Keep it small, simple and local

I like to refer to food as a single language with many dialogues. It is the one medium that can cross cultural boundaries so quickly that it can bond people and cement relationships without much effort. There are some things that you have to take into account when you are planning your menus and developing them. Below are a few notable trends in the food and beverage industry:

• Portion size  We are all concerned with our expanding waistlines so food portion sizes are growing smaller. There are several advantages 
to event attendees wanting smaller portion sizes. You can do a tapas menu in a reception that has round tables, so people can eat and talk at 
the same time. You can serve the flavour of different regions at each table. Also, bite-size desserts are fantastic as they allow attendees to sample different items. Again it goes back to portion control.

• Organic food and wines  You always get interesting flavours when you try new and local beverages made from fresh fruits that you can only find in a certain region, or beer that is brewed locally. They add uniqueness to your meeting and an indefinable “takeaway”, because they leave a great impression and one that people remember.

• Comfort foods  We tend to find comfort in food. It not only feeds but nourishes us as well, and it provides some sort of solace. We have such an intricate relationship with food that it is very important to satisfy this basic need. When you have a lot of attendees who come from abroad and who are out of their comfort zone, it is good to serve some dishes they can identify with.

Tight budgets are unlikely to change soon so think about the whole picture. Every meal cannot be organic; every meal cannot have multiple flavours from different cultures. Pick one and make it the highlight, and then have certain items as your basic foundation to satisfy basic needs. This way you will still create a memorable meal without impacting your budget.


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