When you are arranging catering it is very important to know the catering company you use of course! but equally who you are catering for. Sounds simple but some of the tips below might help you avoid the ‘embarrassing hungry guest’ telling you there is nothing they can eat!
For starters, it’s always wise to check if any of the guests you are catering for have any allergies. This is the most serious requirement as you don’t want to witness someone having an allergic reaction. Don’t make assumptions with allergy requirements as this can be very dangerous – to both your guests and the caterer responsible. There are lots of risk here so please ask the question to all of your guests and ideally get them to state in writing that they have no allergens. For those who do have allergies eg lactose intolerance, Coeliac disease, nut, seafood, celery or other allergies, make sure the catering company you have chosen for your event knows well in advance what the dietary requirements are so that they can prepare or clarify their position on what they can or cannot do for your guests.
You also need to check if any of your guests have specific cultural dietary requirements. They may maintain a particular religious belief system that requires certain things to be emitted from their diet, certain foods to be blessed or that they take a moral or ethical position on things such as meat and dairy products and require vegan and vegetarian options. Again, your caterer will need to know well beforehand to make sure the guests are catered for.
Last, but by no means least, you should also check what type of food is most befitting of your hungry audience and the particular event you’re catering for! You may be catering for super fit athletes who demand lots of protein and are averse to cream cakes; your guests may have spent all day team-building in the cold and want hot food like chilli con carne and curry to fill them up and warm them up. Or if the event is a serious sit-down corporate meeting, a civilised finger food buffet would be more appropriate. Then consider would your guests like traditional buffet food such as sandwiches and savouries or would they prefer something more contemporary? Or different, such as tapas?
Whatever your occasion and whoever you are catering for, it’s the guests that will eat so make sure you have as many bases covered as possible. It’s not easy catering for lots of different people but keeping these points in mind should bring you closer to organising an event that is as satisfying and memorable for its catering as possible.