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Workplace parties are among the most effective ways to boost employee morale. Office parties can reinforce company culture and values, and create a sense of trust between talent and their employer. According to the Harvard Business Review, parties are often interpreted by employees as an indicator of organizational stability and prosperity. Throwing a party with office catering in NYC can help organizations reach goals of employee reward or improving employee engagement.

Regardless of the occasion, it’s important to invest in exceptional office party catering in NYC. For attendees, the food can often be the most memorable part of an event, for better or worse. Food is “an experience,” says events expert Zena Phillips in an interview with PCMA. Customized “food can play a part in making attendees happy, or for…[entertaining] top customers.” To help NYC companies make the most of their catering budget, read on for 10 best practices for organizing office catering.

10 Best Practices for Office Party Catering NYC

1. Outsource to a Professional

There are serious benefits to outsourcing office party catering in NYC to experts. The right catering vendor for your needs may offer more services than customized menus. Depending on your requirements, professional catering support in NYC may encompass help with venues, negotiating vendor contracts, and equipment. According to Forbes, the decision to work with professionals can yield surprising benefits, including:

  • Reduced costs and rates
  • Innovative event branding
  • Seamless event execution
  • Conserved time

At Martin + Fitch, our professional hospitality team will handle all the details with you: menu planning, rentals, serving staff, venue selection, and décor.

2. Set an Internal Event Lead

Even if your organization collaborates with professional office party catering NYC services for the event, it’s still wise to appoint a single, internal point-of-contact for managing the event. Too many internal collaborators can lead to confusion.

3. Create an Event Budget

Work with your caterer to establish a total event budget that covers food, drinks, serviceware, equipment, venue and other necessities. During the early planning stages, it’s also important to establish a solid headcount to finalize spending.

4. Understand Dietary Preferences

During the menu creation process, you’ll need to provide details on employee dietary preferences and requirements, including vegetarians, vegans, individuals who eat low-carb, religious preferences and food allergies. Depending on the size of your staff, a formal poll may be necessary.

5. Embrace NYC Food Trends

Regardless of whether your event has a well-defined or specialized theme, office party catering in NYC is the perfect opportunity to embrace some of the coolest trends in food. According to Foodstorm, some popular trends in 2022 (that might carry over into 2023) for event catering include:

  • Fully-customized, unique menus
  • Health-conscious, vegetarian-friendly options
  • Comfort foods and creative, bite-sized hors-d’oeuvres
  • Food truck and street-food inspired dishes

6. Add Local NYC Flair

New York is host to some of the world’s most diverse and delicious dishes and beverages, as well as a growing movement to eat foods sourced within the region. Consider paying homage to the area with locally sourced beer or wine, produce grown in-state or other New York-sourced menu items.

7. Let Someone Else Manage Setup

Even with a point person dedicated to managing the event, you may not want to spend the hours before the party scrambling to set up the venue. Consider leaving event setup, including tables and decorations, to the professionals to ease your workload.

8. Space Out Food and Drink

Office parties provide a great opportunity for colleagues to socialize, bond and enjoy themselves. To encourage an environment of fun, consider spacing out food and beverage stations in a large venue. By providing small buffets, appetizer stations, or drink offerings throughout, you can ensure employees are well-fed and comfortable.

9. Avoid Boxed Lunches

Ten years ago, corporate catering was typically associated with a boxed lunch: a single-serve selection consisting of a sandwich, fruit and a cookie. Even when the items were high-quality, it was pretty boring. Office party catering in NYC has expanded significantly and there’s no reason to rely on basic boxed lunches anymore.

Express appreciation to your employees by offering a thoughtful menu designed by an award-winning chef, which may include exciting options such as tri-tip au poivre with caramelized cauliflower or smoked chicken salad with marinated tomatoes and romaine lettuce.

10. Select Between Buffet and Waitstaff

Depending on the type of party, budget, number of employees and other details, your needs may be better-served by buffets, food stations or waitstaff. Consider the focus of the event and venue structure when making these decisions. If you’re unsure whether your party requires self-service or a waitstaff, party catering experts can help you assess your needs and vision.

Embrace Exceptional Office Party Catering in NYC

Chances are, your NYC-based organization only has a few parties a year. Express appreciation for your staff with an exceptional catering service at your next office party. The best office parties include a memorable menu of food options, customized by event theme, corporate values and staff dietary preferences. Opting for high-quality, seasonal and trendy food over boring boxed lunches or buffets can transform corporate events into memorable occasions.

Martin + Fitch, our full-service catering service, caters remarkable corporate events and delicious workplace dining options, and creates elegant weddings and social events. With service in the New York and New Jersey area, our chefs bring an unparalleled level of creativity and freshness to the table, and our team ensures that every detail is covered to deliver an extraordinary catering experience to you and your guests.

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Judson Kleinman

As the founder and CEO of Corporate Essentials, Judson set out with every intention of bringing a new meaning to the words "office culture". As leaders in the industry, his company constantly sets the bar by investing in, and improving their product offerings, technology, people and training. 20 years and 1500 clients later, Judson can proudly say that Corporate Essentials continues to positively fuel culture and allow over 150,000 employees to work happy.