With the weather well on the way to a beautiful summer, there’s no better time to start switching up corporate events and moving them out to the fabulous outdoors! When planning corporate catering for outdoor corporate BBQs or picnics, there’s a few things that will need to be addressed to ensure a successfully catered event.
When planning an outdoor corporate event, work with your catering company to develop a menu that includes light, cold and refreshing dishes to rejuvenate guests so that they can enjoy their meal and the warm, summer weather.
Incorporating finger food and appetisers in your menu is a great way to go, as they don’t require heavy silverware and extensive seating. This will let your guests walk about and mingle while enjoying their food. Avoid hot and heavy dishes like pasta when developing a catering menu and instead opt to include chilled fruit and a good selection of cold salads which are great heat busters.
If the corporate event has strict time restrictions, you may prefer to order boxed picnic lunches from your catering company. They come complete with utensils and individual condiments, letting guests enjoy their quick break from a brainstorming session or a negotiation to just relax, eat and get ready for the session to follow.
Speak with your caterer about how they’ll ensure all the elements of the menu stay at the right temperature when catering an outdoor event. You’ll want burgers, hot dogs and other dishes to stay hot while still keeping salads and fruit chilled, which can be a challenge depending on the weather.
Another important factor to consider when working on a menu with a caterer, is that not all food served indoors translates well to being served outdoors. A menu based on specific outdoor catering themes like a corporate BBQ, picnic or even a tea party will work great, while sushi and other raw food are best avoided. If sushi or any other raw dish is a must, ensure these items are not exposed to direct sunlight and are placed in a cooler to reduce the chance of spoilage.
Keep lots of drinks on hand to keep your guests hydrated. If it is a celebration, some organisations may choose to serve alcoholic beverages. However, alcohol or alcopops are dehydrating and you should ideally keep some cool and refreshing options like water, lemonade, punch or ice tea available for guests. Along with mineral water bottles, include some fresh lemon and mint in pitchers of cold water for a quick pick me up from the balmy weather.
Summer is usually the season of bugs, so serve food in dishes with lids to keep insects out and use citronella candles or any other insect repellents to keep the uninvited away from your guests - especially for evening events, when insect populations usually double.