The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Event Catering in Melbourne

by Akshayaa RaniM,  31 May 2024
by Akshayaa Rani M, 31 May 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Event Catering in Melbourne

You may have heard of Melbourne's food scene. Not only does it have legendary coffee, but it also has neighbourhoods dedicated to different cuisines!

For example, Chinatown has the kind of food that will make you feel like you're sitting in a street stall in Shanghai, but it doesn't stop there. Then, there's Little Italy, a favourite for homely those who crave Italian cuisine and Nonna's kitchen, or how about a steaming bowl of pho in Richmond, a slice of authentic wood-fired pizza in Carlton or perhaps some spicy street food in Footscray. It's not for nothing that Melbourne is Australia's food capital.

The city boasts an impressive array of fine dining restaurants where chefs push the boundaries of creativity. You could indulge in a multi-course tasting menu at an upmarket eatery, enjoying dishes that look like works of art.

Or you could find yourself on a trendy rooftop bar, enjoying modern Australian cuisine with stunning city skyline views. The night doesn't end there; Melbourne's vibrant nightlife means you can continue your culinary journey with late-night snacks from a food truck or a cosy bar serving gourmet tapas.

So, how does this translate into event catering in Melbourne? Simple — most restaurants offer event catering in Melbourne, or you could even opt for an event caterer who can put together a menu that will make any Aussie proud.

Melbourne's food scene is complex and delicious, but your event catering should only be delicious. This ultimate guide to event catering in Melbourne will help you do just that. Let's dive in!

1. Top Catering Trends in Melbourne That Every Event Planner Should Know
Top catering trends in Melbourne every event planner should know via Unsplash.png
Top catering trends in Melbourne every event planner should know via Unsplash

Melbourne is the city for a foodie experience! And the city's event catering is no exception. From creative menus to sustainable practices, event catering in Melbourne has really upped its game. Here are the top trends that are making waves in Melbourne's event catering scene.

1. Gourmet Grazing Tables: Grazing tables have really taken off in Melbourne. These beautifully arranged tables are loaded with a variety of gourmet cheeses, cured meats, fresh fruits, nuts, and artisanal bread. They’re not only a feast for the stomach but also a feast for the eyes. Perfect for mingling, these tables make snacking stylish and social.

2. Interactive Food Stations: Say goodbye to boring buffets. Interactive food stations are all the rage these days, and Melbourne has caught on to this trend.

These stations let guests customise their meals, whether it's building their own tacos, pasta bowls, or even sushi rolls. It's a fun and engaging way to cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences, adding excitement to any event.

3. Sustainable catering: Eco-friendly catering is a big hit in Melbourne. Caterers focus on using locally sourced, organic ingredients to reduce their carbon footprint. Reusable or compostable tableware is becoming the standard, making it easy to enjoy delicious food while being kind to the planet. So you are getting great food and contributing to a greener future — and with the amount of fresh produce available in Australia, it's the perfect catering situation.

Bonus reading: Sustainability is big in Australia; apart from your catering, get more tips for an eco-friendly event in this ultimate guide to hosting sustainable events.

4. Plant-based menus: With the rise of veganism and vegetarianism, plant-based menus are becoming increasingly popular. Caterers are getting creative with vegetables, legumes, and grains to create dishes that are not only healthy but also delicious. From hearty mushroom steaks to savoury quinoa salads, plant-based options appeal to even the most dedicated meat eaters.

5. Food Trucks: When summer rolls around in Melbourne, the food trucks come out. Not only are they popular with the locals, but food trucks have also become a popular event catering option. They offer a variety of cuisines, from gourmet burgers to exotic street food, and provide a fun, casual dining experience. They also add a trendy, urban vibe to any event, making them popular for many Melbourne events.

2. The Diverse Cuisines in Melbourne for Business Event Catering
The diverse cuisines in Melbourne for business event catering via Unsplash.png
The diverse cuisines in Melbourne for business event catering via Unsplash

A melting pot of cultures, Melbourne's culinary landscape is as colourful as its population. Thanks to waves of immigration from all corners of the globe, the city boasts a diverse food scene that's perfect for corporate events. So if you're planning an innovative event in Melbourne, why not match it with some truly eclectic food? Here are some of the amazing cuisines that Melbourne does well and that you can add to your event menu.

1. Modern Australian: Blending influences from Asia, Europe and beyond, modern Australian cuisine offers innovative dishes that highlight fresh, local ingredients. Think grilled barramundi with native herbs, kangaroo sliders, and exotic fruit pavlovas.

Modern Australian cuisine isn't just about food; it's an experience that celebrates the country's rich biodiversity and multicultural heritage. Each dish tells a story of the land and its people, making it an unforgettable part of any dining experience.

2. Greek food: Greek immigrants have brought their culinary traditions to Melbourne, and the result is a delightful array of Greek eateries throughout the city. For a corporate event, Greek cuisine offers fresh, hearty, and flavourful options.

Include favourites such as moussaka, souvlaki, and spanakopita, along with fresh Greek salads topped with feta cheese and olives for a catering menu that will satisfy everyone. Greek food is all about sharing and celebrating together, which makes it the perfect choice for fostering camaraderie and networking.

3. Asian cuisine: Melbourne’s Asian food scene is a wonderful reflection of the city’s rich multicultural heritage, with influences from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and more. If you're planning a corporate event, Asian fusion cuisine is a great choice. It's dynamic and full of flavour!

