It is too familiar for an administrative professional to be responsible for ordering, organising, and paying for office lunch catering without much warning or even a simple thank you. However, ordering catering for office lunches can be a stressful and time-consuming task (that often becomes more complicated as the business grows). It's much work to feed upwards of 200 employees each day!
The good news is that eCater specialises in office lunch catering, and we have a few simple and easy-to-follow tips to help you get started.
11 tips: How to plan and organise office lunch catering
1. Decide who's in charge of ordering
Do you want to control ordering and organise office lunch catering? Partnering with a corporate catering company like eCater that offers flexible and customisable meal plans is a great way to pass the buck if you're busy.
You can order everything yourself or select the team ordering option based on your meal requirements, budget, and preference. Essentially, your catering attendees choose a meal from a selection you (or we) provide.
2. It is essential to consider the occasion
Do you hold formal business lunches? What is the best way for them to stay healthy? Is the group close enough to order family style and sample a few dishes? Would it be more appropriate to set everything out in the classic corporate catering fashion with serving dishes and spoons? Is it an informal Friday lunch with a tiny, close-knit group of business people? Ensure the catering is appropriate for the occasion, whether it is messy, clean, fun or formal.
3. Take seasonal factors into account
Your eaters' likely cravings will depend on the season. In the middle of a hot summer day in the office, business lunch catering might look different than in the middle of a rainy fall day. Consider what kind of local produce is in the season to elevate your lunch as eCater only partners with local caterers.
4. Plan your budget by person
Before looking into catering options, make sure you know your budget. If your budget is limited, consider inexpensive lunches such as boxed lunches, wholesome bowls, or sandwich platters. When organising a lunch, you'll need to establish a per-person budget before they can order through eCater.
5. Eat the way you like
Consider the occasion and vibe first, then decide whether to wrap it individually, label it individually (i.e. meat, veg, etc.), or serve it in a shared family-style catering. Would your eaters like their own individual meals in boxes or packaging with their names on them? Would they be willing to share within the team?
6. Take note of allergies and preferences
Select a caterer and menu that offers a little something for everyone. Your order will be affected by whether all of your guests are gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. You can get this information and find great caterers that suit your team from our local food experts.
7. Choosing a cuisine
Find out what cuisine your team enjoys. It may be a good idea to choose something healthy and fresh for your Monday business lunch. Is there anything you can suggest that would be helpful, such as a fresh salad, poke bowl, sushi, or Mediterranean cuisine? You might consider something more fun and Happy Hour-related, such as pizza, burgers, tacos, wings, etc., if it's a Friday afternoon business lunch catering.
8. Decide on the caterer
Once you've gathered all this information, you're ready to choose your caterer. Through eCater's online ordering system, you can select your cuisine, time of day, and delivery date and then see which local caterers fit your needs. Send your team a link to an order form so they can choose their menu by a specific date based on your caterer and budget. Alternatively, eCater's experts can select the caterer based on past preferences, budget, allergies, and preferences, and you need to approve or disapprove.
9. Plan and place your order in advance
Catering companies with small kitchens must get a heads up before preparing large business lunches. Make sure you (and your team) plan, so everything goes smoothly.
10. Prepare your space for the event
Prepare your workspace for the business lunch. Organise everything you need to set up the table, such as a tablecloth, flowers, water bottle, glasses, etc., so you don't have to worry about last-minute stress. For example, plan if you need to set up the boardroom with pens and paper.
11. Make sure a catering company sets up your lunch
At eCater, our caterers prepare the meals as scheduled, ensure the order is correct, have all of the necessary sauces, labels, cutlery, and napkins delivered to your office, and set it all up for you. Excellent service sets us apart, from the ease of ordering to the expert delivery and catering setup.
Find out how eCater can cater your office lunches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
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