Food for Thought – Catering a meeting

Adding food and drinks to your meeting can spice things up and give people a reason to get there early.

Whether it’s a weekly get together or you’re pitching to a new a client, having some snacks and drinks shows that you’re taking things seriously.

The pitch meeting

People don’t come to a meeting expecting haute cuisine but a bit of thought could make the difference between winning a client or not. Remember, if you’re meeting people from outside your company everything you do reflects on the service you’re providing them. Cold coffee and dry croissants won’t make a great first impression.

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Try and get something that reflects who you are as a company. For example, if you’re representing a health company, don’t offer fattening cakes. Also, make sure people attending are offered food and drink and have napkins and plates if needed. The right set up can help both them and you to relax.

Breakfast meeting

Coffee and lots of it! For those early morning meetings you’ll need to provide a good breakfast for everyone. Coffee and tea are a must to get everyone going but also some fruit drinks and baked goods. Give everyone a good five minutes to grab a bite to eat before you kick off – people don’t like talking with a full mouth or on an empty stomach.

Regular meetings

Just because you’re having a quick meeting, doesn’t mean you don’t need to provide a bite to eat. The regular Monday chat could be livened up by a bowl of sweets or grapes giving people another reason to attend.

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Food can also work as a talking point.  If your meeting is on a Friday afternoon, why not provide a small glass of wine or beer. This will help people relax and show you care about your staff. Just remember to limit drinks to one per person.

All afternoon

If you’re planning an afternoon-long meeting, you’ll have to plan your food accordingly. Make sure to have plenty of snacks along with a break midway when you can bring out some chocolates to give a sugar boost and provide some fresh tea and coffee along the way. Maybe think about putting on a buffet that people can help themselves to.

If it is summer and the office is hot, try some chilled fresh fruit and sparkling water. For winter, how about freshly microwaved popcorn?

Posted by Julie Tucker

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