The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Food Catering

Did you ever wonder what type of food catering actually exists? Why did catering start being so popular? How do you choose your food? You see, the thing is that food catering is the answer to most food issues there is when planning a breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner when there are plenty of guests.

What types of catering are out there?

Wedding catering

This type of catering is extremely important. It is the most important day for the bride and the groom and they usually want all to be perfect. Food catering is usually easy to choose though as there are tons of specialised wedding caterers as the market is huge. All the client has to choose is the type of food (Italian,American, Russian, Japanese…) and then the choice of the food is quite easy as it is kind of the same “type” of event every time. Only the choice of the cake and desserts is a problem.
For the best wedding catering this is what we suggest for your menu:

Two entrees

Guests are usually very hungry after the ceremony so they will eat all of it in no time. One of them should be vegetarian.

a sorbet” 

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it is an Italian trick to make the guests feel lighter so that they enjoy their main dish as much as the entrees!

Two or Three Main Dishes

(depends on the size of the meals)

Again, one vegetarian

Cake and Fruits

as a dessert

Here are 11 San Francisco restaurants that will cater your wedding : http://sf.eater.com/maps/best-san-francisco-restaurant-wedding-caterer-catering

Film production catering

Catering is also very popular in the film production sphere! You never thought about it huh? Yes, when filming a movie you need to feed an army of hungry people: the actors, the crew… There is no time to lose and everything should be perfect and suits everyone. Because we’re talking about thousands of people here.

Famous recent gigantic food catering during a movie shoot :

Full Monty Catering and Fibbers Catering fed the cast and crew of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Furious 7 in Abu Dhabi last year! (Kinda cool right?)  

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Event catering

Every event is different and unique as much as every individual. The first rule of an event catering is diversity. Choose two to four caterers with different kind of kitchen from all over the world and preferably for any possible diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free…). It is a must to have a choice of food.
Every event has also a theme, so it is important to choose a type of food that will fit. If the theme is football, sushi is maybe a bad idea. You can also play with the colours: choose dishes according to your room decorations.
The menu is quite the same as for the wedding catering.

Air catering

Another catering nobody ever think of, that represents the biggest part of the catering industry, is the airlines companies’ food catering. There was a story that American Airlines takes away 1 olive in their salads in 1987 and they made more than 40 000 dollars economies per year. It is a huge market that we don’t really notice in everyday life.

Office catering

On demand catering is an easy way to provide your office nice meals. Doesn’t matter if it is a special event or a corporate lunch, on demand catering should be the first option you are thinking of if you need to organize a meal for 10 to 200+ people.
Here are 3 reasons why:

1- You save time (a lot)

Selecting your food by calling all the restaurants one by one or browsing Yelp endlessly is a waste of time. First of all it’s very hard to know who actually catering and who does not. When you finally find a restaurant you have to make sure that it also delivers in your area (good luck with that). Some new delivery services like DoorDash will help you deliver your food to your office for some money but you have to make sure that the delivery crew knows how to handle food, how to display it at your office and arrives on time. At the end of the day this is too much wasted time that you could have probably used doing stuffs that are really important like taking a nap or doing another PPT presentation to impress your boss.

The smartest on demand catering services are solving this problem by controlling the entire chain of value, from the kitchen to your office, they even have their own delivery crew to offer a better experience. Also, let’s say you have a last minute event for a very important meeting with those guys (that only eat vegan kosher organic products) with whom you almost closed this big deal last time. Well good luck trying to find a caterer that matches your criteria with the traditional way.

With on demand catering, well, it’s on demand… 1- Send a text, 2- Accept the offer, 3- DONE.

2- You are a control freak

Since we were cavemen, sharing a good meal always had a big importance to create bonds between humans. Except for the suits or the geeky Tshirt if you are in a startup, we’re still like that. You know that a good meal makes all the difference between a cold company with which you don’t feel like working and good vibes company where you feel like partners.

With the best on demand catering you know exactly where your order is with a real time app and google map. And you know exactly when your order arrives at your door. On demand catering always allows you to be right on time and to control everything.

3- You love your coworkers

Greg from accounting is eating vegan since he began crossfit, your boss wants organic only, etc. There are as many ways of eating as there are human beings. And it’s totally OK. Everyone should be able to eat whatever he or she wants, even at work. For a long time it was a pain in the *** to have something as simple as that.

