Many companies today are allowing themselves to evolve and, as such, are adopting modern meeting standards. One such measure is serving food at business meetings or conferences. Previously, people were strictly procedural about things like that. They gather, discuss whatever is on the agenda, and move on to other things.

These days, however, establishments are adapting to more inclusive work cultures so quickly that’s it has become routine. These practices don’t make the workplace unprofessional but infuse shared interests to boost interactiveness and creativity. It also doesn’t eliminate the need to follow specific meeting guidelines to keep things orderly.

Besides creating a conducive and relaxed working atmosphere, this practice fosters teamwork. It strengthens the work bond and increases the desire to work together. That, in turn, boosts the productivity of your employees or co-workers. Coupled with increased creativity, they come up with better ideas and do more efficient work.

Nevertheless, you don’t want food to take center-stage and be the focal point of the gathering. After all, it’s still a conference and not a picnic. That said, we’d discuss some of the general meals that people opt to serve at meetings. We’ll then see some unique ideas and how you can include them to make it work for your company.

Meals for Morning Meetings

Generally, most people opt for coffee and sandwiches or breakfast pastries like cinnamon rolls and croissants. These meals are essential, especially if it’s an early morning meeting. That’s because in ensuring to arrive on time, many people skip breakfast. Even though some people function optimally without it, it’s vital to make options available.

With breakfast as the first meal of the day, it’s appropriate to make sure it’s something light. You want to provide them with great energy sources, not knock them out, or impede productivity. Also, it’s always best to make beverages like tea, coffee, or juice available. Subsequently, we’ll discuss a few unique breakfast ideas for morning meetings or conferences.

1.   Parfaits with Granola

Parfaits usually consist of yogurt, fruits, and nuts in layers. Therefore, it’s both a healthy and filling option. However, we advise that it shouldn’t be the only thing available. That’s because you may not be sure if your employees or partners are allergic to any of the ingredients. An alternative to that would be to keep all the ingredients separate and let everyone build their parfait themselves.

Yogurt provides energy for a more extended period. Using granola is even more advantageous because it gives a particular kick that would be absent if it was only nuts. Also, the extra crunch from the toasted oats makes it very nice. Since granola already contains some dried fruits, you may not need to add fresh ones. However, adding fruits like berries instills a taste of freshness.

2.   Fruit Plates

Fresh fruits are fantastic for both breakfast and snacks. Platters of assorted cut-up fruits are quite common, especially for buffets. However, it would spice things up to provide different whole fruits for people from which to choose. That way, those who don’t like or eat certain fruits wouldn’t have to contend with them on their plate. It’s also an excellent way to let employees know you care about their preferences.

3.   Waffles

Waffles are usually very rich in ingredients and so are delicious. They also give a nice break from having pancakes frequently. Besides, waffles are more versatile because you can eat them with syrup for breakfast or with whipped cream as a snack. There are other things you can do with them like build a cake or even make waffle pizzas. It’s ideal because the average person loves it.

Conference Lunches

When considering business lunches, it’s essential to avoid typical dishes like soup. Those are only ideal if it’s a one-on-one meeting, but not for something in a group. That’s because they can be distracting and a bit messy if not handled properly. There are some other usual lunch meals like salads, sandwiches, and even pizza or various snacks. We’ll see a few unusual ones.

1.   BBQ Sandwiches

When they serve sandwiches, it’s usually something simple and safe, like cheese or chicken. Those are good but bringing something unusual is even better. Everyone loves BBQ because of the fantastic taste, except they’re vegetarians. That’s why this idea is excellent. The disadvantage is the exclusion of people who don’t eat meat for any reason.

However, you can always make alternatives available so that no one is left out. If your company has a kitchen or in-house catering, then the whole process is more manageable. There are various types of smokers to use if you want to get that fantastic flavor. They range from the cost-effective electric ones to propane grills with advanced BBQ grilling features.

2.   Burgers or Sliders

Admittedly, this option is not a very healthy one, but it’s bound to be a crowd favorite among your employees. Burgers typically consist of grilled or fried meat like chicken, beef, or ham with vegetables sandwiched between two halves of a bun. Meanwhile, sliders are usually mini burgers. They’re better because of the ease of handling them due to their small size.

3.   Macaroni and Cheese Bites

Macaroni and cheese bites are ideal for an office lunch meeting. That’s because even though they’re finger foods, you can consume them in one bite. That eliminates the messiness of dealing with regular mac and cheese but with all the flavors intact. Most people add ingredients like bacon and vegetables, but generally, they use their favorite mac and cheese recipes.

Catering Options

The most popular option is hiring a catering outfit. However, if it’s a small meeting, you could order and either get staff to volunteer or assign people to serve them. Yet, some large companies have a kitchen and chef who’s in charge of their meal preparations. Other companies hire catering equipment or event planners to take over the arrangements.