Whether you’re an events planner or your company’s office organiser, you will probably find yourself hosting a farewell lunch for a client or colleague at some point. Whether they’re retiring or moving on, a farewell event can be a great opportunity to leave a good lasting impression of the person leaving as well as show them (and their colleagues) that employees are valued and appreciated.
From the venue to the speeches, there are many factors that go into making a farewell work lunch a success. For our part, we can help you focus on the menu, from start to finish, from serving up to clearing out. From platters to cakes to drinks, the menu can be a deciding factor in whether your event is a success or disappointment to your client or the guest of honour.
Top catering tips for a farewell work lunch
1. Keep things simple
A big sit-down meal with loads of options can make an office event a difficult one when it comes to logistics. Go for cocktail style, platters, or finger foods to ensure big teams get fed and any important moments (such as speeches) can continue without interruptions. And, remember, that simple doesn’t have to mean bland. You’re looking for food that’s fresh, easy to serve, easy to eat, and great to look at – not typical office fare.
2. Box it, wrap it, serve it
Think about how you are serving your food. Avoid complicated cutlery or too many plated options. For example, whether served individually or shared, gourmet sandwiches, bagels, baguettes, or wraps can be served up platter and centre table style making a fuss-free, easy to grab lunch option. And you can exercise your creativity with the fillings while easily catering to individual dietary requirements. Serve with a variety of well-presented, self-service salads and you’re getting the healthy option in there too.
3. Don’t forget the drinks menu
If your client or company allows for a late lunch that will continue into the evening, you might consider a fun cocktail menu but take it easy – this is work after all. For work events, especially those held during daylight hours, it’s probably best to steer clear of alcohol and explore some other drink options such as loose teas or organic choices for something a little different but still refreshing. Alongside the standard coffees, teas, and iced drinks, consider a signature drink specific to the guest of honour.
4. A little power goes a long way
Allowing your guests some control over what they eat can be a refreshing change for a captive audience, increasing their receptivity and feelings of satisfaction. Either allow for input before you plan the menu or offer some food options that allow your guests to pick and choose, while keeping things streamlined and convenient. Snack and sandwiches bars or platters are good choices.
5. Get the cake made
Don’t fuss with store-bought dessert or trying to make a farewell cake yourself. Rather let the professionals handle it for you. Plus, with a customised cake, you can add a personalised touch that speaks to the guest of honour, making dessert special and memorable.
At Food Matters, we enjoy working closely with our clients to deliver the best possible corporate event every time, whatever the occasion. With so much else to organise, wouldn’t it be nice to leave the catering to the experts? From corporate get-togethers to intimate wedding receptions, we offer catering, bar, and cake services designed to deliver only the best in service and food. Talk to us about your next corporate event and we’ll be sure to deliver top quality fare on time and within budget.