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Master Your Meetings: A Strategic Guide to Catering a Business Meeting That Impresses Every Time

A Strategic Guide to Catering a Business Meeting That Impresses Every Time

Catering your client meetings is a fantastic way to demonstrate the value your business places on these relationships. We are breaking down essential considerations if you're looking to impress and entice your clients with a deliciously catered meal at your next meetup.

Learn helpful tips and tricks for mastering a catered client meeting with this guide. 

How to Impress Your Clients in Meetings With Exceptional Catering

Catering a business meeting is a great way to elevate the overall experience and demonstrate your business's commitment to quality. Follow these tips to impress your upcoming guests:

  1. Understand your client's dietary preferences: Inquire about any special restrictions or allergies with your client prior to the meeting. Many people follow a specific nutrition rule, so always ask about their diet in advance. Use these insights to request a tailored menu from your caterer. 

  2. Prioritize quality and freshness: Always work with a catering company that cares about quality and attention to detail. Ensure they can provide fresh, delicious meals that your client will be eager to consume.

  3. Offer a variety of options: Everyone has unique tastes, so sharing a diverse selection of foods can be advantageous. Include a mix of options to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

  4. Remember that presentation matters: Well-presented dishes can add visual appeal and make your client meeting feel more professional and refined.

Key Elements to Discuss With Your Caterer

Deciding what food to bring to a client meeting can be overwhelming on your own. Working with a caterer is a great way to ensure your client loves the dishes you've chosen and your meal meeting goes off without a hitch. 

Explore the following questions with your caterer to guide the planning process:

What Time of Day Is the Meeting?

Discuss your schedule and when you'll be meeting with the client to determine appropriate dishes for meal times. Choose menu options that best suit that part of the day, and provide appropriate drink choices according to the timing. 

What Is the Meeting's Purpose?

Tell the caterer why you're having the meeting. They should understand how formal and serious the conversation will be, planning your menu options and the catering style accordingly. 

An experienced caterer will know the best way to present food to align with the event's purpose.

What Is the Budget for the Dining Experience?

Be upfront and honest about your budget with the caterer. They can help you understand what dining options are possible with your spending parameters and ensure you get the finest options. 

Who Is Coming to the Meeting?

When planning your client meeting with a caterer, share the estimated guest count for the meal to guarantee plenty of food for everyone. Again, remember to note special dietary restrictions and considerations for each attendee.

Where Is a Suitable Location for the Meal?

Finally, work with your caterer to determine a feasible location for your client meeting. You'll need to select an attractive, accessible space that accommodates your selected catering options. 

With all of these insights in mind, your caterer can begin preparing a fantastic meal.

One Size Doesn't Fit All: Know Your Catering Options

Explore the various business meeting catering ideas and options below:

  • Drop-off catering: A catering company can deliver prepared food to your location in time for the meeting. This is a cost-effective, convenient option for smaller, more casual gatherings. 

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  • Platters: If you're looking for a simple but visually appealing spread for your meeting, consider having your caterer provide platters. These can include various snacks, such as cheese, fruit, sandwiches or desserts. They're easy to serve, and your guests can pick which options they want. 

  • Buffet: Your caterer can also set up a buffet of different dishes. This is a fantastic option for larger meetings, as you can offer a wider variety of meals and sides to suit numerous preferences. A buffet also enables your guests to serve themselves, network and mingle.

  • Individual orders: Another option for catering your business meeting is providing a tailored dining experience with individual orders. Your guests can pick items from a predetermined menu and enjoy their customized dishes during the meetup. 

Work with your caterer to determine the best options for your meeting's unique requirements and circumstances.

Recommendations for Hosting Meetings at Various Times of Day

Explore these helpful tips for planning a catered business meeting at different points throughout the work day:

Morning Meetings

To master your morning meeting, ask your caterer to come early so the food is ready when clients start arriving. Always include high-quality coffee and tea options, especially if your meeting is at the start of the day. For meetings that start later in the morning closer to noon, consider a brunch menu instead of solely breakfast foods. 

Lunch Meetings

Lunch meetings tend to run longer than meetings at other times of the day. These meals are great opportunities to invest in a more extensive menu with many options and a beautiful presentation. 

Consider hot entrees for an extended midday meal. Sandwiches, salads and wraps are great choices for a shorter lunch meeting. 

Mid-Afternoon Meetings

If you are hosting a client meeting in the middle of the afternoon, you'll likely want to stick with light refreshments, like fruit, cheese and mini sandwiches. These items will keep your attendees satisfied without overdoing it so close to dinner. 

Mid-afternoon meetings are a great time to have quick, self-service snacks and plenty of beverage options. 

Dinner Meetings

Dinner tends to be a more formal setting for a business meeting. This is a great time to serve individual orders to your clients and customize the catering experience. 

Consider optimal food and beverage pairings and any particular drinks that would complement the client's meal to enhance their dining experience. Some examples include:

  • Seafood (e.g., fish, lobster or scallops) with a white wine, like Chardonnay or champagne.

  • Roast chicken or turkey with a white wine, such as Riesling.

  • Red meat (e.g., lamb or beef) with a red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.

Additionally, choosing a formal and upscale space can elevate this meal and leave your client feeling impressed and satisfied. 

Plan Your Next Catered Business Meeting With Food For Thought

Plan Your Next Catered Business Meeting With Food For Thought

At Food For Thought, we take traditional catering services to a new level. We believe in elevating any event or meeting by providing businesses like yours with our hardworking staff and tailored meal options. 

If you're looking for a partner to provide specialized menu items catered specifically for your business and its unique needs, we have you covered. We are your go-to caterer in Chicago, and we've delivered outstanding dining experiences for more than 40 years. 

Ready to get started? Contact Food For Thought to begin planning your next catered experience today.




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