Getting a caterer or food service management provider is a great option for improving your team’s workplace experience. Everyone can have their meals without ever leaving the premises, which is especially useful when they’re in a hurry or the weather is not so nice. And overall, it helps make employees feel taken care of by the management.

That convenience and good will is undermined, however, by a caterer that doesn’t measure up to acceptable standards. So how do you figure out which one won’t let you down? Here are the 10 most important things you should be looking for in a food service management provider.

  • They’ll help you stay within your budget. Having food service management for your business is a convenience, but it’s not free. The best provider of this service is capable of adjusting to your desired budget without lowering the quality and standards of their service delivery.
  • They can cover all your important mealtimes. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – whichever mealtimes are covered by your operating hours, any decent caterer should be able to accommodate them all. The whole point is to have meals available during your designated breaks, after all.
  • They use only the best and most accessible ingredients. A well-managed cafeteria is dependent on having fresh, high-quality ingredients consistently available so they can prepare dishes whenever you’re open for business. Go for a caterer that can ensure they have sufficient stock of the best ingredients.
  • They make interesting dishes that are good for you. Why make your team members choose between satisfying and healthy dishes? With a great food service management provider, you can have both because they will plan their menus properly.
  • They serve fresh. No to reheating yesterday’s dishes! The best caterer will prepare fresh dishes for you each day. Besides, they should be able to plan their daily cooking output to ensure that there won’t be any wastage in the form of leftovers.
  • They supply safe dining ware. Your caterer has to source and provide dining ware that can stand repeated heavy use, given that it’ll most likely be used daily at your workplace.
  • They can accommodate menus for specific cuisines, holidays, and themes. Every once in a while, it’s nice to have a special theme for the dishes served in your cafeteria. Whether it’s BBQ Fridays, a Halloween-themed menu, or once-a-week vegetarian specials, your caterer should provide the option.
  • They strictly comply with food safety standards. Food safety is non-negotiable. Your food service management partner must comply with food safety standards for ingredient selection, transport, handling and storage, meal preparation, and serving and plating.
  • They also strictly comply with occupational safety & health standards. Kitchen, service area, or dining area accidents can be avoided, so your caterer must have a preventive approach formed through proper OSH training and compliance.
  • They comprehensively prepare their staff. Your food service management provider’s personnel must be thoroughly trained and onboarded to ensure that their performance is consistent, reliable, and conducive to upholding all the other must-have advantages on this list.

This list covers all the most important things you could ever want from a caterer and food service management partner. If you’re dealing with someone who commits to delivering all of these as they manage your cafeteria or mess hall, your team is in good hands. After all, success doesn’t happen on an empty stomach.