The renowned entrepreneurs of the world will whisper to you – the secret of every successful deal is to broker it over a dining table. Picture this – a delegation of a corporate giant comes to visit prepared to strike a lucrative business deal. Is having bigger demagogues and loftier chairs on your side the answer? Actually, you can increase your chances of success significantly with a bit of investment into catering.
The catering in your office or boardroom can improve the mood of your potential partners and encourage them to put their guard down. It’s a known fact that people react positively to food and the fact that their host went to great lengths to take care of them.
Therefore, if you will rely on this factor, do not let the catering go awry.
1. Choose the most delicious food
Based on the time of the day, determine whether the catering will serve food which is closer to breakfast or lunch. Since all of it has to be served before the meeting, dry snacks and cold chops will do the trick. Their quality or texture will not be affected if the timetable needs to be stretched.
Of course, the staff of the catering agency you’ve hired should know their business, so asking for their advice is a sensible way to go. But, before you do this, you have to know what makes up a good caterer.
2. Choose the right time
You can’t strictly rely on whether the food is served hot or cold. Now, it is true that the human factor cannot be predicted and loose schedules are an unavoidable side-effect of every business, big or small. This doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and use it as an excuse.
You should go out of your way to try and be as accurate as possible. Try to stick to the schedule as you possibly can. Finding a responsible and reliable agency dealing with corporate catering is crucial if you want to have everything done properly and in time.
Untimely catering service can really cause a lot of harm, not only in terms of food, but business as well. If the food arrives too early, it may easily happen that you are up for some distasteful bites which had gone cold even before the meeting started. Although you might be thinking – if the food arrives a bit late, it’s lesser of two evils – you’d be wrong. If the food arrives too late, it will appear sloppy and disorganized to guests, and who wants that sort of business partner?
3. Nobody should leave hungry or stuffed
Here’s the key thing – do not overdo it! A small amount of food is a more sensible solution. The aim is to go for the feeling and not for the full stomach. Overeaten partners will think slower, if there’s a lot of food on the table, a certain percentage of them will concentrate more on the meal than on the matter at hand.
You should aim at their nose, not their digestive system. It’s almost unbelievable how much the smell influences our decisions. It’s the right smells that put them in a relaxed state of mind, not the act of eating itself. It is really difficult to determine precisely the extent of food you should go with as it depends on the situation. However, this much is true – you want to serve just enough to show you are a good host.
The important business meeting should not turn into a feast, at least not until the deal has been struck.
4. Going for the sweet tooth – going for the bullseye
Do not neglect the sweet snacks as you’re “filling up the plate” with the catering agency. After all, people usually prefer sweet food over their salty counterparts. Add some chocolate bits and fruit nibbles for the guests to enjoy.
Make sure there’s a significant supply of coffee, and you’ll have your guests buzzed on the mixture of caffeine and sugar. This way they will be focused every minute of the meeting, clinging on every word.
This will reduce the risk of everything going downhill just because someone got up on the wrong side of the bed.
It’s almost daunting how much elements come into play when food and business collide. With this in mind, every experienced entrepreneur will never underestimate the influence of good catering on their business benchmarks. After all, food is the first and most important fuel that drives our civilisation forward.
I’m Angela Berry and I’m a final-year student at the department of Nutrition and dietetics at School of life and Environmental Science in Sydney.
I lead a healthy life, I stick to healthy habits and I consume healthy food. Cooking and creating recipes are my passion. In my spare time, I write blogs and share my knowledge and experience with others. I am so passionate about yoga and travels.