Corporate Event Catering - The How To

How to Organise Catering for Corporate Events in Sydney

If you are the person who didn't step back fast enough when your company asked "Who would like to organise our next corporate event?"  then this information is just what you need.

Like any work project organising a corporate event needs to be broken down into smaller components. Fortunately in Sydney there are event specialists who can help with every aspect of your event from entertainment to decorations.

Clearly Wicked Foods specialises in providing the food for corporate events - so we can definitely help with some handy tips.

We like to start by establishing with our corporate customers the exact role they would like the catering to play in the event - by this we mean is the food designed to....

  • be the main focus of the event - normally a sit down affair
  • be part of an event theme - can be sit down or cocktail style
  • be eaten in an unusual environment - eg. picnic box catering
  • be just a functional aspect of the event - purely for feeding the hungry attendees

This decision will impact your event catering budget substantially (we will come back to this) and will influence the equipment and staffing you require. This is the area we focus on next - establishing your equipment needs. Whilst most corporate caterers can provide some equipment there are definitely times it is better to look to equipment specialists - generally if there are more than 100 event attendees or if non-food equipment is required.

The choice of venue is your next critical step. Don't try and find caterers before you choose a corporate event venue as you will find that many venues have either in house caterers or agreements with caterers. This can be annoying for corporate customers who would prefer to use their own caterer who knows and understands their needs. 

If your venue does allow an external event caterer then you need to establish what equipment is on-site already, access restrictons and any other specific issues the caterer needs to be aware of. Most caterers will want to inspect the venue prior to the event day - this may need your approval.


Your overall budget for catering needs to be established very early in the piece - best of you don't approach event caterers until you at least have a per person range. You also need to consider alcohol, serving staff and equipment in your calculations. Serving or cooking staff do add substantially to your catering costs - as of course does alcohol. If there is a way you can hold your event without catering staff it will save you a substantial amount of money. One creative way is get your managers involved in the food service - the rest of the staff will love it. If the managers are happy to cook for the OzHarvest CEO Cook-Off (Wicked Foods favourite charity) they shouldn't mind serving on the buffet at your next corporate event.

Generally Sydney event caterers will quote you a per person price for food and then add staff per hour and equipment separately - so watch out for this when you Get a Quote. For a properly qualified event caterer you shouldn't expect to pay less than $25 per person for the catering for an evening event - if your budget is less than this you are probably best speaking to BBQ Chicken or Pizza Shops rather than a professional event caterer.

These are our event catering staffing recommendations for a cocktail style corporate catering event with food and drinks service (assumes all catering is pre-prepared and basic drink service only  i.e no cocktails).

  • <20 people 1 waiter (food and drink)
  • 21-40 1 waiter plus 1 drinks waiter
  • 41-70 2 waiters plus 1 drinks waiter
  • 71-100 2 waiters plus 2 drinks waiters
  • 101-150 3 waiters plus 2 drinks waiters
  • 151-200 4 waiters plus 3 drinks waiters
  • 201-300 5 Waiters plus 4 drinks waiters
  • 300-500 6 waiters plus 5 drinks waiters

For more detailed staffing calculations email us at . Expect event catering staff to cost approximately $50/hour with a minimum 4 hour placement. Weekends will incur penalty rates too.


The choice of catering menu is important and will revolve distinctly around the type of event.

Sit down catered dinners are generally the most expensive option and the most substantial - especially if canapes are served pre-dinner.

Canapes or Finger Food are a fantastic way to provide variety and give guests choice that is often absent from a sit down dinner - unless there is a buffet catering option.

The major issue with buffet catering is that the fantastic display the first in line gets to see tends to lose its appeal towards the end of the line especially if certain items are unexpectedly popular and run out.

The most popular choice today for a Sydney Office Party or Event Catering is a mixture of hot and cold fingerfood and some grazing platters eg. cheese/sliced meat platters.

For more ideas check out our Corporate Event Catering Menu or Get a Quote or just email us at - we look forwarding to helping make your next corporate event super Wicked.

Posted by Justin Bunt on May 16, 2017 at 10:59AM