When it comes to meeting with clients and suppliers, it is important to make the right impression. You will want to make them feel special and valued during your meeting, so you need to do all you can to stand out from the competition and make them see that you are the business that you want to work with.
When it comes to hosting business meetings, it is vital that you get the catering right. Once upon a time, a plate full of biscuits in the centre of the table was all that was offered, but these days, expectations are a little higher and companies are now upping the stakes to make sure that the catering they offer reflects who they are as a business.
1. A Good Impression
You want your clients to have a good impression of you from the minute they walk through the door, and preparation is key to this. Make sure that you have thought about your catering in advance and have something on hand and ready, instead of sending out for sandwiches halfway through the morning.
Whilst the food you offer may not directly have anything to do with your business, it goes a long way towards setting you apart from other businesses and making your clients feel that they are important to you.
The say that an army marches on its stomach, and business meetings can work in much the same way. There can come a point when stomachs begin to rumble, and attention starts to wander, so providing something tasty at the right interval is a great way to provide the necessary energy boost to get everyone back on track.
The fact that everything is done for you also saves time in the meeting. You can have the food laid out quickly and easily, allowing people to make their choices, eat and then move on to the matters in hand.
Many people find chatting over food more informal and can often be inclined to let their guard down and talk more freely. Some of the best business deals in history were agreed over a meal, so having your catering ready can help to change the tone of a meeting and get you into a better place.
3. Food Variety
Your catering can cover all types of food, so think carefully about what you want to offer. It could be anything from sandwiches and snacks, to skewers, hot meals, soups, cakes and much, much more. You should not feel restricted or obliged to do what everyone else does. Instead, use your imagination and let your caterers conjure up something exciting that will help you to stick in the memory of your clients.
If you can, it is good to establish whether you clients have any special dietary requirements beforehand. If they are vegan, or have allergies or intolerances, it is good to show you have thought about this and provided them with delicious viable options too. There is nothing worse than one person being left out because they can’t eat what is in front of them.
Hiring professional catering is one of the quickest and easiest ways to provide food during your meetings. It means you do not have a stressed receptionist trying to organise things, or kitchen staff fretting about how to make things look prettier than usual.
An outside caterer can take all of the hassle away by simply delivering great looking and wonderfully tasting food right when you need it, and there is no washing up either. All you need to do is pay.
5. Employee Rewards
Catering at work doesn’t just apply to visitors who are coming in from outside. This is also something that you can do for your staff from time to time as part of a reward scheme or a team building exercise.
Getting great quality catering for your staff shows them how much you care and can go a long way to making them feel valued and appreciated. This has a big impact on morale and productivity amongst your staff, and is also a big factor in employee retention, so it can be worth doing on an occasional basis.
6. Easy Ordering
Many caterers now have a selection of menus already prepared for you to choose from in order to make the process of organising your catering much easier. Just choose the one that offers the variety that you want for the price you want and place your order. You should also have the ability to let them know if there are any special requirements or dietary needs that they should be aware of.
By ordering in this way, you can also specify the time that you want the food delivered. You might prefer to have it all laid out when your clients arrive, or it might be more important to get a couple of hours of work under your belt first, using the food to provide you with a well-earned and well-timed break.
7. Save Money
Ordering catering for your business meetings can also be a great way to save money. If you were to purchase all the same things that are on offer individually, it could end up costing a lot more, and that’s not to mention the amount of time that goes into preparing everything. Remember, it is not just the food that needs to be taken into account, your caterers will also provide all of the dishes, serving platters and plates that you need too.
Catering for your business meetings is essential in many different ways. It can take a lot of the stress out of the preparation, allowing you to focus on more important things, and it can give your clients a taste of the type of business that you are. No matter how dry the subject matter of your meeting, you can liven it up and impress your clients as soon as your food arrives to make sure they want to sign on the dotted line.