The ezCater guide to planning great work holiday parties
- 3 Min Read
Ordering work holiday party catering may seem simple enough, but when you factor in all the details, and try to choose food that pleases just about everyone, it can start to feel a little overwhelming. Take a deep breath, keep the spirit of the holiday season in mind, and follow these tips to plan a successful holiday feast.
Catering Work Holiday Parties for a Crowd
Before you get too far into planning the work holiday party catering menu, find out how many people you need to feed. You’ll want to ensure you have enough food to feed everyone, but you don’t want an overabundance of leftovers. Get an official head count, and then plan for some extra. Some restaurants have online catering menus that you can reference to help determine how much food you should order for a specific number of people.
Find Out What You’re Getting and When
Before ordering, find out what you’ll need besides the food. For example, do they supply utensils when catering work holiday parties? Confirm everything, and don’t assume they’ll include anything. When the day comes, you want to know what to expect, so you’re not left scrambling around at the last minute. Make sure you confirm the exact time the food will arrive. Don’t set it to arrive too early, or the food may get cold, but don’t request it for too late either, or you might have a bunch of hangry coworkers wondering when they’re going to eat. Determine what time you want the party to start, confer with the restaurant, and go from there to find the perfect mutually agreed-upon time.
Plan Within Budget
Your budget is your primary point of reference for what you can order and from where. Make sure you understand what the budget is supposed to cover. Does the budget you were given only pertain to the food, or are there additional funds for things such as a delivery tip, alcohol, and napkins? It’s better to ask questions than to assume — otherwise, you might wind up realizing you could have done more with the budget or managed it differently. Be sure to ask whether the restaurant offers any discounts for work holiday party catering.
Consider How Alcohol Fits In
Some work parties allow alcohol, while others don’t. Find out where your company stands, so you’ll know whether to include it or leave it out. If it’s part of the plan, determine where it fits in the budget. You’ll need to figure out what to buy and how much. It’s also a good idea to ensure you order plenty of nonalcoholic options for those who don’t partake in alcoholic beverages.
Welcome Opinions … to an Extent
Whether you’re planning an event for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or another holiday, there’s nothing wrong with considering opinions, but you also don’t want to get inundated by them. To make it fair, prevent unwanted interruptions, and take some of the burden off your shoulders, consider setting up an anonymous suggestion box in the break room or another area, so coworkers can submit their ideas and suggestions regarding food and the party in general.
Consider Dietary Restrictions
You likely won’t be able to appeal to every possible dietary restriction, such as low sodium, keto, vegetarian, vegan, etc. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to get catering that as many people as possible can eat. For example, if you’re planning a Thanksgiving party, stuffing is usually a favorite, so consider having one traditional and one vegan. Vegetable side dishes, such as candied yams, brussels sprouts, and green beans, can appeal to many, regardless of the holiday. Request that identification cards be included with each tray, so everyone knows what the foods and ingredients are before they take a bite.
Taste Test the Food
You’ve read the restaurant reviews and perused the menus, but have you actually eaten at that establishment? If you’re doing work holiday party planning and choosing the food, you don’t want the first time you taste it to be at the event. Try ordering a sample lunch for you and a few colleagues first, before placing a large catering order. Trying the food before placing the order ensures it’s as good as the reviews state. You don’t want to discover that you should have gone with a different restaurant on the day of the event.
Chances are, you have far too much going on in your life to remember everything that needs to be done when planning a work holiday party. Make lists to help you organize everything. If you need to make calls or send emails at a certain time, set alarms on your phone, so you won’t forget what needs to be done and when. If you can, delegate some of the tasks to trustworthy coworkers who want to help you make the party a success.
The tips are only some of what goes into work holiday party planning, but you’ve got this. Start the planning process as early as possible, so you can get everything done ahead of time and won’t have to rush to complete everything at the last minute. Check out ezCater.com for more tips and advice on taking your holiday work party to the next level.