When planning a private or corporate event in New York City for the first time, you’re likely to have numerous tasks fall on your plate. From hiring event staff, to organizing the entertainment and music, you’ll be amazed by how many different hats you’ll need to wear as the event planner.

One of these roles is that of the menu planner. Most events involve some kind of food service. Whether you’re serving light canapés or you’re planning a full dinner service, as the event planner, you’ll need to liaise with the caterer and chef to finalize a menu. Let’s discuss some of the common pitfalls that occur when menu planning for your NYC corporate event.

  1. Anticipate Dietary Restrictions

    As most of us are well aware, people are opting for an increasing number of diet plans and food-related lifestyle choices. A few decades ago, a menu plan could sometimes get by with a few vegetarian and gluten-free options. These days, you may need to cater for a wide number of dietary restrictions, including:

    • Vegan
    • Pescatarian
    • Dairy-free
    • Nut-free
    • Halal
    • Carb-free
    • Sugar-free
    • Kosher
    • And so on...

    With such an extensive list of diet considerations, it’s usually best practice to try and get some idea of your guests’ preferences before you order your food from the caterer. Once you have a list of your dietary restrictions, you can either create a menu that caters to everyone, or you can create a few special dishes for the people who need them.

    If you are ordering ‘special’ dishes, always over order. Without fail, there are always a few people who forgot to request a special meal. By ordering extras, you won’t have to worry about any disgruntled guests going hungry.

  2. Use Fresh and Seasonal Ingredients

    If you can, speak with your chef or caterer about using only fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Not only will the food taste better, it will also make an excellent impression on your guests. Show your company off as a forward-thinking organization by making sustainability a priority in your menu.

  3. How Will the Food Be Served?

    Many planners become tantalized by impressive menu options and forget about the logistics of serving hundreds of dishes to a room full of guests. When planning your menu, think about where the food will be cooked or stored in the venue before it is served. Think about how the event staff will bring it to the tables.

    These types of questions will often prevent you from making serious errors. For instance, you may realize that the NYC venue you have chosen only has room for a buffet style meal. Or you may come to the conclusion that your venue will only accommodate standing canapés rather than a full sit-down dinner service.

  4. Think About Your Budget

    Finally, always be sure to think about your food budget as you plan the menu. Remember, you need to leave room for errors and last-minute menu changes. This means over budgeting for food. So, if your food budget is $2000, try to order no more than $1800 worth of food. This way, you’ll be covered for any problems that occur in the immediate lead-up to the event.

Tribeca Rooftop - A Venue That Takes the Hassle Out of Event Planning

At Tribeca Rooftop, we have years of experience hosting all kids of NYC corporate and private events. Our stunning, stylish venue in the heart of Manhattan is the perfect place to welcome guests for a relaxed, sophisticated event. We are fully prepared to accommodate everything from talks and presentations, to cocktails and sit-down dinner service. Plus, our well-trained in-house catering and bar staff will make your event as seamless as it can be.

Find out more about booking Tribeca Rooftop in NYC today.