Take your Vancouver corporate catering to the next level with our tips and ideas.
FOOD INSPIRES US, IT energizes us, and it nourishes us. Ask anyone what part of an event they most look forward to, and the meal is usually at the top of the list. However, anyone that’s ever been to a corporate lunch, all-day workshop, or staff meeting will tell you they’ve seen the same tired offerings again and again.
Truffles Fine Foods’ in-house culinary team has always prided itself on imagining exciting menus, thoughtfully tailored to each client’s needs. For more than a decade, we have been dedicated to providing the very best in the industry, setting us apart as a corporate catering leader. It takes more than fresh ingredients and creativity to captivate our clients’ taste buds, so we chatted with Fanny Dufour, Truffles’ Marketing and Business Manager, to get the low-down on how Truffles Fine Foods has excelled at corporate catering and how the team can take your event to the next level.
A great menu is key, but what is one thing clients often overlook when planning their corporate events?
Sometimes clients don’t realize the amount of time necessary to pull off a stellar event. Setting up and tearing down absolutely needs to be accounted for when planning your event’s timeline. It’s also a good idea to find out whether or not the venue will set up tables and chairs, or if it’s something you’ll need the caterer to do. Another thing that’s often overlooked is maintaining the catering, such as at a food and beverage area. When clients request a sandwich bar for a workshop, for example, they’ll need to have staff on-site to refill condiments, set out clean dishes, and refresh the toppings throughout the event.
I also can’t stress enough how valuable it is to your guests to inquire whether or not any of them have food restrictions. Your guests will appreciate that their needs are being considered and incorporated into the menu for the day. And, as they say, variety is the spice of life! If you’re planning a multi-day event like a conference, mixing it up each day will keep your guests on their toes. For an event that’s only a day in length, pick a lighter lunch and offer tantalizing appetizers and fresh-baked treats.
Just like Truffles’ clients, no two events are alike. How important is it to provide menu options that are flexible and able to suit everyone’s needs?
Like I mentioned, your guests will feel appreciated if you consider their tastes and dietary requirements. No two palates are alike either, so keeping your menu flexible will ensure happy guests! Make sure your caterer has a very clear understanding about the event you’re hosting – what’s it about? What kind of crowd are you including and what is the goal for the event? Will there be more men, more women, children attending, or a mix of all three? Believe it or not, these questions matter. This will help us determine what will work best for you, whether it’s a hot food buffet, if chef stations are an option, or that enough staff will be on-site to refill, replenish, and make sure everything is fresh and that presentation is consistently stunning!
What’s the most “stand-out” feature you’ve ever seen at a corporate event that Truffles Fine Foods has catered?
Our amazing staff created an ice bar for the 2010 Olympics with giant seafood on an ice station. It was really something! We also recently offered both a burger bar and sandwich bar, an ice cream station, and a chef station for some of our corporate clients.
We’ve seen a lot of really fun, fresh trends in the catering industry lately such as food trucks and self-serve stations – like Truffles’ burger bar! What kind of trends do you see on the horizon for corporate catering in 2017?
A lot of small plates and tasting menus of multi-course meals. These offer not only some great food variety, but also allows our culinary team to play with seasonal food, creativity, and presentation. We’ve been staying away from big portions and breaking them into smaller portions with a highlight on presentation. This gives event guests a wider variety of things to try!
Truffles Fine Foods has set the bar high as an industry leader in Vancouver corporate catering. What do you feel sets Truffles apart from other caterers?
That’s easy: our team! We have gathered together a group of highly-skilled professionals who are passionate about what they do. This sets us apart from other companies because we’re always willing to go above and beyond. We offer personable customer service, menu flexibility, we honour a lot of last-minute requests, and we’re totally in tune with our clients’ needs. For example, creating a vegetarian-friendly dish involves more than just removing meat from the equation. We’ll instead suggest and create dishes that include a variety of vegetables and flavours because we love knocking your guests’ socks off!
We’ll work with your budget and even offer services you need – rentals, liquor licenses, or even recommending other industry professionals that we can collaborate with to make sure your event is pulled off without a hitch!