Did you know that Americans waste 80 billion pounds of food every single year? That’s more than any other country! So when you’re looking at what food to serve in your corporate meeting space, you want to choose wisely.
Food is an important part of your corporate image. Let’s face it, when you know the food’s going to be good at a conference, you’re far more likely to attend.
So, how do you choose the food that’s going to be a hit with your crowd without breaking the budget? And what kind of foods are going to get you the best reputation for throwing a great event?
We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out what kind of food you should be serving at your next corporate event.
Your Menu Style
First, you need to decide what kind of meal you’ll be serving. Are you hiring a banquet hall or a smaller space? Will you serve food in the room where you’re meeting, or will the event venue have a separate dining area?
Next, what kind of event are you hosting? Is it an all-day conference, for example? Will people need to be able to focus for several hours throughout the day? Or can guests pop in and out as they feel like it?
Choose whether to have a sit-down meal, more portable food options, or even a mix of both in your meeting space.
The best venue options will have plenty of room choices on offer, so you won’t need to compromise.
Best Foods for Productivity
Whatever the event, there are some foods that’ll give you more brain-power than others. Whether you’re using a caterer or providing the food yourself, here are some options to consider for your menu.
Like grandma always said, the best meals are balanced meals. Whether you’re serving guests on plates at a table, or in grab-and-go boxes, you want your meal to follow a healthy formula.
As a rule of thumb, you want to divide your plate into quarters. One-quarter of your plate should be filled with carbohydrates, one-quarter with protein, and the remaining half of your plate with veggies.
Of course, not everyone will have the same dietary requirements, so make sure there are other options on hand. For example, if a guest is on a low-carb diet, let them know they can have another protein or more vegetables. And for those with allergies and intolerances, ensure there are suitable alternatives available.
And for those who just want to have fun, you’ll probably want to throw in some not-so-healthy options, because we can’t be food angels all the time!
Complex carbohydrates release more slowly into the bloodstream than simple carbs. So, they maintain energy levels and keep hunger at bay.
Slow-release carbohydrates include foods like sweet potatoes, wholewheat bread, pasta, noodles, and legumes.
Whole foods are just that – things you recognize in their whole form. The more processes a food goes through, the less nutrition it retains.
Whole foods include things like oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, bulgar wheat, and millet.
Not all fats are bad! Healthy fats are part of a balanced diet and should be included in any balanced meal.
Healthy fats include things like avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, coconut milk, cheese, nuts, and seeds.
Good quality protein is an essential meal component, and should definitely be part of your balanced plate.
Choose oily fish like salmon, mackerel, or tuna. There are meat options galore like chicken, duck, beef, lamb, and pork. And vegetarian and vegan options include beans and legumes, tofu, and plant-based meat alternatives.
You might want to serve some breakfast foods depending on your event. Some good breakfast options are:
For food on the go, a continental breakfast is a great choice and can be easier on the wallet. Options include:
- Seeded bagels, wholegrain bread
- Oatmeal, and an assortment of cereals and milk
- Nuts and seeds
- Spreads like nut butters, cream cheese, jams, and marmalades
- Fresh fruit
For a more substantial breakfast, a hot buffet checks all the boxes. You might want to include:
- Proteins like bacon, sausages, and eggs every which way
- Pancakes, waffles, french toast, and home fries
- Steamed vegetables (for those who are trying to balance their plate)
There are breakfast foods, and there are breakfast drinks. One of these drinks will always please a crowd:
- Coffee, coffee, coffee
- Juices like orange, apple, or grapefruit
- Still and sparkling water
- Did we mention coffee?
Lunch options can be more complex, as there are different menu styles and requirements. Your meal style will affect the food you offer.
Buffets are great when you’re feeding a lot of people, and for event venues that are smaller in size.
Make sure that finger food is cut into bite-size portions, and that sandwiches can be held in one hand. This means your guests can mingle at the same time.
Good buffet options include:
- Salads with a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, nuts, and seeds
- Vegetable soups
- Sushi and bento boxes
- Burritos and tortillas
- Quiches and pies
- Kebab skewers – mix it up with sauces from different cuisines
For banquet hall events or event venues with more space, plated meals are far more the thing. Get creative with your carb, protein, and veggies – here are some options to get you started.
- Roast chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables
- Barbeque ribs with fries, slaw, and salad
- Thai pineapple rice with prawns and steamed veggies
- Korean bibimbap bowl
- Goat cheese, walnut, and butternut squash salad
- Vegan Thai green curry with coconut rice
For some, dessert is the sweet treat to end a meal – for others, it’s the whole point! So, make sure there are healthy choices and decadent delights to suit everyone. Options include:
- Fruit. For the freshest fruit, choose seasonal options as often as possible
- Ice cream
Foods to Serve in a Corporate Meeting Space
The kind of food you serve at your corporate event is important because it feeds your reputation. Chances are, you’ll get more attendees at your next meeting because of it. So, choosing the right food to serve in your meeting space is a must.
Whatever you opt for, you’ll need to pick a corporate meeting space that will serve your needs. Here at the Midlothian Center, we have a variety of spaces on offer to suit your party size.
Are you ready to plan your next event? Why not contact us and request a proposal to see how we can help.