Corporate business can generate some of your most dependable accounts. Once you’ve established a solid caterer-client relationship, you can count on jobs ranging from weekend retreats to awards banquets. You can also look forward to a schedule filled with regular corporate lunch catering dates.
Good news always travels fast in the business world. Your success with one group opens up countless new doors. It’s great to be the busiest caterer in town, but that enviable position poses new challenges too.
How do you keep the same clients happy through multiple events? Where do you find lunch catering ideas that make every casual buffet, working lunch and formal sit-down special?
8 Creative Corporate Lunch Catering Ideas
We enjoy strong working relationships all across the foodservice industry with restaurant owners, corporate chefs and caterers just like you. It’s our pleasure to share tips we’ve gathered through our insider experience. We offer these eight lunch catering ideas that keep your corporate clients coming back for more.
1. Serve Social-Friendly Bites
Lunch catering menu ideas don’t have to be big to be a big hit. Hors d’oeuvre buffets are ideal for events set up to maximize networking. Participants can mingle and socialize while they nosh on bite-sized finger foods like mini empanadas, spicy chicken wings and fried baby artichokes.
2. Box Up Working Lunches
When the midday meal is all about productivity, help your corporate clients stay focused. Boxed combos are great lunch catering ideas for work because they don’t require multiple trips to the buffet. Mix things up with assorted sandwiches and wraps, or upgrade the experience with bento boxes.
3. Offer a Deli Experience
Transform a casual corporate lunch into a trip to everyone’s favorite deli. Offer DIY sandwiches featuring healthy choices like turkey and lean roast beef. Set out a selection of tasty bread options including whole wheat, rye and sourdough. Deli sides definitely work in this setting, so provide plenty of pasta salads, pickles and olives.
4. Celebrate Culinary Cultures
Buffets with international culinary accents work well at both casual and formal events. Celebrate Asian flavors with spring rolls, stir-fries and poke bowls. Southwestern food is always popular and easy to set up with tostado, taco and fajita stations. Mediterranean classics are crowd-pleasers too so consider serving tahini salads, gyros and dolmades.
5. Cater to Impress
When a corporate lunch is also a special occasion, impress your guests with sophisticated entrees. Off-site prep is surprisingly simple for upscale classics like bone-in prime rib roast, pan-seared scallops and braised lamb shanks. Even roasted duck is an elegant and easy option.
6. Be Prepared to Accommodate
When clients know you’re happy to accommodate dietary requests, they know they can hire you with confidence. Show them why you’re their best choice for catering with creative ideas that work across the menu. Show off your full range of culinary talents with vegan appetizers, vegetarian entrees and gluten-free sides and main dishes.
Are trends towards vegan options still holding strong? Yes. According to industry reports, vegan-based businesses grew by more than 200 percent from 2016 to 2017.
7. Stock Up the Beverage Bar
Corporate lunches don’t usually include a wet bar, but you can still cater to a wide taste in beverages. Bottled water, coffee, decaf and tea are staples. Complement your standard beverage bar with an enticing range of choices. Give guests refreshing alternatives with flavored waters, energy drinks and unique soft drinks
8. Finish With Perfect Desserts
Lunch catering menus aren’t complete without cupcakes, cookies and brownies. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and miniature Pavlova meringues always add a luxurious finish to elegant events. If you want something that blends upscale and casual, surprise your guests with decadent dessert shooters.
We Appreciate Your Support
You build your catering success with hard work, great recipes and creative talent. We’re glad we can help because our roots run deep in the foodservice industry too. Sharing ideas makes us all better at what we love to do. We appreciate your support. You can always count on Boggiatto to serve you with our very best.