Cultural Food Carnivals? Oh yes!

Recently, one of the multinational IT services companies reached out with a unique requirement. They wanted to celebrate and appreciate the cultural diversity in their employees by hosting a themed food carnival, of sorts.

The idea was to pick a couple of countries from their preferred list that was shared with us, and serve the firm’s employees - around 800 of them - with some of the most popular food and beverage options that were specific to those countries. The management had planned it as a brunch-esque event that spanned throughout the first half of the day - starting at around 8 in the morning and continuing till early afternoon, and it was scheduled to happen in all their office spaces spread across multiple buildings!

It was the first time that a customer had reached out to us with such a requirement. The event looked simple on paper - a theme-based, one-off delivery event - but it posed multiple unique challenges in terms of planning.

Firstly, the event was a themed one, and the customer explicitly requested everything to be managed end-to-end at our end; this meant that we had to procure or arrange for most of the necessary items that were to be used in terms of setting up the location where food was to be showcased. It also required some effort from our operations team, in terms of creativity,, to design the location as per the customer’s chosen cuisines, to reflect that country’s setting or backdrop to consume the items.

Next, we had to think about coming up with the right food options. There were multiple considerations that had to be taken into account here. The event was primarily from 9 AM till 11 AM; however, the customer wanted to showcase some of the options beforehand - starting at 8 AM - and also after the event concluded - past 11:30 AM, until 1:00 PM. The customer specifically wanted quick bites - options which can easily be picked up and consumed - to be made available for their event. Then, there was also logistics that needed to be taken care of: the event was to be replicated across all their buildings simultaneously. We had to intensively brainstorm with our partners - as well as internally - to design a good menu that incorporated all these aspects.

After quite a lot of extensive discussions and consultations with some of our partners who expressed interest in executing the order, we came up with a decent list of offerings under all the countries but one - Israel. The deal breaker with Israeli options was that there were no pick-me-up food items available in the cuisine; since the expected traction for the event was pretty huge, we felt it would pose a serious problem, and decided against it. The options generally consisted of baked items like quiches, mini-burgers, scones, cookies and macarons, and beverages like iced lemon tea and lemonade - considering that baked items tend to stay fresh for a longer period of time and these items, specifically, were best consumed cold, making them suitable to consume anytime during the day.

We have started discussions about the commercials of the order with the customer, apart from having provided them with an overview of our plan to come up with themed counters, depending on the food options they choose.

What are your opinions regarding our approach? Any helpful tips or suggestions? Do not hesitate to let us know; our comments are always open for such valuable feedback!