Food and beverage management determines the most appropriate catering services, chooses the food and drinks to be served, the amount and how the food is to be presented or served to the attendees of an event. This also includes the serving of alcoholic drinks.

The following are the major elements of food and beverage management.

Catering Operations

Familiarise yourself with the different types of services that are involved in catering. Look for a variety of catering service providers and ascertain their strong and weak points when it comes to catering and food presentation. This can be done by researching the people or events they have offered their services to, or attending a food sampling session beforehand. Once you select the most suitable catering service provider, communicate your expectations and prepare a written binding agreement with them to ensure they provide quality services.

Food Service Requirements

Assess if food will need to be served during the event. This is to avoid looking unprofessional or wasting food as sometimes there are people or religions who fast during specific times of the year and you need to understand your target audience.  Ascertain whether drinks and beverages will be needed depending on the time or season the event will be held. For instance, if the event is held on a summer afternoon there might be a need for soft drinks such as sodas or juice and if it is a cold winter morning, you might consider serving coffee or other hot drinks.

Menu Selection

Arrange a well balanced menu that covers the nutritional needs required for the normal function of the human body and is appropriate for the nature of the event and those in attendance. You should also have an alternative diet for those with allergies or dietary restrictions, such as vegetarians or those with gluten intolerance.

Weigh the costs with the potential number of attendees to provide a suitable meal plan that will satisfy everyone involved in the event.

Service Planning

Determine the best room set up especially if it is a corporate event, or if you have live in attendees who have room services in their housings. Have a specific serving style and time to ensure that there is order and that you do not disrupt the normal running of the event or its’ schedule. Depending on the physical layout of the event, you should come up with the most appropriate order of serving food and drinks and also the equipment or personnel you require to serve and distribute the food and drinks.

Alcohol Management

Observe the set alcohol laws and policies and do not serve alcohol to minors if children are invited and incorporate responsible consumption policies that ensure the attendees do not over indulge and disrupt the events.

A shared meal often leads to a shared conversation or an idea or connections and because events are all about connecting and hospitality, you should ensure that you serve food and serve it well to enhance your connections as an events’ organiser.