All too often, ordering and organizing business lunch catering lands on an executive assistant’s or administrative professional’s plate without warning, job description updates, or a simple thank you. But ordering office catering can be a stressful, thankless and huge job (that often grows as a business scales). We’re talking daily lunches for upwards of 500 employees—that’s a lot of work!
Thankfully, Foodee’s in the business of lunch catering. We’ve helped admin professionals like you bring daily and weekly meals into offices since 2013—and we average over 900 deliveries a week with 97.5 percent on-time accuracy (can’t always count on traffic).
In other words, we have a few tips up our table skirts for running—and organizing—successful and stress-free business lunch catering. Here are eleven of them.
11 tips for organizing business lunch catering
1. Decide who’s in charge of ordering
How much or little control do you want when it comes to ordering and organizing business lunch catering? If you’re swamped and want to pass the reigns, be sure to partner with a corporate catering company like Foodee that has customizable and flexible meal plans.
For example, we can order everything for you based on your meal requirements, budget and preference, you can do all of the ordering yourself, or you can choose the team ordering option. That means that your business lunch catering attendees select a meal for themselves based on some options you (or we) provide.
2. Consider the occasion
How formal are your business lunches? How healthy should they be? Are attendees close enough that they would like to order family style and try a bit of several dishes? Should everything be laid out in the classic corporate catering fashion on a separate table with serving dishes and serving spoons? Or is this a small, tight-knit business lunch that is very casual and happens to be on a Friday? Always consider the occasion and how messy, clean, fun or formal the catering should be.
3. Consider the season
Business lunch catering in the middle of a hot summer day might look different than on a wet fall day in the office. Consider the season and what kind of food your eaters will likely be craving. Also, because Foodee only partners with local restaurants, consider what kind of local produce may be in season to elevate your lunch.
4. Establish a per person budget
Know your budget before looking into catering options. If your budget is minimal, consider going for economical meals such as boxed lunches, DIY bagel and cream cheese fixings, or sandwich platters. If you’re organizing a lunch and have decided to go for the Foodee team order option, you have to set a per-person budget before they can order.
5. Choose your style of eating
Do your eaters want their own individual meals in boxes or wrapping with their names on it? Or are they open to sharing among the team? Get a feel for the occasion and vibe first and then choose individually wrapped, individually or cuisine-type labeled (ie. veggie, meat, etc.), or family style.
6. Check for allergies and preferences
If your entire group of eaters is gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, this will affect what you order. Try to find a restaurant and menu that has a little something for everyone. Our local food experts can help you get this information and find great restaurants that suit your team too.
7. Choose your cuisine
Get a feel for the cuisine that your team loves. If it’s a Monday business lunch, you may want to go with something healthy and fresh. Perhaps something from a fresh cafe, juice bar, salad bar, poke spot, sushi restaurant, or Mediterranean restaurant might do the trick? Or, if it’s a Friday afternoon business lunch catering, maybe go for something more fun and Happy Hour-related catering, such a pizza, burgers, tacos, wings, and so on.
8. Decide on a restaurant
Based on all of this information, it’s time to pick your restaurant. In Foodee’s online ordering system, you can easily select your cuisine, time of day, the date for ordering, and then see which local restaurants fit your bill. Pick your restaurant, budget, and send a link to a team order for your team to choose their individual meal by a certain date. Or, Foodee’s experts can pick the restaurant for you based on past favourites, budget, allergies, and preferences and you just say yay or nay.
9. Place your order ahead of time
Many local, owner-operated restaurants have small kitchens and need a heads up before preparing a large business lunch catering. Always plan ahead-of-time to ensure you (and your team) gets exactly what they want when they want it.
10. Organize your space for the occasion
Get your space ready for the business lunch. If you need to set up the boardroom with pens and paper for the meeting, for example, make sure to plan that ahead-of-time. If you want a table with a tablecloth, flowers, water jug, glasses and so on set up, make sure that’s all organized to save you last-minute stress and headache.
11. Choose a caterer who will set up your lunch
At Foodee, our driver partners pick up the meals as scheduled, ensure the order is correct and has all of the necessary sauces, labels, cutlery, napkins and so on, drive them to your office, and set it all up for you. For us, excellent service—from the simplicity of ordering to the expert delivery and catering setup—is what sets us apart.