You've selected your dates, location, hotel, and now you are ready to start planning the specifics of your event including the food and beverage details. Where do you begin? With over 30 years of experience in Catering and Conference Services at the Portola Hotel & Spa, I have a composed a list of tips to help you select the best catering options to help make your next event a success!
Request A Banquet Menu: The banquet menu is a starting point, providing menu items from break options to plated dinners. If you have a specific menu theme or food and beverage item that you would like included, share this information with your Catering Services (CS) Manager.
Share Dietary Restrictions: Inform your CS Manager of any dietary restrictions such as gluten-free requests, vegan/vegetarian, dairy-free, etc. Providing this information in advance is essential to selecting the best menu items for your event.
Sustainability Matters: Locally sourced, sustainable ingredients benefit our environment and benefit your attendees. Selecting menu items from local farmers, ranchers, and fisherman help reduce the carbon footprint of your event.
Express Your Event Needs: Your CS Manager would like to know how to make your event a success. If your attendees have scheduled breaks throughout the meeting, determine if providing a meal break will enhance your attendee's experience or if a cocktail reception will help kick-off the start of your event.
Share Your Event Goals: Your CS Manager wants to help make your event a success. Sharing your goals with the CS Manager will assist them in making recommendations and plans for the best food and beverage selections including the ideal locations and approaches for the day of catering.
Ask for Help: Your Conference Services Manager is available to help, share what is important to you for your event to be successful, and always make sure they are aware of any looming deadlines.
Ask Questions: Your CS Manager has experience and knowledge about what works best at their venue, ask for recommendations and ask questions about the banquet menu options.