Thanks to innovation and technology, all on demand catering companies propose at least some kinds of filter or personal assistant to handle this. It’s so easy to get a variety of meals with these filters. You can say goodbye to the boring catering routine and delight your coworkers with your variety of food. One stone two birds.

Now that you see how important is catering you probably understand that it is also important to know what your colleagues actually think about the one you order last time to know if you should improve!
Unless you have the Jedi power of telepathy it is very hard to know if your friends, bosses and colleagues liked the catering you ordered for lunch or not. To avoid the situation where you are furious because someone else is now in charge of ordering catering maybe you should start collecting the feedback! “But hooow?” you are asking. Don’t panic, let’s see what are your options:

4 Ways to Collect Lunch Feedback

Feedback

Reach out directly

If you are super duper friendly and sociable, you can go and directly ask everyone what they thought about the lunch. It might sound very obvious but it can actually work. People might confess and tell you in a super polite way that “the salad was not that fresh and there was not that much sauce in it…”
But, if you ordered catering for 200 people it might take a while to talk to all of them… OK, what else?

E-mail

The second, very timesaving, option is sending e-mailing. In marketing there is a notion called “email marketing” (true story) and it is exactly what can help you. Send an email to everyone who might have an opinion on the lunch/dinner/brunch/breakfast/whatever and ask for their feedback! Try to write something they will feel happy to answer though. Something sweet and funny like:
“In order to make all of you happier everyday, I’m asking for your feedback about the lunch. So, was it extremely and incredibly delicious or is there something you would change if you were the one ordering?”

Survey

The problem with an e-mail is that if they don’t have much time they will not answer you. The other little problem is that even if they answer, 100 long answers will take a while for you to read. And after, you need to make a small brief of the main issues and solutions, which could take while too.
So, if there are too many people and you want to be more effective, a surveymonkey might be your solution. It will save a lot of time and effort. Create questions that seem the most effective, keep it short, start with open-ended questions and maybe add something like “We also think that…” at the end for any other comments people might have.

Feedback box

The last solution is the famous feedback box! In our opinion, since it is something physical and not digitalized, it is much more personal and nicer. But at MobyDish we recommend only using it during a special event or dinner because if it is a corporate lunch, everyone is hurrying to go back to work so they might not even see the box. Thus, if it’s a special event or dinner, no one is in a rush, they will appreciate the box and gladly help you to make your catering even better next time (if it is not already perfect!).

 

2015 Catering Trends for Events

Finally let’s see some of last year’s catering trends to give you an idea of how food can look and be different:

Grazing Stations
Essentially a smorgasbord of antipasti, breads, dips, cheese and deli meats. The secret of an impressing Grazing Station is abundance. It is also extremely nice when there is a lot of small stuff that you can grab while holding the glass of wine in the other hand. It is a very good for such events as cocktail parties, networking events, pre-dinner drinks as there are no real dishes while they usually look very impressive.

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Sharing Menus
It is a range of large plates of food such as roast meats, salads, vegetables where guests can help themselves. They are served at the dinner table. They were trendy in 2013 and 2014 as well.

Upscaled Comfort Food
It is “all about revitalising memorable flavours and bringing them to life with local produce and sophisticated flavours.” Marcus Longinotti, Creative Director at Gastronomy. Basically, it is the idea of using childhood memories in a sophisticated grown-up manner.

Pairing Cocktails and Canapés
Serve the matching drinks and food in mini size so that guests can enjoy the flavours together. They look super cute and fancy! It is a great combo for product launch, themed events and Christmas parties.

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Doughnut Bar
To continue in the theme of nostalgia, Doughnuts were also extremely trendy in 2015. They are great filler for conference breaks or between wedding ceremony and a reception. The whole trick is simply to present them in a unusual trendy way!

You are now an expert in catering!

  • Svetlana M.
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Comments
  • Corinne

    I loved this article because it explores so many facets of catering. My roommate and I are both food enthusiasts. She is in culinary school and I just like to make food look pretty. I’ve told her that she should either start a bakery or become a caterer because it is less demanding than a restaurant, but just as challenging and fun.

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