Think of all those delicious sushi platters, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, Thai curries, and Chinese dumplings! These dishes are not only full of delicious tastes and textures, but they also cater to all kinds of dietary preferences.

The bold flavours and vibrant presentations will delight your attendees, making your event a culinary journey through Asia.

4. Italian food: Italian cuisine has long been a favourite in Melbourne, thanks to the significant Italian community that settled here post-World War II. Italian food is the perfect choice for a corporate event – it brings a warm, welcoming, and communal vibe that everyone can enjoy.

Your attendees will love the shared dining experience with antipasto platters featuring cured meats, olives, and artisanal cheeses. And remember to finish with some classic Italian desserts like tiramisu and cannoli, offering a sweet end to a delightful meal.

5. Australian BBQ: If you're looking for something truly Aussi for corporate event catering, look no further than a good old Australian BBQ! It's a vibrant and flavourful experience that will energise any event.

The BBQ set up helps everyone relax, with attendees mingling over succulent steaks, smoky sausages, and juicy prawns, all expertly prepared by skilled chefs. The relaxed, open atmosphere is perfect for networking and team bonding.

Adding uniquely Australian touches, like kangaroo skewers and grilled barramundi, creates a culinary experience that’s both exotic and comforting. The sides are just as exciting, featuring vibrant salads with native herbs, chargrilled vegetables, and the ever-popular pavlova for dessert.

An Aussie BBQ for your corporate event not only delivers delicious food but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and fun.

3. Treat Your Attendees With Top Melbourne Catering Companies
Treat your attendees with top Melbourne catering companies. Image courtesy Blakes Feast via Facebook.jpg
Treat your attendees with top Melbourne catering companies. Image courtesy Blakes Feast via Facebook

Now that you know what to serve at your event in Melbourne and what trends to follow, it’s time to think about how you’re going to do it. Lucky for us, Melbourne has plenty of terrific catering companies that can help you deliver your dream catering experience.

Here are some of our favourite Melbourne catering companies that will help you bring a unique flavour to your catering table.

1. Blakes Feast: A real powerhouse in the Melbourne catering scene, Blakes Feast has a reputation for excellence and a passion for locally sourced ingredients.

This catering company promises to turn every event into a gourmet setting with their seasonal menus that celebrate fresh, vibrant produce. What’s more, each dish is delicious and beautifully presented. From elegant canapés to delicious multi-course meals, Blakes Feast offers a culinary experience that will delight your guests and leave them raving.

2. Peter Rowland Catering: With over five decades of experience, Peter Rowland Catering has built a reputation for excellence, offering a wide range of catering services from intimate gatherings to large-scale events. Plus, their impeccable service is something that everyone notices. From the start of your event until it’s time to clean up, here’s a catering service that will take care of everything.

3. Damn Fine Food Co.: This catering company lives up to its name in every sense. Famous for their innovative and eclectic menus, Damm Fine Food Co. is all about creating a culinary journey tailored to your event.

Their chefs are absolute masters at blending diverse flavours and techniques, resulting in dishes that are both creative and 100% delicious! With a real passion for quality and a flair for the dramatic, Damm Fine Food Co. will make sure your event stands out as a gastronomic delight!

4. Ed Dixon Food Design: If you're looking to bring a fresh and stylish approach to your event catering, Ed Dixon Food Design will quite literally help you design your menu.

They're known for delivering personalised dining experiences that reflect every event's unique style and vision.

From the first consultation to the last bite, their attention to detail and commitment to excellence shines through. Whether it’s a lavish event or a small, intimate gathering, Ed Dixon Food Design ensures your guests are treated to an unforgettable feast.

Bonus: Tips for Choosing Event Catering Services
Bonus Tips for choosing event catering services in Melbourne via Unsplash.png
Bonus: Tips for choosing event catering services in Melbourne via Unsplash

Are you ready to start planning your corporate catering in Melbourne? Before you do, here are some tips and tricks that’ll help you get the most out of your event catering.

  • Define your needs: It's important to consider the size of your event, the type of cuisine you want, and any dietary requirements your guests may have. Knowing what you need will help you narrow your options and find a caterer to meet your specific demands. This way, you can be sure that everything will go smoothly on the big day!
  • Check reviews and references: It's always a good idea to check out reviews and references before you make your choice. Look for caterers with lots of great reviews and ask for references from previous clients. This will help you get a feel for how reliable they are, the quality of the food they serve, and the level of service they provide.
  • Schedule a tasting: Before you make a final decision, why not schedule a tasting to sample the food and discuss your menu options? This is your chance to make sure everything is just right and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Consider logistics: When it comes to logistics, it's always a good idea to think ahead. Make sure the caterer can accommodate your event's location, setup, and timing. It's a good idea to chat through the logistical details with the caterer, such as kitchen facilities, serving staff, and clean-up, to make sure there are no last-minute surprises.
Wrapping Up

Incorporating Melbourne’s rich culinary scene into your corporate event is a fantastic way to elevate the experience for your guests. From choosing the right caterer to embracing the latest food trends, thoughtful catering can transform a standard event into an extraordinary one.

Remember, the key to successful corporate event catering lies in understanding your audience, offering a variety of high-quality food options, and creating a dining experience that complements the overall theme of your event.

This ultimate guide will have you well on your way to hosting a corporate event that will be remembered for its outstanding food and impeccable service. For more help, read this ultimate guide to hosting an international event.

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