‘We have definitely noticed companies becoming more innovative,’ says Sophie Lister, Events Manager at Urban Gourmet. ‘For example, we have seen a massive jump in the number of businesses choosing a fork food style of catering for their events, instead of the more expensive formal sit down dinner.
‘Businesses are also altering the structure of their events, making them shorter but more compact. They are striving to use their time more effectively.’
The downturn in the economy has also caused businesses to become more discerning about event locations:
‘Companies are realising that there a large number of venues around, with a variety of different price points,’ explains Sophie. ‘It pays to shop around and make sure you get the best value for money.
Sophie is pleased that New Zealand businesses are still recognising the importance of staff and client events, despite the tougher times that everyone is going through.
‘It is very important to companies that they keep holding events,’ explains Sophie. ‘They have to be seen to be out there, working for their clients and keeping them happy.
‘Employee events are equally as important,’ adds Sophie. ‘They keep morale up and demonstrate that the company acknowledges how vital good employees are to the success and future of the business. If a company has always held a particular event and then stops completely, it can come as a nasty shock. Staff members will understand if the event is scaled back and the company can’t spend as much but it is important to still have something.’
On top of this, New Zealand based event and catering companies are realising that they need to make their own adjustments to cater for tighter budgets. Urban Gourmet has adapted a number of its menus to suit customers that might not have a huge amount of money to spend but still desire good quality food and a superior level of service. A recent addition is the rustic Bistro Menu which includes a selection of high quality, innovative dishes but is $10 a head less expensive than Urban Gourmet’s other menus.
For more information on Urban Gourmet, visit www.urbangourmet.co.nz