosting guests on special diets or who have food allergies or intolerances. Schedule a taste testing with two or three catering companies that you seriously consider working with. Taste testing will help you during the deliberation process of which caterer offers the best value for money. 

If you have any questions about the catering menu process or if you need to schedule an appointment with us, you may reach us on our Square Catering direct line today.

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