Catering is one of the most important aspects of planning your New York City corporate event, and there are many things to keep in mind from food prep to service to presentation. However, it’s also important to keep in mind the people that you’re serving. With any large-scale event, there’s bound to be a number of dietary requirements among the guests. Corporate catering food trends could include gluten-free or keto diets, vegetarian and veganism, food allergies, or religious practices. In fact, a survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation says that one-third of Americans are following some sort of diet. Here are some tips for event catering that will be inclusive to every eater’s needs.
Buffets Help Diners Help Themselves
Buffet service is an excellent way to allow guests to choose the foods they want, and leave out anything that’s not conducive to their diet. With a buffet, you can offer a variety of dishes including vegetarian, gluten-free, high-protein and more, and ensure that there will be something for everyone to enjoy. We recommend considering a theme for a buffet to bring unity to the meal (for example, choosing an international cuisine like Indian or Italian). If guests are serving themselves, be sure to label dishes with dietary information to prevent any confusion.
Treat Diets Like Life-or-Death Situations… Because They Could Be
We all have personal preferences when it comes to food, and might push some things to the side of the plate. Remember that for some people, dietary restrictions can actually cause serious medical problems. For example, an allergy to nuts or shellfish, or a condition like lactose-intolerance, can be extremely serious. For that reason, exercise careful food preparation procedures, keeping dishes separated, cleaning serving utensils properly, and wearing gloves if preparing allergy-free foods. Also remember that there are religious reasons for food restrictions that are as just as serious as health restrictions, so discuss if there is any need for kosher or halal foods at your event.
Communication Is Key
Ensure that guests are part of the process by asking them about their dietary requirements before the event. Add an option for menu requests in the event invitation, and communicate those requests to your caterer. Ensure that your caterer can accommodate any special request, and that those dishes will be as given as much style and prep as the rest of the menu. Ask to review the menus yourself before the event. Finally, communicate with serving staff about any special food handling needs to prevent allergy-sensitive foods from being contaminated. Clear communication throughout the catering process will go a long way toward keeping everyone happy, from the guests to the staff.
Be Prepared With A Back-Up Plan
Even if you are not aware of any particular dietary restrictions at your event, there may be last-minute updates to the menu. The guest list could change the day of the event, illnesses or medically restricted diets can pop up on short notice, or any other number of reasons that might require a change to the menu. Ask caterers to come prepared with some alternatives in order to accommodate last-minute requests. Be flexible to personal dietary requests even as the event is happening, as it will go a long way towards making guests feel welcome and included.
Planning for dietary restrictions can be simple with a bit of awareness and preparation. An expert catering team, like the one at Tribeca Rooftop NYC, can create a menu to please any type of diet, from vegetarian to gluten-free. As one of New York City’s premier event management companies, we work hard to keep our guests happy and well-fed no matter what their dietary needs might be.