Ever attended a networking event only to stop by for some food later? The food might look delicious, and the setting might be out of this world, but when you can’t finish the snack in two bites, it will be a nightmare as you try to speak and eat at the same time. Networking events need food that can be eaten in one or two bites, look and be delicious, and save people that awkward moment of waiting for each other to swallow so as can speak. When planning your next menu, use these handy tips.
1. Learn more about your guests
The professional level of your guests plays a vital role in determining what to feed them. Are they politicians, business people, or a fundraising circle? Also, if they attend events frequently, they must have tasted a lot of cuisines. You might need to research a little more to get food that will impress them. Also, their age makes a huge difference in food preferences. Older people prefer a mild menu, those concern about health will be comfortable with seafood and vegan options, while younger and middle-aged people are more adventurous.
2. Sitting or standing
Events are typically hosted in standing receptions as opposed to traditional plated meals. This model does not limit your attendees to their table but opens them up to move around and network with more people. Using a restaurant booking platform will give you options for the kind of space you can book for your event. Besides saving you the trouble to make the booking yourself, you have a variety of options available. Your menu should reflect your venue and sitting or standing arrangement. An easy grab-and-go accommodates more dietary choices, the same way guests choose who to sit and connect with during the meal. Grab-and-go menus also facilitate moving around, which makes it easy for your guests to interact.
3. Think about your guest’s teeth
There is nothing worse than having something stuck in your teeth. You may try to ignore it as you make meaningful connections, but it will stick at the back of your mind and keep you self-conscious. Anything with small fresh cuts such as lettuce, seeds and herbs are trouble. Your attendees may not notice it immediately, but you don’t want them to feel embarrassed when they look in the mirror at home and find something stuck on their teeth.
4. Think about seasonal and fresh items
The time of year can help you determine the food and beverage to serve. Which items are in season for spring and summer? Does your region have a popular item your attendees have not tried? Reflecting the locale and using the freshest ingredients will give more than enough options to include in your menu. Remember to keep in mind the ethnic and region of your attendees. It would be a disaster if you served meat to a group that doesn’t eat meat. Speak with your executive chef for tips on what to cook if your attendees are of specific origin or religion.