How to exceed business event expectations without going over your budget

Key takeaways

  • Identify the event size and desired menu for your event- don’t over-order!
  • Offer a variety of food options, but not too many
  • Choose cost-effective menu items
  • Opt for self-serve catered events to keep them affordable
  • Communicate your budget to your business catering specialist

Coming together with coworkers or customers for a meeting or event should be an enjoyable experience. Catering makes these meetings so much better, but finding the right business catering expert can be difficult!

You might worry that catering for a business event will be too expensive, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Successful, budget-friendly events, luncheons, or business meetings require some planning. There are several ways to ensure your event costs stay under budget. 

Business Catering

One of the most critical aspects of event planning is catering. You can avoid over-spending on food while still delivering a fantastic experience by working with an experienced caterer. The right caterer will make your meeting or event stand out at a price you can afford.

As long-time corporate caterers, we know it’s crucial to stay on budget, deliver consistent, high-quality food, save you time, and spare you event-planning stress. We share some of our catering expertise below to make your event-planning experience easy and keep your costs low.

Keep business catering affordable

If keeping catering costs low is a priority for your business event, use these six tips to delight your audience on a budget.

1. Consider the event size and style

One reason that events quickly exceed a budget is because of over-ordering. Hosts don’t want to run out of food, but we suggest only ordering what you’ll need.

Figure out how many people will be attending so you can order accordingly.

It’s essential to collect dietary preferences from your attendees as this will determine how much of each menu item will get eaten.

Ask your colleagues or customers if they have specific dietary restrictions. Our Nutritionals menus list the nutrition facts of our foods, as well as their allergens. We also have gluten-free and lite menus.  

Once you have an accurate idea of your event’s size and your attendees’ dietary needs, you’ll be able to order the proper amount. 

2. Offer variety, but not too much!

Having your event catered is exciting because there are so many delicious food options to choose from. Giving your guests a variety of options will dazzle their taste buds and provide balanced nutrition. Offering too many options can quickly become costly, however.

We suggest opting for a practical menu.

Choose the main item – deli sandwiches, for example – that comes in various styles, such as roast beef, turkey, and pastrami. Doing this makes it possible for each guest to choose what they like while also keeping it simple.

If you are serving hot foods, some options include:

  • Chicken
  • Pasta
  • Beef
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Lasagna

Once you’ve selected your base item, choose a few side dishes, snacks, and desserts.

Some of our favorite side dishes include:

  • Salads
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Hot vegetables

Delicious dessert options include:

  • Fresh-baked cookie platters
  • Napoleon and Éclair platters
  • Brownies

All of the fresh, delectable catered foods at TooJay’s are made from scratch.

The key here is that you don’t have to order everything, just one or two options from each category, depending on your event’s size and style. We’ll happily help you plan an event and share our expertise on keeping costs low.

3. Select cost-effective foods 

Catering is usually priced according to the food selected. Certain food types are less expensive to prepare and thus cost less to supply and serve at your event.

Some cost-effective catering options include dishes with the following bases:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Salad
  • Vegetables

Consider incorporating these inexpensive options alongside your main dish as a way to save money on your event.

You can also ask your caterer to recommend the most cost-effective options. An experienced caterer will be able to tell you the most affordable options for your budget.

4. Consider self-serve business catering

An excellent way to keep event costs low is to minimize the staff needed to operate the food stations. Choose self-service style catering when possible. 

Hiring staff to serve food at your event is a quick way to inflate your catering expenses. On the other hand, self-service events are simple, more comfortable for attendees, and much more affordable.

Opting for a buffet-style spread will keep your costs low. Ask your caterer to serve food in pans arranged on a buffet line, so guests can serve themselves when they’re ready.

5. Communicate with your caterer

A great way to keep your event or luncheon catering costs low is to tell your caterer your budget upfront. Explain your budget requirements and the style and volume of foods you’re interested in serving.

An experienced caterer will give you recommendations for a delicious menu within your price range. They’ll also offer cost-saving strategies, like whether to pick up the food or have it delivered and packaging or serving options. Plus, they will support your event planning so that the experience is as stress-free as possible.

Be sure to communicate with your business caterer how many attendees you’re expecting. They will be able to recommend an appropriate food amount.

6. Have fun!

Don’t get overwhelmed by the details or logistics of planning an event. Take your time organizing it and focus on what you control. Leave the details, like catering, to the experts.

Then, you’ll be able to enjoy your event. 

Business catering at the right price

Corporate event planning shouldn’t be complicated. Start by establishing the event attendee count and the desired menu. Then, communicate your vision with your expert catering team. Inform them of your budget and let them get to work! They’ll come up with the perfect menu and item quantity. This way, you don’t have to worry about running out of food or going over budget.

We handle all things catering, so you can handle your event’s meat (pun intended!)  Click here to see our catering menu and place your corporate catering order today!