Food & Drink

Which Food Service Style is Best for Corporate Events?

Coming up with the best menu can be less stressful and even fun when you are working with corporate catering Melbourne experts. Thus, finding the best caterer to partner up with is a vital step in planning your corporate event. Not only will they provide creative and appetising options, but they can also offer tips on the best type of food service for your function.

corporate catering melbourne

Here are your choices for catering service.

Stand Up

Do you want your guests to socialise at your office party or networking event? Then talk to your event catering Melbourne provider about a stand-up service menu. The choices are usually finger foods or those which you can eat with just a fork since people will be standing and mingling.

  • Cocktail/Butlered Hors d’ Oeuvres – Servers walk around with food and drinks on trays

  • Reception – Snacks and other light food are displayed on tables, similar to a buffet set-up.


This is a good option when guests have more time for eating and for occasions where a more formal and intimate mood is required. It’s a popular corporate catering Melbourne service for relaxed executive meetings and company dinners.

Servers will bring the food by course to the tables. You can go with a set menu for everyone. You also have the option to provide two choices for each course for your guests. A la carte isn’t a very popular option since this can require more preparation time and can be more expensive since the caterer will have to prepare enough ingredients for each option.

Family Table

Guests will still be seated at a table, but instead of being served plated dishes the food is placed in large platters and placed in the middle of the table. Everyone at the table will share the food and serve themselves. This is becoming more popular since it creates a more intimate environment, just like having a meal with your family.

This can be a great option when you’re hosting a small corporate gathering outdoors, like at an al fresco Yarra Valley catering venue.


A great option for big functions since you can serve a lot of people in a shorter amount of time. Food is laid out in large serving containers and arranged on large tables. Guests will go to the tables and follow a line to get their food, and then proceed to their tables to eat. Drinks are usually served at the table.

  • Self-Service/With Servers – you have the option for guests to serve themselves or you can request your catering company to assign servers at the buffet tables. The latter allows a better control of portions and less waste.

  • Plated Buffet – a self-service style which can also control serving size since food is arranged on plates already. Guests will just pick which dishes they want and bring them to their table.

Food Stations

If you want to have more creativity with your food and venue setup, food stations are the way to go. It’s similar to the buffet service, but instead of lining up the dishes on a long table, you can divide them up into several stations according to the course or cuisine.

To make it even more interesting, you can have action stations. Ingredients are set on the tables, guests will choose what they want for their dish, and the staff of your corporate catering Melbourne company will prepare it in front of them. This can work for a variety of menus, but some common ideas are for pasta, sandwiches, ice cream sundaes, omelettes, fajitas, grilled meats, or crepes.

To get the best type of food service, you have to work with caterers who are experienced and flexible enough to handle any type of set-up. The team at Essential Catering & Events have professional and engaging staff who provide Yarra Valley wedding catering, Melbourne corporate catering, and food service for diverse events. Get in touch with them to plan a fresh and innovative food experience for your guests. For more details, visit at