Offsite meetings take attendees away from home and their favorite restaurants. Creating a great mealtime experience at your meeting will not only fill that void, but it will also grow a wave of enthusiasm that lasts throughout the whole meeting. So think about requesting some of these recent catering trends at your next meeting:
A New Spin on the Everyday – Chefs everywhere have re-envisioned standards to create tasty new takes on old favorites. For instance, our chef is giving a delicious vegetarian twist to beef stroganoff by changing it to mushroom stroganoff. Your group will have fun eating familiar dishes with more complex flavors.
Embracing Restricted Diets – Vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free eaters, those allergic to nuts and other people with restricted diets often get the short end of the stick during meals at meetings. Flip that on its head and create one amazing menu for everyone that meets the needs of the few. You may surprise a few people with how good the meal can be without meat, dairy, gluten, or nuts.
Focused Regional Cuisine – Everyone has had Italian, but what about Venetian? Or Tuscan? Or Corsican? Adding just a little more specificity to a dish makes it special and memorable. Also try including a small card that explains the flavors of the region so attendees can enjoy the complexity of the new dish even more.
Class it up with Old-School Cocktails – Vodka drinks have run their course. Wine is predictable. But classic cocktails like the Old-fashioned, Manhattan, and Mint Julep prick up ears and enliven taste buds. Plus, if you have a mixologist serve the drinks , they can tailor each drink to the individual’s taste and educate attendees about different drinks and spirits.
Mix up Seating – Forgo having every table the same size. Some people may want an intimate conversation at a small table while others will enjoy a broad spectrum of chatter at a larger one. The added choice will be a welcome relief to both groups.
The reason these meal trends are exciting is that they are new experiences. A small change to the expected food and beverage repertoire can make the meal fun and memorable, but also invigorate the entire meeting. So try something new!