Are you planning a catered sales meeting at the client’s office? With the right preparation and the right off-site meeting ideas, you can land that next sale easily, and without a hitch. But a missed detail can lead to an awkward experience for everyone. So when planning a catered client event, use the following off-site meeting checklist ideas to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Questions for Your Client
No matter what you have for off-site meeting ideas, it always starts with your client. To begin, ask a few questions to determine your upfront expectations. You need to know what kind of meeting it will be, who will be attending, and how much food to order. Follow this off-site meeting checklist to cover every question you should ask your client upfront.
- How many people from your company will be attending? Most restaurants provide catering portions based on the number of people expected at an event. The ezCater platform can help you estimate exactly how much you need. Just enter the number of attendees — include a few extra just in case someone else with purchasing decision power pops in too — and you’ll know whether you’re ordering too much or too little. Remember at a client meeting, bringing a little extra is always better than having too little.
- What type of cuisine is most popular at your office? Some offices may like Italian, while others may like sushi. Serving what the client likes will elevate their mood and make them more receptive to your pitch.
- Are there any food allergies or preferences to be aware of? Of course, you want to come with food your meeting attendees can actually eat. It’s a good time to find out if there are any allergies, dietary restrictions, or vegetarians and vegans in the group.
- Is coffee all right as the beverage? Your client should let you know whether they prefer one type of beverage over another. Maybe no one drinks coffee, so water is better. Or maybe they are a tea bunch. Ask, so you have exactly what they want.
- Who should the caterers ask for when they arrive? Ideally, you should be the one to receive the catering at the office. But someone at your client’s location should be ready to receive the catering in case it arrives earlier than planned.
Choosing the Best Caterer
Once you have your first off-site meeting checklist out of the way, you can you can start searching for the right caterer for your event. You need to be confident in your caterer, otherwise it could throw off any of your other off-site meeting ideas. Here are a few things to look for as you browse specific food or cuisine categories.
- Specialty versus variety caterers. If your client likes sandwiches, choose someone who only caters sandwiches. You’ll know based on the reviews if they’re good at their specialty. Or, if your client likes “anything Italian,” choose the restaurant that offers a buffet with a few different entrees so that everyone in the room will get something they like.
- Solid reviews. Reviews on ezCater are from other businesses like yours. Don’t just analyze the menu items. Analyze the reviews to find the caterers that have delivered the best catering experience. You can narrow by stars, or scan for keywords to help in your search.
- A high on-time percentage. While the difference between 96 percent and 100 percent doesn’t sound like a lot, it counts even more when you’re planning a precise meeting. Don’t let a late lunch delivery throw off your off-site meeting ideas. As Forbes points out, 37 percent of meetings start late, which can cause the room to lose focus. Don’t let your food delivery scheduling be the reason. Pick caterers with the highest possible on-time percentage to make sure your meeting starts without a hitch.
Questions for Your Caterer
Using the ezCater search functionality, you can find the caterers you’re looking for. But the best off-site meeting ideas leave nothing to chance. And so there might be more questions you want to ask before getting started. Ask the following questions to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. ezCater will help you get the answers quickly.
- Is the food sensitive to dietary restrictions? If your client said someone is allergic to a specific food or ingredient, be sure it won’t be an issue. It’s best to double check your menu items so you know exactly what’s what when the food arrives.
- Does the order include utensils and enough condiments? Don’t expect your client to have the same fully-stocked kitchen like your office does. Ask the caterer what they can include with your order and what you need to add on. There’s nothing worse than food arriving without plates, napkins, or utensils. And don’t forget to consider specialty items. If you’ve ordered sushi, you may want chopsticks and wasabi. Or if it’s Mexican, make sure you have enough flour tortillas to go around.
- Does your delivery include setup? Will you be responsible for food setup, or will the caterer take care of that for you? It may only take a few minutes, but it’s essential time you need for preparing or mingling with your clients. Make sure you know exactly what you get when the delivery arrives so you’re not scrambling in the moment.
All the best off-site meeting ideas can be thrown off by simple, but unexpected distractions. Use these off-site meeting checklists to make sure that you don’t forget a single thing. That way you can focus on what’s important — landing that sale.
For more creative sales meeting ideas, start here.