7 Quirky Catering Ideas For Corporate Events

new catering ideas corporate events

Whether it’s a creamy berry quinoa parfait or a Mediterranean morning scramble washed down with an avocado protein shake, power breakfasts are all the rage. Within the minds of many business men and women of the 21st century, health is a priority, which had us thinking – what exactly do high-flying professionals want to be served to them at corporate events and business meetings? Let’s be honest, the entire success of the day might hinge on the mid-afternoon buffet, so for a catering company, deciphering between Danish pastries and dauphinoise potatoes can prove to be crucial. 

Together with Flogas Shop, the top suppliers of gas for BBQs, The Lean Startup Life Blog lists our 7 quirky catering ideas for corporate events and business meetings to impress your guests. 

Afternoon Tea 

In a nutshell, the traditional cheese and ham, or egg and cress sandwiches, despite be often delicious comfort food, aren’t going to be impressive to your guests. However, that doesn’t mean the traditional lunch choice of sandwiches is somehow defunct. In fact, there exist a number of fillings that will get heads turning and bellies rumbling, although plain white bread probably won’t make the slice. 

Why not try spicy roasted shrimp with chipotle avocado mayonnaise, or a fiery Mexican BLT on a freshly baked sourdough, which are two of our favorites? Or, if you want to take your sandwich expression to the next level, call upon Philadelphian eatery, Elsie’s, for some inspiration. Have you ever found yourself wishing you got a bit more bite (of pickle) for your buck? Well, using Elsie’s method that won’t be a concern, as this deli substitutes bread for the brine-soaked vegetable! 

We’re not expecting you to serve up traditional English breakfast tea with your funky sandwiches, instead call upon the likes of a lemon drizzle or Turkish apple-infused hot drink. And to finish — well, we don’t think anyone would begrudge a well-baked slice of Victoria sponge. 

Bowl Food 

This concept was featured at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day. Much like Ronseal, bowl food does exactly what it says on the tin. Featuring somewhere between the unfulfilling canopy and the food-baby delivering main course, bowl food can feature any cuisine and is served in a hand-sized dish with a small fork. As a serving method, this is perhaps the most ideal for a corporate event as it allows people to continue mingling, rather than be restricted to one table. 

Buddha Bowl 

If your event takes place in the morning, then trad-fry up has somewhat lost its appeal in recent years – but this is exactly where bowl food comes into its own, stepping up and away from the conventional norm. Layer the base of your bowl with pan fried spinach, and top it with tomatoes, avocados, and poached eggs — add sliced chipolatas and lardons to cater for the meat eaters among us. After this, the multiple minds will be fueled for the rest of the day, and the creative juices more than flowing. 

For winter events, don’t be afraid to serve up something a bit homely. A small portion of steak pieces, carrot, parsnip, onion, and root mash will trump most competition. However, a Christmas time vegan favorite is curried garbanzo beans with roasted Brussels sprouts. Mix the dish up with radish, avocado, sweet potato and tahini, and serve over a base of quinoa. 


For events taking place during the warmer months, why not take the catering outdoors? Okay, admittedly, this one might take a little longer, but we can guarantee it will reap rewards. Full of omega 3 and scientifically proven to be good for the brain, the humble fish is a popular choice among young professionals. Jamie Oliver has coined a fantastic recipe of barbequed trout wrapped in newspaper — incredibly high in protein, it will prove to be a hit with any of the health conscious too. Alternatively, if you want to take things ‘truly Down Under’, you can’t do much better than shrimp on a stick, also known famously as "on the barbie"! 

Of course, you aren’t limited to a seafood barbeque too. Breakfast has proved to be successful cooked on the grill at events in recent years, as has the popular vegetarian dish, halloumi and tzatziki. 

Asian Inspired 

Did you know, Britain’s most favorite dish, chicken tikka masala actually originated in the UK, produced by South Asian restaurants here. Spice up your event with some traditional Asian culture and draw upon the combination of intense flavors. The Curry Squad, a company based just outside of London, has been bringing its street food sensations to the people of the capital for the past six years. Drawing upon their vast knowledge of flavors from cities such as Bombay and Lahore, the chefs offer an authentic Indian experience. Some of their specialties include ‘bhaji bites’, ‘popping candy gol gappas’, and ‘amritsari rajme chole’. 

Fire Up The Pan 

What’s amazing about paella, particular for likes of corporate business events, is the fact that it requires minimal effort, produces a taste explosion and can be incredibly cheap to make. Grab some frozen seafood mix, risotto rice, chorizo sausage, lemon and lime, and herbs and spices — it really is up to you. Fortunately, with paella, you can get creative as it really depends on the taste preferences of the guests. White or red wine can be added, but bear in mind the rest of a creative afternoon before dashing half a bottle in. 

Branded Food 

An unusual concept, which we wouldn’t be shocked if it hasn’t graced your presence at your business events. A clover in the foam of a pint of Guinness always appeared to be somewhat of a sneaky marketing ploy as you indulged in the first sip. However, if you are trying to conduct a bit of subliminal messaging, this might be exactly what you’re after. Stencils can be used as a way to write your company or organisations name in coffee, or call upon the likes of Branding Irons to develop a customized food stamp. Bagels, burgers, and pancakes will never be the same. 


You’ll need to have the MET office on your side for this one, so we would strongly suggest having a contingency plan in place, if, like Travis, it always rains on you. You can pull it out of the bag with a wicker basket, complete with blanket, coffee, and a selection of Danish pastries. 

Corporate Catering Done Right

Above, we have run through seven of the numerous ideas you can apply to your next corporate event — in this dog eat dog world, it is all about success, and that is exactly what these concepts will deliver! Impress your guests with the best corporate catering planning that your lean startup can afford. Make sure your event excels with creative catering!

The Lean Startup Life Media Network Newest Blog Posts: