Food & Beverage Tips for Event Planners


F&B has gone far beyond offering a vegetarian option. With more than 20 years in the catering business, Purple Sage’s Chris Loh shares her top tips for event planners.

Chris Loh Headshot

Chris Loh

Event planners know that no matter how large or small the event, food and beverage service is the cherry on the cake. But experienced planners know that consumers have become fastidious, not just about what they eat, but also how they eat it. It’s not enough to provide a good spread — organisers must serve up the whole experience — and more. Lots more. After more than 20 years in the catering business, here’s what I’ve learnt:

  • A well-curated menu should also cater to paleo, macro, low-fat, high-fat, and even kosher diets beyond the ubiquitous vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free fare. You don’t have to be a nutritionist. Just note it in your brief.
  • Providing a beautiful buffet spread is no longer enough. Apart from knowing what they’re eating, savvy delegates also want to know where their food comes from. Ensure that food labels include this information and that professional chefs are strategically stationed to answer any questions.
  • Stay up-to-date with culinary trends. The farm-to-fork, vegetable-forward, and clean food concepts that have been taking the F&B industry by storm this year revolve around sustainability and wellness. Take organic/live cooking stations where chefs literally pluck vegetables fresh from the vine and prepare dishes in front of delegates.
  • Hyper-local food is both sustainable and encourages cultural exchange. Imbuing familiar dishes with the ethnic colours and culture of the meeting locale creates conversation, encourages understanding, and seals the relationship between the host and guests.
  • When designing the setting, astute event planners have been swift to pick up on colour trends and the impact colour and lighting have on the overall dining experience. Apart from corporate and auspicious colours of the season, have you played with the latest Pantone colour of the year? In a move that likely delighted many royals, the Pantone Color Institute named a princely purple known as ultra violet as color of the year for 2018.

Based in Singapore, Chris Loh is the co-owner and creative director of leading boutique catering company Purple Sage Group. This article was compiled by staff at Untangled, a Singapore-based content, marketing, and business strategy consultancy.

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