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Gino Spano

Food trends are constantly changing, especially given the multitude of corporate events each season. Not only are the food trends changing year by year but also the way the dishes are presented. Chances are, your guests have attended several corporate events over the years and have grown to expect great tasting, high quality food. This is your chance to surprise them by presenting their favourites in new and unique ways. Keep your event fresh and exciting with a few of our corporate event catering ideas for 2016.

1. Go Green

With a rise in health conscious diets, the days of breadbaskets and fried appetizers have dwindled away and catering ideas have been turning more clean and green. From vegan to gluten-free, it is common to hear an abundance of specific dietary restrictions from your guests. Don’t fret—health and taste can work hand-in-hand and still create beautiful, unique dishes. Fruits and vegetables can add a great pop of colour and incorporate different levels of texture into any dish. Those who flock to these foods will appreciate the simple and fresh taste and, with multiple substitutions available, the majority of guests won’t even notice a difference.

Though it may not be apparent at first glance, you can still create a buzz by providing organic, local and sustainable food and beverage options. Not only are they healthier for all but showing some green initiative will be sure to catch the eye of your attendees at your corporate event.

2. Reimagining the Classics                

There will always be those classic dishes or items that are a must-have at a corporate event. Everyone loves to nosh on a charcuterie board or pick at bite-sized desserts, but the typical presentation can get boring or overdone. Try to present these items in a creative or inventive way to keep guests engaged and excited. Use non-conventional or unusual serving dishes or accessories to present the food. If you’re stumped on how to do all of this yourself, your caterer will be able to help you with this.

3. Cart Craze       

Are you looking for catering ideas that add a moving element to your next corporate event? Why not try a strolling buffet? It will require some logistical planning in terms of your room layout, but incorporating small dishes such as dim sum, sushi, or appetizers delivered on small bar carts can add an exciting aspect to your event. Your guests will especially love to see the food coming to them rather than them having to leave potential networking opportunities when their stomach starts to rumble. By offering a variety, even the pickiest of eaters will be impressed by the selection. Carts are yet another aspect that can contribute to your theme with an array or shapes and styles. Whether you’re looking for something surprising and funky, or formal and ornamental, you can be sure to find something that fits with your vision.

4. Desserts with a Purpose

Even after a big meal, most people can’t resist dessert. So why not offer desserts that are not only delicious, but functional? Desserts can act as advertising for your company—for example, you can serve cake or cupcakes with the company’s logo on them, or dessert bars that nod to a new product being launched. You can get creative and incorporate a variety of dessert stations at your corporate event, featuring cake pops, candy, or late night snacks, for example.

5. Get Interactive

Food stations can make a huge mark and fit in perfectly to networking or social portions of a corporate event. This can add variety to your menu and fit into any theme with the design of the station itself. Guests will enjoy being able to watch their food being either prepared or finished right before their eyes all while being able to interact with the chef. This adds another aspect of customization and selection that is sure to get attendees talking—not only about the food but also to each other. By positioning these stations throughout the event, it keeps guests on their feet and mingling rather than strapped to their assigned seats.

Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Corporate Event

Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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