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February 22, 2024 | catering, corporate, spotlights

Client Spotlights: Successful Events Catered by Caroline's Fine Food - Corporate Events

"Either run the day or the day runs you"
— Jim Rohn

If the term "business function" conjures a room of professionals in similar suits discussing the quarterly report over a platter of sandwiches, we'd like to challenge that image and expand the possibilities for your next event. While there's nothing wrong with the tried and true, corporate catering does not have to be a one-size-fits-all. No matter the purpose of your gathering, a skilled caterer can breathe life and interest into your company's event. A good event planner will deliver a memorable function that compliments and facilitates your goal. This month, we'll focus on qualities to look for in a caterer and why they are important. We'll also spotlight 3 corporate functions Caroline's Fine Food catered that demonstrate how large-scale events can incorporate creativity and flexibility without compromising logistics or excellence.

To ensure success and minimize stress, it's best to look for the following qualities in a corporate caterer:


Demonstrated by a consistently high standard of responsiveness, knowledgeable answers to your questions and attention to detail. A skilled planner will work closely with you to design a proposal suited to the particular needs of your company and the purpose of your event. They should present possibilities evolving from a general to a specific plan. They should identify potential pitfalls and suggest practical solutions. A good company will offer you a chance to taste options from a proposed menu before you make your final choice.

Strong Logistical Skills

Although the quality of the food is paramount, it's only half the equation. Good logistics are the foundation of any successful event. Your potential caterer should walk you through all the details. They should give you a schedule of exact times for delivery, set-up, service, clean-up, etc. If you want full service, the caterer should do a site visit. They will cover their bases by troubleshooting potential difficulties and planning the specifics of staffing, set-up/service/break-down times, gas and water sources, rental needs, delivery routes and clean-up. If you are planning a large, seated event your caterer should offer you a CAD seating plan. The larger the event, the more important logistical organization becomes.


A reputable caterer will give you a written itemized proposal in keeping with your budget. It should clearly spell out all labor, food and rental costs and any applicable taxes you will incur. The potential for overruns such as additional labor hours (i.e. your event runs late) should be explained ahead of time.

Flexibility and Creativity

Choosing a caterer with a high creativity and flexibility quotient will lift your function from the mundane to the memorable. Some of the pitfalls of corporate catering are the limited, bulk options available. There tends to be less wiggle room for special dietary considerations, sustainable packaging and menus specifically designed for the occasion. Some caterers buy pre-cooked appetizers and mains from wholesalers and simply reheat them. Sometimes, companies staff events with under-trained temps.

The best way to find a caterer who will go above and beyond and has a proven record of excellence is through direct inquiry, word of mouth and reviews. We suggest you read the reviews, ask around and assess their website. Then, ask their event manager or Executive Chef what sort of tailored menus they've created for corporate clients and what they would suggest for your particular event. A truly creative and flexible caterer will adjust their posted offerings and even create new ones upon request. They will suggest options that dovetail with the purpose and practical considerations of your gathering. Do they offer possibilities like DIY food bars and other hybrid options that fit your style and budget? Does their flexibility and creativity extend to  their delivery, service and  presentation options? It goes without saying that your experience at the tasting should wow and inspire you!

Here are several examples of successful, creative large-scale events that Caroline's executed for valued clients:

Healthy Mains, Breakfast and Creative Snacks

One of our favorite repeat customers is a northern European company that holds annual VIP meetings in our region. We create "from scratch" menus that reflect their company ethos: healthy, low-key with room for fun and relaxation. During this annual meeting, we coordinated with them to deliver breakfasts, lunches and afternoon snacks for 60. A typical menu included:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fruit Platters
  • DIY Yogurt Bar: an assortment of plain and flavored yogurts, house-made blueberry and strawberry compotes, granola, honey and a variety of sliced fruit toppings
  • Assorted Pastries
  • Miso-glazed grilled salmon
  • Roasted bok choy in Gochujang sauce
  • Scallion and ginger rice
  • DIY popcorn snack bar featuring plain, sweet chili, cheese and cinnamon popcorn with butter, caramel, chocolate and strawberry sauces
  • Petite Sweets Platter

Roaring 20's Murder Mystery Staff Appreciation

This highly creative event was staged in a vintage theater for 80 staff members by an engineering consultancy firm. We designed a special menu to match the roaring 20's theme, set up a kitchen in the theater's alleyway, cooked onsite and served everything buffet style. Some of the offerings included:

  • A Raclette bar (think fondue): Melted Raclette cheese, Crostini, Grissini, fresh bread, Bruschetta, Caponata, blanched asparagus spears, roasted broccoli florets, blue cheese dipping sauce and tiny salt-baked Yukon potatoes
  • Oysters Rockefeller
  • Truffled potatoes
  • Classic beef tenderloin in a red wine reduction

Super Bowl Ad Campaign Rollout

Caroline's successfully delivered 228 meals to three consecutive shifts at a national brewery within a 24 hour period. The occasion was the screening of their Super Bowl ad campaign for their employees. The logistics were challenging but we delivered hot, delicious boxed meals to all at 10:45 AM, 5:00 PM and 1:45 AM! Their menu featured:

  • Pot roast with homemade gravy
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Roasted cauliflower and broccoli

If you'd like to take your corporate event to the next level or have any questions at all, please reach out.

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