A Complete Guide to Corporate Catering

We get it—corporate catering can be intimidating. After all, companies can’t function if their employees are hungry! Don’t worry. If you’re in charge of handling any type of corporate catering, FTALA is here to make your job easier.

People often associate corporate catering with boring, bland food options. However, we promise it doesn’t have to be this way—especially when you rely on one of LA’s best food trucks to handle providing delicious (and anything but boring) fare.

We’ve put together this useful guide to teach you everything you need to know about corporate catering—so you can pull your next conference, team-building event, training, or lunch off without a hitch:

Types of Corporate Catering Events

Essentially, corporate catering is about feeding the employees of a company. As simple as that sounds, there are actually several different types of corporate event catering. The type of event plays an important role in determining what kind of food options will work best. Take a look:

  • Conferences: Catering a conference is both exciting and challenging. The food at a conference can make all the difference in attendees’ engagement, attendance, and general morale. However, since conferences often take place outside the office, there can be more logistics involved. A great way to avoid mishaps that might be caused by not having the proper setup space is to use a food truck rather than a traditional catering service. That way, the truck can simply drive up, treat people to a delicious meal, and then drive away.
  • Team Building Events: Team building events are supposed to not only help foster meaningful employee connections but they’re also designed to provide a much-needed respite from the day-to-day grind of corporate life. That said, it’s important to find ways to make the food at these special events feel unique. Relying on food truck catering to bring in out-of-the-ordinary options is an excellent way to make team-building events fun. Plus, the social nature of food trucks will add to the overall cause. Full-service catering can be convenient, but lacks the creativity and social environment of a food truck lineup!
  • On-Site Meals: Whether it’s for a guest speaker, company-wide meeting, or ‘lunch and learn’ type event, on-site meals are another instance when it’s important to nail the food. Doing so will keep employees full and focused, and it will also keep people looking forward to these types of events in the future. Since most employees will already be familiar with the restaurants around the office, it’s a great opportunity to bring in a food truck to switch it up! Plus, doing so means you don’t have to worry about making a mess in the office.

Food Truck vs. Traditional Catering vs. Delivery

Once you know what kind of event you need to cater, the next step is to think about what style of catering you’d like to use. Generally speaking, there are three main options: traditional catering, delivery, or food truck catering.

Each type of catering works better for some events than others, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Traditional catering is often either served buffet-style or as a sit-down meal, sometimes with platters of hors d’oeuvres served before the main meal. This type of catering can work well for formal dinners, but it’s often expensive and not as flexible as other options. If you choose this style of catering, you’ll also need to plan how everything will be set up, served, and broken down.

Delivery can work in situations where you’re feeding a smaller group of employees, but the main thing you sacrifice is freshness. This is especially true if it’s for an event where a meeting, speaker, or lecture could take longer than expected—the food will just end up being cold.

Food truck catering gives people options and flexibility with delicious meals from local restaurants since they allow people to order fresh, made-to-order food from the truck. Since it’s less structured than a sit-down service, it also gives people the opportunity to mix and mingle over great food. Not to mention, food truck catering generally gives you a lot more bang for your buck with a variety of pricing options.

Corporate Catering Tips to Consider

If it’s your first time handling corporate catering (or if you’re a pro who wants to brush up on their knowledge), we’ve put together a list of a few things to keep in mind as you work to plan out your culinary offerings. Take a look at these corporate catering tips and tricks:

  • Keep employee attire in mind—choosing messy foods at an event where people are wearing nice business clothes usually isn’t a good idea. This goes for in-office catering and holiday parties that start after work hours, too. 
  • Aim for attendance—if you’re planning a conference, having attendees go off-site to get lunch means some people won’t return. Having a food truck present can help prevent this while still offering your attendees custom menus and more menu options than catering companies can.
  • Optimize energy levels—employee engagement is one of the most important aspects of corporate events, and food plays a big role. Providing an energizing breakfast, feel-good lunch, and even an afternoon snack to prevent mid-day slumps are all wise ideas.

Corporate Catering Menu Ideas

Now that we’ve covered the practical aspects of corporate catering, it’s time to get to the fun part—choosing the menu. Take a look at these unique LA food trucks that are sure to be the talk of the event:

  • CHD Mandu: Mandu are Korean dumplings, and this truck serves up some of the best in LA. With varieties like pork, kimchi, veggie, and shrimp, everyone can find something they enjoy.
  • Moom Maam: A great way to make a corporate event feel more fun is with ice cream, and you can take this concept even further by hiring Moom Maam, an artisanal Thai gelato truck. Vegans can also indulge in this sweet treat, since they offer plant-based flavors like Pina Colada and Strawberry Balsamic. 
  • Poutine Brothers: For an out-of-the-box option, consider treating everyone to one of Canada’s most beloved dishes—poutine. This isn’t just any poutine, either. Poutine Brothers offers everything from Classic Poutine (Fries, Wisconsin White Cheddar Curds, Brown Gravy and Chives) to Vegan Parmesan-Cauliflower Poutine (Fries, Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, Vegan Gravy, “Parm” Cauliflower, Chives, Dusted W/ a Trio of Spices).

Let FTALA be Part of Your Next Corporate Event

When it comes to handling corporate catering, just know you aren’t alone! If you need top-notch, unique options, FTALA has you covered.  No matter how many hungry, hardworking employees you want to feed, there’s a food truck out there that can handle all your corporate catering needs.

Our partners are experts at handling all kinds of corporate events, and they’ll work with you to deliver an unforgettable experience. As important as the speakers, training, and networking at corporate events are, the food should be equally memorable—and with FTALA, it can be!

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