Your event guests will form an impression of your meeting or conference largely based on what they learned from your speakers, workshops or panel discussions.
But there is one other important part of your event that will also play a crucial role in your guests’ impression, and that is the quality and variety of your food and beverage service.
In general, a food and beverage department is responsible for maintaining quality food and service, and managing restaurants, bars or group events. The event facility you choose may provide a food and beverage service as part of their contract with you, or you may have to hire an outside caterer yourself. Either way, the food and beverage service should be held to a high standard for safety, quality, and event success reasons.
Food is tied to the basics of hospitality, which events are ultimately about. Whether you are providing a continental breakfast, a lunch buffet, or a plated meal, the food you serve at your event is an extension of it. It allows for conversations, connections, networking and enjoyment. It’s one of the parts of your event your attendees will remember.
Much like an event selection, you should explore the options available to you and begin to narrow them down. Get recommendations from your event facility or other venues in the area to determine the caterers who have been easy to work with, provided a quality meal, and were focused on customer service.
Here are LIVE! we look for the following first rate qualities in a food and beverage service:
Caterers that have certificates of liability insurance, health department and liquor licenses, and food manager and workers compensation certificates show they are serious about their business. Be sure to ask if their servers are employees of their company, or if they hire from a server agency. It’s important that a food and beverage service can provide adequate staffing for the number of guests you expect to have, and that their servers are dressed professionally.
The appearance and the cleanliness of the food preparation areas and food display areas are very important. Ask if they can accommodate a buffet, plated dinner, food stations or family style meal service, and which they would recommend based on your venue and attendees if you are unsure.
Can they offer a menu that would compliment a theme? Or can they suggest meal options that would be satisfying to your guests? As our guests become more health conscious, ask about options that are locally sourced, organic, unprocessed, fairly traded, and seasonal. Ask if there are any regional specials or locally caught and grown items, or local craft beers and wines from a distillery or local winery. There is a sense of pride in eating local and supporting local vendors.
The food and beverage service should be able to provide allergen free, vegan, or vegetarian options for your guests that request it.
Good communication and listening skills
How a food and beverage service treats you in the planning process will give you a good idea about how they are going to treat your guests. Are your calls and emails returned promptly? Are they friendly, easy to work with, detail oriented, and customer focused?
The Real Live Pros from LIVE! Technologies are dedicated to the success of your event. We’ve been in the business for over 40 years, and deliver seamlessly executed live experiences through creative design, engaging event production, and intelligent technology installation.
We would love to talk with you more about the first rate qualities of a food and beverage service, and how we can make your event everything you dreamed it would be and more.
We would love to talk with you about choosing your event destination, and how we can make your event everything you dreamed it would be and more. We’d love to help you plan your next event or advise you on your event production calendar. Contact us today to learn more.