How to host catered corporate events that celebrate diversity

Key takeaways:

  • Focus on creating an inclusive workplace that welcomes diversity.
  • Ask employees for feedback about what makes them feel comfortable in the work environment. 
  • Be considerate of different types of people and their unique needs.
  • Ensure that you serve catered food that appeals to all employees, including those with dietary restrictions and allergies.

Inclusivity is important, especially in the workplace. Establishing a diverse and welcoming work environment is more essential than ever. To achieve this type of inclusive workplace, your company’s culture and day-to-day actions must showcase a broad mindset. 

One way to make inclusivity a priority is to ensure that work parties are respectful, welcoming, and open to everybody, even on a budget. Whether it’s a group meeting, business function, or catered party, it’s important to be mindful of everyone on your staff. This means incorporating employee feedback, welcoming all the unique and diverse members of your workforce, and creating inviting opportunities fit for the whole team to come together, not just a select few. Here are some ways to make your work parties more inclusive. 

  • Be an example 

When hosting an event for work, you want to make people feel comfortable. Be respectful of all of the different types of employees you have. Create a relaxed and welcoming environment, so that everyone can enjoy the event. 

Talk to your employees during the party, even those you rarely have interaction with, and introduce staff members from different departments if it feels right. This helps break up cliques.

As the host of a catered business event, you set the tone and the example for the rest of the team. Try bringing a plate of hors d’oeuvres over to different groups and ask them how they taste. Circulate the room and try not to zone on in certain people so as not to show excess favoritism. 

Be especially mindful of not only congregating with upper management and C-level employees. Show your employees that they all matter and are important to your company, regardless of their position.

  • Go beyond the surface

Inclusivity is not only about race, ethnicity, gender, or other attributes that are outwardly visible. Take into consideration other deeply-rooted differences between people that may not be so apparent to the eyes. 

Other things that make people different include:

  • Religious beliefs  
  • Health conditions (such as a disabled employee)
  • Marital status
  • Childcare or family responsibilities 
  • Financial situation 

To create a truly inclusive work party, it’s important to recognize the potential differences in your staff according to these broader concerns, and then plan events that acknowledge our uniqueness as people.

Some of your staff, such as mothers or those with certain religious beliefs, might not be able to make an event. Strongly consider making attendance optional, not required. Not every member of staff will have the financial means or time available to attend. 

Encourage attendance with welcoming energy, but clarify that staff should only come if it fits into their after-work schedule. It’s important to establish that there will be no repercussions for non-attendance (except that their colleagues may miss them!) If employees are afraid of retaliation or judgment from coworkers or upper-management, they may feel forced to come despite it not being a good choice for them.

It’s also a good idea to limit alcohol at business events. Some of your staff members may struggle with alcohol dependency, be pregnant, or abstain from alcohol for religious reasons.  Also, you don’t want to create a wild environment where employees let loose a little too much and possibly do something they’ll regret that could cost them their job. 

  • Order catering that appeals to everyone 

One way a team differs is through their food preferences and dietary restrictions. There may be individuals that don’t eat meat, while others may have particular food observances like following a kosher diet. In some cases, employees may have food allergies.

Work with a caterer who can provide a wide variety of food choices to your whole staff, including those with dietary restrictions. An experienced caterer can recommend an array of options that work for large, diverse groups. 

It’s also a smart idea to work with a caterer who is practicing social distancing and taking the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures right now. 

  • Incorporate employee feedback input

One important way to show employees that they are valued and respected is to ask for their input.

Ask for their opinions and feedback regarding their work environment and events that occur. 

Find out what makes your employees comfortable directly from them! This way there are no more guessing games or room for unintended disrespect. When your team sees their feedback in place at a later event, they will feel even more valued and respected.

Always ensure that the staff is allowed to give their feedback anonymously. Allow the team to give honest feedback without the fear of potential punishment or ridicule, as that does not create inclusivity. 

Have a work event that welcomes everyone 

Ultimately, developing an inclusive workplace where all staff members feel comfortable is everyone’s responsibility. By demonstrating a company culture that welcomes – and celebrates – diversity, you can get the ball rolling. Then, employees and colleagues should take it upon themselves to operate from that same safe, collaborative mindset. 

By being a model of inclusivity, it will encourage your employees to do the same. Start by asking your staff for feedback, promoting diversity, and considering more than just surface differences. 

By establishing a comfortable and inclusive workplace and hosting inclusive events that are considerate of everyone’s needs, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier workplace.

Considerate catering services

Inclusivity is not just a buzzword, it’s a necessity. We are not all the same but we do work together and it’s important to make everyone, not just certain people, feel comfortable at work. 

If you’re planning an inclusive work party, think about hiring a full-service caterer who can provide a diverse menu that appeals to your guests. TooJay’s offers a wide variety of catering options to meet your needs. Whether guests have dietary restrictions, allergies, or just strong preferences, our extensive catering menu is sure to please everybody!