Food can make or break an event. A great meal enhances the experience, leaving attendees with a positive impression; a sub-par menu can have the opposite effect. If you’re in charge of ordering meals for an event, it’s worth taking the time to get it right—even if the food isn’t the main focus. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind the next time you need to order meals for an event.

Select an appropriate menu

Your menu should suit the event. Are you hosting a quiet team lunch or a formal client dinner? Will guests be sitting down or mingling as they eat? How much room does the venue have for meal service? How long will the meal last?

Use the event details to help you narrow down menu options. At a team lunch, you can opt for relaxed meals, such as snack platters or sandwiches. For a shareholders reception, you might serve elegant passed appetizers.

Consider common food restrictions

About 40% of Americans follow at least one nutrition rule. Usually, these restrictions are due to allergies, health conditions, or personal beliefs. As you’re ordering, make sure to factor in common limitations:

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan/vegetarian
  • Lactose-free
  • Nut-free

If the group is small enough, you might consider ordering individual meals. That way, each person can choose foods that suit their individual dietary needs.

Order enough food

Determining how much food you need is one of the most important aspects of ordering food for an event. Ideally, you’ll have enough for everyone to eat their fill but not so much that you’re overflowing with leftovers.

To start, determine how many people are coming to the event. Then, examine your menu and estimate the appropriate portions. If you partner with Grubhub Corporate Accounts, your dedicated client success team can help with this calculation, but you can also reference the following estimated serving sizes per person:

  • 6 appetizer bites per hour
  • 1 ounce of salad
  • 6-8 ounces of meat
  • 4 ounces of a pasta main dish
  • 4-5 ounces of vegetables and potatoes
  • 1 portion of dessert
  • 3 beverages

If you’re ordering plated meals, ask each attendee to choose an entrée. For buffets and heavy appetizers, you might want to order more of high-demand items.

Plan Ahead

Caterers typically have specific requirements for group orders. Make sure you are aware of these requirements ahead of time and prepare accordingly.

As you get ready for your event, here are a few important questions to ask your catering vendor:

  • How soon in advance does the order need to be placed?
  • When does the headcount have to be final?
  • What will the setup and breakdown time be?
  • Is the necessary equipment included?
  • Are servers and staff included?
  • Are there any electricity requirements?

When you know exactly what to expect, you can plan accordingly and ensure your event goes smoothly and is a success.

Make event ordering easier with Grubhub Corporate Accounts

Ordering meals for an event can be a time-consuming task, but it’s worth the effort. Delicious food fuels your participants, elevates the gathering, and sets the tone for other activities.

To save time in the planning process while maintaining quality, consider partnering with Grubhub Corporate Accounts. Our service streamlines corporate ordering, giving you the flexibility to choose individual meals, group orders, or catering—there’s an option for every occasion and event. With budgets and rules, you can control costs and reduce food waste. To find out more, get started with a corporate account today.