How to Cater a Successful Business Lunch

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Considering the fact that lunch takes place every day during the course of regular business hours, it is probably the most important meal of the business day. Catering a business lunch involves quite a bit more than simply delivering great food. It requires the caterer to have a good grasp of the business they are catering to, an understanding of why the business is having the catered lunch, and a well thought out menu of appropriate food to make their catered lunch a success.

Understanding the Business

Like countries and regions, every business has its own culture. Whether it is a fresh, hip startup or a well-established corporate bank, the first step in making a catered business lunch successful is to understand the business culture you are catering to. It is a given that you will ask questions in regards to the business expectations for the catered lunch, but here are a few tips to discover even more about the business you are catering than questions alone may answer.

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Visit the business during regular hours and take mental notes on the atmosphere, dress and décor of the workplace.

  • Do you you see a lot of people smiling, talking and interacting?
  • Is the décor colorful and fun?
  • Are the employees young and hip or older and more conservative?

Understanding the business culture is a great way to make a lasting impression and find common ground with your audience, in this way you sell more than just your ability to provide good food, you sell an experience.

Know the Purpose of the Lunch

One of your best opportunities as a corporate caterer lies in your ability to create an environment that assists in accomplishing the overall goal of the meeting. In doing so you become more than just a caterer, you become a tool the business can rely on (time after time) to help make their business lunches more successful.

If you don’t currently view your catering business as a form of acting I would encourage you to do so starting today. Everything you and your catering staff does during a catered business lunch is a performance that will be observed and noticed, from the way your staff communicates with guests to the way they walk and dress. Assuming all eyes are on you will remind your staff to perform their duties in a way that builds your reputation as a caterer, instead of detracting from it.

Consider the difference between a catered lunch meant to double as a meeting and a catered lunch meant to celebrate the success of the business or a specific anniversary. They are as vast and diverse as the world. Suppose the goal of the lunch is a fiscal meeting and people are going to watch a presentation while eating. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have food or utensils that make a lot of noise or require constant interaction with your catering staff, as this would be distracting and detrimental to the goals of the meeting.

Choosing the Right Food

Make it a top priority to pick the right food for the client. Make sure it’s in season, acceptable for lunch time and jives with the business and people you’re catering to. This is where understanding the business and knowing the expectations and purpose for the business lunch come into play. If you do your homework in advance, everything else should fall into place.

If understand the business, know the purpose for the lunch, choose the right foods and perform your duties flawlessly you will win the respect of the company you serve and become the go to caterer for every business lunch they have!

Richard Bracke is a self-professed foodie, father and culinary enthusiast who loves to dine at new restaurants and subject his pallet to new and exciting food creations. Richard currently blogs and writes for EZ Cater, a company who specializes in local catering.

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