There are many different factors to consider when choosing an office caterer for your next team lunch, happy hour, or business meeting. Headcount, cuisine type, when you want the food delivered—these all need to be taken into consideration. However, the number one question we hear from clients is, “How much does corporate catering cost?”
Calling the restaurant directly will automatically add more to your budget, which we’ll address below. Before we start discussing hard numbers, we need to go over a few variables. Let’s start with an easy one: headcount.
What’s your headcount?
Make sure you have a solid estimate for how many people you need to feed. This may sound simple, but there are a few items to consider beyond a simple headcount, including:
- Is anyone out of office the day of your meal?
- Are multiple meetings scheduled the same day? Will food be provided?
- Does your team have big appetites?
Having an accurate predefined headcount will help move the process along much quicker. Even if you can’t commit to a final number, try to guess within five people of the total.
What cuisines are you interested in?
Using a catering concierge service can help you leverage exclusive relationships shared with the best restaurants in town. Learning a client’s tastes and meal preferences help craft a unique lunchtime experience that can’t be matched.
If your team likes trying new things, we’ll send you some of our more eclectic menus. If your team is sick of pizza every week but is still craving comfort food, we’ve got a few great BBQ menus with KILLER mac and cheese for you to sample. We use your team’s feedback to learn your likes and dislikes, then plan future meals around that.
Do you have any dietary restrictions?
Need a gluten-free option? Does someone have a peanut allergy? Have a few vegetarians? We consider all of these restrictions when creating a custom menu for you. We label each menu item so that employees know what dietary restrictions are in each dish. Our vendors are hand-selected to ensure we can be as accommodating as possible.
What’s your budget?
In order to give you a better idea of total cost, we need your budget. Herein lies the biggest difference between a catering concierge service and local chains. Local chains will typically charge $8-15 per head for your barebones lunch catering—before tax and extra fees. However, when you work with ZeroCater, you tell us your budget, then we find a local restaurant that can match your price. Plus, there are no extra or hidden fees—tax, tip, and delivery are all included. Custom menu creation, delivery, setup, logistics, feedback platform, a dedicated client success specialist, and peace of mind are all included.
There isn’t a one size fits all answer to this. Corporate catering is a complex process that requires: headcount, cuisine preference, dietary restrictions, and budget. Using a concierge service makes life a heck of a lot easier. Once we have answers to the above questions, the workload is off of your shoulders and on to ours.
A typical office catering budget is $12-$20 per team member. The more flexible your budget, the more options available to you, and the happier your team will be.