Close the deal with good food

"WHEN you fail to plan, you plan to fail." These words are particularly appropriate when planning a meeting.

"WHEN you fail to plan, you plan to fail." These words are particularly appropriate when planning a meeting.

After all, ensuring that every detail clicks into place is the hallmark of any successful business meeting. And catering for a business meeting can be more difficult than it might initially appear.

According to Maria Veselinovice, managing director of The Bread Basket, people, location, pick-up time, drinks, serving ware and setting up all play a major role in the overall presence of the catering of such a meeting.

"You know how important food is in making your event a success. A few packets of crisps and some peanuts will tell your guests that you don't think they're important. Friends, clients, colleagues attend these functions, so it is vital to have a professional and a high quality spread," Veselinovice says.

Catering planning guide

l Platters the solution

You can't offer guests individual orders, which is why buffets are a smart option. The only problem is that the food is mass prepared, sometimes days in advance and you don't always have banqueting facilities to offer seated dining.

A great alternative is catering platters purchased from a respected outlet such as The Bread Basket. They appeal to a variety of tastes and special dietary requirements. You can order a custom platter to suit your needs. Easy and professional.

l Dietary requirements

The easiest way to ensure professional catering is to get the professionals to do it.

Many restaurants and bakeries offer corporate platters. The Bread Basket offers specialised platters to fit special dietary requirements.

It is important to provide appropriate options for vegetarians, wheat-intolerant and other special diets.

l Casual or formal

Corporate meetings can range from informal internal get-togethers to new business proposals. For a casual environment, pizza slices, open sandwiches and cocktail sausages are a delicious, no-fuss option.

How about impressing special guests with a platter from their home country? Greek mezé or Italian platters are sure to impress. And might help you close the deal. The Bread Basket incorporates several nationalities in their speciality national platters.

l Meat lovers

Don't assume your guests will be satisfied with refined delicacies or crudité. Many people like homely, meaty foods. Cold meats, frikkadels and chicken pieces always go down well.

l Sweets

Guests with a sweet tooth will head for the dessert platter. Don't forget those who are watching their figures. Include a seasonal fruit platter for the health-conscious.

l Snacks

If your event, party or corporate meeting is scheduled for more than a few hours, include a few snack platters.

You don't want hungry guests thinking about food instead of paying attention to the agenda or not enjoying themselves at the party.

Cheese and paté platters are great for a snack or to round off the main-course platter. Snack platters are also appropriate for a short meeting, when a meal will not be served.

Ordering food for a meeting can be a tricky business. Try out these tips from our experts for a successful business breakfast, lunch or afternoon-snack gathering.

l Always check with your employees and clients for any special dietary needs.

Include a vegetarian or salad option in your order to accommodate special diets and lifestyle needs.