In your company, are you responsible for booking venues, facilities, restaurants and organizing transportation for meetings and events?
Unconventional Catering for All Occasions
Special events require special needs and the Greater Houston Region’s catering industry offers a wide variety of services for just about every event imaginable. From birthday parties to lavish corporate gatherings and office luncheons, catering companies do everything from food delivery to full-event planning. Designing unique menus that invigorate the palate is no longer a welcomed surprise in meetings, but an expected privilege.

Houston area caterers represent a smorgasbord of cuisines: Japanese, Italian, Vietnamese, Latin, French, German, Greek and Irish – the list goes on. With the variety of culinary skills offered in the region, there is no shortage of good food to match a particular event. Caterers also honor special requirements, providing special dietary plates for diabetics, vegetarians and others with unique needs.

Creating the Big Impression

Producing a one-of-a-kind event is every meeting planners dream. However, many meeting planners tend to overlook the importance of the catering company that is chosen and the caliber of their staff.

The service staff and other personnel at an event are a direct representation of the caterer and the client, so meeting planners have to pay close attention to the service. Attentive service is one of the most important aspects of creating an overall good impression and ultimately securing a successful event.

There are several aspects of service that should be addressed by the meeting planner to ensure that the impression that guests get of your company or client is the right one. The look of the wait staff can create an impression for better or worse. Many meeting planners request that service personnel wear formal attire, while others opt for costumes or specific color schemes that compliment the event setting.

The absolute most important thing that a meeting planner can stress to wait staff is the high expectations that must be met in the area of customer service. The staff must be welcoming and offer high energy that makes guests feel valued. The way that the catering staff treats attendees will directly influence the way that those same attendees feel your company or client will treat them.

Obviously, the quality of the cuisine plays a crucial role in creating overall impressions. This is especially true of charity or high-end events, where guests pay a substantial amount to dine. It is essential that you book a tasting with your chosen caterer before the event. Caterers need to be aware of expectations and a pre-tasting will help ensure that these expectations are met.

Presentation is another imperative part of creating a lasting and memorable event. From plate selection to food displays, meeting planners should choose a caterer who evokes the perfect feeling in attendees. This can also be accomplished using décor and other venue tools.

Creating the perfect impression is something that every caterer should aspire to do at events. However, it is up to the meeting planner to ensure that the service staff and cuisine presentation represent the company or client in the best way possible.

Expert Tips: How to Choose the Perfect Caterer
Now that you know how to create the perfect impression, you are ready to choose a caterer. Choosing a caterer can be a daunting task for meeting and event planners. Even with the endless possibilities available in the Houston region, finding a caterer that meets the needs of a specific event can be a source of stress.

“Meeting planners should look for a catering company that possesses three basic qualities: timeliness, excellent customer service and a superb product,” notes Sarah Sharp, catering sales manager of Alonti Café and Catering. “The best way to see if a caterer is right for you is to do a little research and ask for references…and follow up on those references! If you speak with someone who has been happy with the services from a particular caterer - it makes your decision a little easier.”

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