There’s always a bit of a thrill to find the office neatly set with breakfast. Creamed scones, canapés of smoked fish, smoothie bowls showered with pistachios. Sure, business meetings are about work, not what is eaten. But food can set the right mood and inspire conversation. People feel valued, at ease, less rushed. There’s rarely a guest who will not furtively help himself to the banana bread.
To help you plan a flawless morning meeting, here are some guidelines for how to order breakfast catering for the office.
The event format will help determine what type of food, and how much, to offer. What kind of breakfast meeting are you hosting at the office?
Depending on the nature of your event, you may need to keep some things in mind. Here are some tips for how to order breakfast catering for the following event formats:
Formal meetings. A whiff of eggs isn’t going to help you out with a quarterly board meeting. If you’re planning an event that champions suits and ties, don’t fill the room with breakfast foods that smell too amazing. Go for flaky croissants instead.
Stressful meetings. If the meeting will be one of frayed nerves, people will probably have smaller appetites. On the flip side, people eat (and eat and eat) when they’re mingling. Adjust your catering order accordingly.
Long meetings. The longer your event, the more likely people are going to drift back to the buffet table. Order extra food. The nice thing to do is make sure no one gets hungry for lunch at 11.
Meetings without tables or seating. Even if your people will be balancing paper plates on their laps, you can still host a great breakfast meeting. Consider whether you need the following to improve the experience:
Knowing your budget and group size can help you to make important decisions, such as which caterers and types of food you can afford. If you’re feeding tons of people at the office, a buffet may be easier on your budget than breakfast boxes. Generally, the more mouths to feed, the more you’ll pinch pennies. If the math drives you crazy, here are some ideas for cheap breakfasts for under $5.
Always ask your guests whether they have dietary preferences or food allergies. Here are some tips on how to order breakfast catering for those with special diets:
Consider the tone you want to set and which foods and cuisines best represent your company. If your office is free-spirited, hangover breakfast foods—like doughnut sandwiches—might call out to you. But that’s maybe not the best idea if you’re dealing with a multinational corporation. Go for the pretty, globally inspired breakfast boxes instead.
Pro tip: The breakfast lineup should be inspired by the season. When the chilled air rushes in, it’s time for a savory breakfast bowl of roasted eggplant and a soft-boiled egg. When the summer light pours in, go for an energizing smoothie bowl.
It’s no secret that some foods lose their integrity the longer they sit—like scrambled eggs. Remember that hot food cools, and cool food warms. If you’re having breakfast on the dot, it’s fine to order a hot breakfast. But if breakfast is meant to go on for hours, order dishes that are delicious at room temperature—like herbed quiches and chocolate croissants.
People do get thirsty, so order up some coffee, espresso, tea, and fresh juice for the crowd. At the very least, put out pitchers of water for your guests.
Beat procrastination. Finish that catering order you’ve been putting off.