With the start of a new year, many companies plan a corporate retreat to talk about the changes they will make throughout the upcoming quarters. These retreats can range from day-long, in-office planning sessions to full weekend or even week-long off-site getaways.
The one thing that all corporate retreats have in common? Everyone has to eat. And that’s where professional catering comes into the planning mix. Here are some tips to help you pick the right corporate caterer.
Tip #1 Use a professional caterer
You have enough to think about with budgets, goals and year-end reviews to be worrying about your next meal. Line up a professional corporate caterer can handle that aspect of your corporate retreat for you—for the duration of your event.
Tip #2 Plan ahead
The good caterers are busy, especially in our Washington DC metropolitan area, so for the best options, line up your caterer early. This is especially important if your corporate retreat will last for several days, you will have a large number of attendees, or you have a specific theme. It is important to get your date on the caterer’s calendar.
Tip #3 Find a full-service caterer
To make things easier, find a corporate caterer that can provide meals ranging from breakfast through dinner service and everything in between. You’ll want to consider breaks throughout the day in addition to major meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tip #4 Look for variety in your meal planning
Locate a corporate caterer that offers variety in meal service. This can mean variety in the types of foods or the style of presentation. Choose several styles throughout the day to help mix things up, or provide simple boxed lunches and continental-style breakfast and snack bars to keep things light.
Consider these sample corporate retreat catering options from Maison Culinaire:
- Buffet-style hot breakfast
- Mid-morning pastries and coffee
- Boxed lunches (so you can keep working)
- Mid-afternoon protein break
- Evening cocktail party with heavy hors d’oeuvres
- Seated formal dinner to wrap up the event or service stations that allow your guests to mingle while eating
Tip #5 Negotiate pricing
Ask for bundled pricing. If you are planning several meals throughout your corporate retreat, bundle the costs into one package price. This makes it easier for all parties, plus you should receive a nice discount just for asking!
Tip #6 Become business partners
Treat the caterer as a business partner and offer them the same respect you would to any partner. Include the caterer in pre-planning and check in with them throughout the event (or be available when they check in with you.) Offer feedback after the event and thank them for their service. Remember, they’re on your side to ensure that your event goes flawlessly.
Corporate Catering from Maison Culinaire
At Maison Culinaire, we’ve catered enough corporate events to understand that options, timing, reliability, creativity, and delicious foods all play a role in pulling together a raving success at your corporate retreat. Whether you are planning for a single day or pulling out the stops for an interoffice conference, we can handle your catering needs.
For regular corporate catering, check out our Four Week Cycle Menu. We provide five different menu items a day for a daily luncheon delivered directly to your office in Maryland, Northern Virginia or Washington, DC. You’ll enjoy healthy, fresh ingredients with a changing menu each day.
Download our Corporate Catering Guide for great menu options for breakfast, lunch, and boxed lunches.
Contact Maison Culinaire today to discuss corporate catering for your office, retreat or conference.