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Choosing a Menu for a Business Meeting

Updated on January 26, 2009

Are you in charge of choosing the menu for a business meeting? Maybe you're in charge of ordering the monthly luncheon for a professional organization, or possibly you're responsible for having lunch delivered for employees from your company who are participating in an all day training event. No matter what type of business meeting you are working on, there are several factors you need to consider when ordering meals for a group of professionals.

1. Size of the Group

The size of the group can have a big impact on what types of items you will want to serve. Catering prices vary greatly based on group size. Hot plated lunches are often affordable for larger groups, but can be cost-prohibitive when serving small groups. However, if you have to facilitate lunch for a large group of people in a short period of time, you might be better off going with a buffet style arrangement so the participants can move through the food line at their own pace.

2. Predictability of the Schedule

Do you know exactly what time the group will break for lunch, or are they planning to eat whenever a natural break in the meeting or training session occurs? If you don't have a precise time that lunch can be served, it's important to choose something that can be served at room temperature or that can be refrigerated until time to serve and then enjoyed cold. Avoid putting yourself in the position of having to deal with complaints about food that isn't an appropriate temperature by staying away from menu items that have to be served hot if you don't have control over what time the diners will start eating.

3. Consider Special Needs

When you're organizing a sizeable business meeting, it's important to realize that there are likely to be people in the group who have special needs. It's important to be considerate of those who need to follow a diabetic or gluten free diet, as well as making sure you have selections available for those who follow a vegetarian lifestyle.

Conference organizers typically include a spot on registration forms for attendees who want to request special meals. Even if you're just organizing something small for your office, you can certainly circulate an email or memo asking participants to let you know if they have special requests. Alternately, if the group is large enough for you to have a buffet set up, you can make sure to include items likely to appeal to a variety of people.


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  • Shelly McRae profile image

    Shelly McRae 9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    So glad to see you included a paragraph on special diets. My daughter is vegetarian and often, when she attends meetings and functions, the food is all meat and bread. It drives her crazy. My husband and I are both on low fat diets. It's difficult to be at a meeting where they serve burritos or pizza or hamburgers, and not be able to eat!

  • Trsmd profile image

    Trsmd 9 years ago from India

    This will be taken care by the Hotel Management.. or event manager..

  • 2patricias profile image

    2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    It is also important to know how much you can afford to spend!