We don’t need to tell you that everyone needs to eat during their stay at your event, and we’re not just talking about attendees. Your talent, on-site event team, and volunteers who are working hard to make your event a success need to be nourished as well! But organizing an efficient catering setup isn’t a simple affair; there are a lot of moving pieces and overlooking details could manifest in long wait times and hungry personnel.
Our expert on-site support team has spent a lot of time working in event catering tents around the world. With their insight, we’ve compiled some useful tips to help you efficiently manage staff catering at your next event!
Establish Your Meal Plan Early
Before everyone arrives on-site, you need to decide what meals you’re going to be providing, and when. For example:
- Will everyone be allocated three meals a day?
- How many vegan or vegetarian meals do you need?
- Are catering areas going to be open at all times, or just during certain hours?
- Can staff be served after-hours? What about staff working night shifts?
- Are you providing box meals for staff who are working away from catering areas?
Once you hammer out these details, make sure to share them with your teams so they know what to expect. Having your event’s meal plan organized and communicated from the get-go will help alleviate any confusion once staff, volunteers, and talent start to arrive on-site. It will also help you place more accurate orders with your catering partners, saving you from overordering, and overspending.
Utilize a Credentialing System
Now that you’ve got your meal plan set, it’s time to start assigning credentials so your event team can claim their meals on-site, and so you can keep track of all your data. Whether you’re planning on using meal tickets, RFID badges, or wristbands, having a catering system that can help you streamline the credentialing process is invaluable. With a flexible system, you can easily issue credentials, scan people into designated catering areas, and make changes on the fly. Plus, having all of this information in one system will make tracking meal totals and reconciling with catering partners a breeze.
Staff Catering Areas Appropriately
Being short-staffed in your catering areas can cause massive delays, leading to a low energy (and hangry!) event staff, which is the last thing you want on your event day. Ensure that your catering areas have enough employees to handle the volume, with at least 2-3 dedicated scanning stations, and a manager present to troubleshoot any problems in a separate queue. Additionally, make sure your catering staff is properly briefed on how everything will operate throughout the course of your event. Educating them on meal types, credential mediums, and the software you’ll be using is crucial.
Make Use of Clear Signage
It might sound like a no brainer, but having clear signage is imperative to running an efficient catering operation. If you are serving hundreds of people three meals a day, taking a second to tell each person where to go can quickly add up. Having signage that clearly points towards scanning stations and meal pick-ups will help decrease the time your team spends standing in line, or worse… in the wrong line!
Additionally, make sure your entrances and exits are clearly marked. Having a separate area for each will help prevent congestion and ease the flow of traffic during designated meal times.
While every aspect of your event is important, keeping your talent, on-site team, and volunteers nourished and energized might just be at the top of the list! After all, without them, you wouldn’t have an event. Planning ahead and having the correct catering management tools in place will help you keep your event team fueled and your event running smoothly.
Interested in learning more about how we can help you manage all of your catering needs with our flexible event operations software? Request a demo today!