7 Things No One Tells You About Catering For A Company Lunch

It’s that time of the year again. Your company’s town hall meeting is coming up and you’ve been tasked with getting the food for the event.

The previous in-charge made it look so easy, but is it really? Is it simply about getting food from the caterer on the table (and into the mouths of your colleagues)?

We’ve got the answers. Here are 7 things no one will tell you about catering for a company lunch.

1. You are the chosen one, and for good reason

The food you order for a company lunch can make or break your colleagues’ entire day. Think about it — they’ve all been listening to higher management drone on for hours and are probably both sleepy and strung-out.

The only bright spark in the day? The food you’ve painstakingly ordered for them.

That means everyone (and we mean everyone) is going to look forward to and taste the food you ordered.

It’s a crucial job, and your boss probably picked you to be in charge because he or she knew you could handle it. Good job!


2. You’ll be evaluated on your attention to detail

Being responsible for the food during a town hall meeting or a company-wide seminar might seem like a relatively simple role, but it really isn’t. It requires meticulous attention to detail, especially in increasingly diverse work environments.

You’ll probably have to take a million and one things into consideration. Did you take proper note of the different dietary requirements of your colleagues? Is there a clear indication of vegetarian or halal food for those with food restrictions? Is the food even tasty?

These, and more, are the many ways you’ll be judged on whether you did a good or bad job. The more meticulous you are, the greater your chance in getting positive responses.


People will be watching, from the way the food tastes to the way it's presented.


3. It’s going to be a lot of work

Handling corporate catering is not easy. As the middleman between your company and the caterer, expect a lot of back-and-forth between the two sides.

Besides having to answer to your boss and handling all the logistics, you might even have to find solutions to problems your caterers have no answer to. For example, having to find an alternate source of vegetarian food if your caterer is unable to work around your requirements. Get ready for a ride that requires a lot of patience and quick-thinking.

4. It may be a thankless job

While doing a good job will definitely result in praise, be prepared to receive lots of criticism too.

There will be people who will nitpick the food you’ve catered, from the selection to the quality and quantity. People can also underestimate how much work and thought you’ve put into the job.

However, don’t let those criticisms (unless they’re constructive and come from a good place) get to you. Sometimes you just can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try. The best thing you can do is let it slide and move on to your next project.

5. It’s your chance to shine

While you might get detractors, managing a company meal puts you in a prime position to stand out from the pack.

And to stand out, it’s not about pleasing everyone, but the right people. These include your company’s main stakeholders, prominent superiors, VIP guests and even vocal colleagues (since they’ll be the source of water-cooler conversations). Find out who they are and be sure to take their
dietary preferences and needs into account.


Every detail can matter - even the colour of the skirting and the floral decor. Choose wisely!


6. It’s a really important role

As mentioned, handling the catering of food for a company meal is incredibly crucial, so don’t let anyone who’s trivialising the job get to you.

Food is an important part of organisational culture — that’s why many modern, progressive companies like Google and Airbnb have actual permanent positions that take care of food for the whole company.

So, the fact that you were assigned this role shows that your superiors know you are able to juggle it on top of your regular work and ace it.

7. You’ve got to one-up your predecessor

Here’s an unspoken rule for those in-charge of catering: It’s not enough to do a good job, you’ve got to surpass your predecessor and ‘spoil the market’ for those who might come after you.

If you really want to make a splash, try something no one has done before, like new cuisine. A good choice? Indonesian or Thai food, which has familiar flavours to placate more conventional palates, while being different enough to jazz things up.


Commandeering a successful company lunch requires a lot of work, but it’s less stressful when you’ve got the right caterer. Contact us today — the Catersmith team is here to help you find the right match.