Why you should avoid going overboard when putting on corporate hospitality

When catering for a corporate hospitality event it can be tempting to do whatever you can to try and wow your clients with the selection of food and drink on offer.

However, there is such a thing as too much food when it comes to the catering for corporate clients, and getting the balance right can be tricky.

That's why those in catering jobs who may have a corporate event coming up should listen to the advice on offer from Rosemary Weech, founder of Rosemaryandthymecatering.co.uk, who explains why it's possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to catering.

"You don't want to over-feed them," she commented. "Mostly people aren't relying on whatever they're having as their main source of food for the day, so I don't think you need to try and give them a three-course meal."

The expert recommends offering a selection of lighter alternatives for those wanting to avoid the heavier and richer items.

"I would definitely try and avoid the great big pastries and muffins and things in the morning – people tend to want to give these with coffee. Always offer water and fruit juice as alternatives," she said.

But it's also important to be aware of which foods are likely to be most convenient to eat for your clients.

"Sometimes people want to add salads and things to a finger buffet and that can make it very difficult if people are trying to circulate and talk to others," Ms Weech explained.

"They want food that's easy to eat and don't want to be handling knives and forks and plates as well."

It's not just the quantity of food you serve that you need to consider, you also need to avoid overdoing it with certain food groups.

Indeed, an important part of hospitality work is considering the nutritional value of the food you provide, and Ms Weech stressed the need to include plenty of protein-rich foods as well as fruit and veg for corporate clients.

"You don't want to overdo it on carbohydrates," she said. "Try and make sure you include some protein – some nice chicken or some fish, like mackerel, salmon or prawns.

"Definitely include some fresh fruit and also, what carbohydrates you do have should be wholemeal – wholemeal bread or granary bread. Then it's more of a slow release of energy."

The time of day of the event should also be used to inform how much and what type of food is provided.

Breakfast meetings can be particularly tricky to get right.

"I go to quite a few breakfast meetings and some people cannot manage to eat hot food in the morning," Ms Weech commented."I don't think there's any point making yourself eat something you're not comfortable with in the mornings.

"Nutritionists often recommend that we have protein at breakfast, so a boiled egg, scrambled egg or a piece of bacon can be good. If you can't manage that then I think fruit, muesli – which provides a slow release of carbohydrates and maybe some yoghurt is a good second choice."

Meanwhile, there was good news for those looking for hospitality employment in the restaurant sector this week, with a new report suggesting that branded restaurants could see 6.5 per cent annual growth this year, with sales reaching an estimated £11.6 billion by the end of 2012.

The Project Restaurant 2012 report from Allegra forecast growth will then expand further to reach 7.8 per cent by 2015.

Find hospitality employment with Berkeley Scott, the specialist hotel, hospitality and catering recruitment agency