By Jonathan Morris, Commercial Director, No.11 Cavendish Square
Food is a talking point of events, whether it’s a reception with canapés, a gala dinner with three courses, a party with bowl food, or an all-day conference with breakfast and lunch. Catering can really make or break an event; poor catering performance is a significant reason for dissatisfaction with an event.
If the catering isn’t delivered well, it not only reflects badly on the services of the caterer, but the venue too. Guests will often associate the ‘bad food’ food experience they had at an event, with the venue and are likely to share their experience with others, which can be very damaging for the venue’s reputation.
As a venue that specialises in weddings at the weekends, we look at offering a diverse selection of menus at No.11 Cavendish Square. Working closely with our in-house caterers Ampersand, we produce innovative and tantalising menus that are an extension of the No.11 brand. The objective is to continually raise the stakes and offer our clients refreshing alternatives to customary solutions. It is important to be contemporary without alienating clients. There needs to be a balance of fun, creative flair and palatable options suitable for the majority.
This year the emphasis is on affordable luxury at No.11 Cavendish Square. With the economy still unstable, organisers are budget conscious and want value for money. We have collaborated with our in-house caterers to produce menus that feature the latest food trends found at top restaurants. These include themed tasting dishes and shared plates which can be served as an alternative to starters, mains and desserts.
Live food bars are another option; they add a sense of theatre to events as guests can watch dishes being prepared with flare in front of them. Ask chefs to flambé, carve meat off the bone, fillet fish and shuck oysters. Guests get delicious contemporary dishes served beautifully, without the hefty price tag.
To make an event memorable for all the right reasons, venues need to have a solid working partnership with caterers. Regularly review the latest restaurant trends, look at different serving options and host regular tasting and menu brainstorming sessions. This ensures that both parties are working to the same goal and keeping menus fresh for organisers.