Why Catering for Corporate Events Should be Planned and Organised in Advance

Date Posted: 24/09/2019 8:00:00 AM
Posted By: Laissez-faire Catering

Why Catering for Corporate Events Should be Planned and Organised in Advance

Don't plan your catering at the last minute! Catering is one of the most important features of any corporate event. Even though it might not be a part of the agenda, it's a large part of what will make everyone feel comfortable, productive, and valued. Here are a few of the reasons why it's important to arrange your Sydney corporate catering in advance.

Why Should You Schedule Your Catering in Advance?

Foremost, your catering company is going to work very closely with your venue. Booking a venue and a caterer early on is important: you can't get a good venue, with the right available dates, last minute. The later you book, the more expensive the venue becomes, and the more difficult a caterer becomes to secure. The best venues are often booked months in advance. 

If you want to compare quotes and menus, the process can be even longer. 

Many caterers, such as Laissez-faire, have developed relationships with specific venues and can advise you on the best venue to have. If you work with a caterer first, you'll know which venues tend to work best for them, and which venues will work best for your type of event and size of event. Apart from providing catering for corporate events, catering companies can also suggest themes and decor. 

And you don't want to rush your planning. Securing a caterer early on gives you more time to think about what you want, in terms of food, menus, and drinks. Your event won't come off as disorganised and rushed, and you'll be able to keep your guests informed and prepared as to what they can expect. There are many elements of catering that take time, such as collecting RSVPs, and making sure that you're meeting everyone's dietary needs. You can't rush these things without the event itself feeling unprofessional. 

Getting your preliminary planning out of the way means that you can then focus on other, more complicated things. Once you have the venue and caterer in hand, you'll be able to better plan and budget for things like decor. 

How to Organise Your Corporate Event Planning

It's important to secure a caterer and a venue early. But it can be difficult to manage time, especially if you're arranging multiple events, or trying to arrange an event while you're doing other things. If you're still wondering what the theme is going to be for your corporate event, how many people are going to arrive, or what your budget is, a caterer and a venue may feel very far off. 

Here are some ways you can improve upon the organisation of your event planning.

  • Create a checklist. A checklist makes it easy for you to manage even more complex events. Organise your checklist based on your priorities, and make sure to check things off as you accomplish them! You may even want to create a separate checklist each morning, of things you need to accomplish that day.
  • Establish a budget early on. Your budget is going to influence nearly every aspect of your event, from the catering to the venue. Not only do you need to know the total budget, but also the budget per head — and that means getting in those RSVPs.
  • Separate things into milestones and tasks. Huge milestones can be broken up into smaller tasks, to make them more manageable. You don't necessarily need to "book a venue" today, but you need to: research venues, call for quotes, and look up reviews. 
  • Create deadlines and frequently check-in. Knowing when things need to be done by can improve upon your organisational system. Check your deadlines to make sure everything's being handled on time. If deadlines are missed, the entire event schedule can be set back. 
  • Get things done as early as possible. If you're waiting on one thing, why not try to accomplish another? Getting things like catering and venues organised early on will take things off your plate, and let you focus on other things such as designs and menus. 
  • Ask for input from your caterer, employees, and coworkers. You don't need to do everything alone. Your caterer can give you professional advice regarding your event, while employees and coworkers can tell you what they'd like to see.

For the most part, organising a company event is about taking it step-by-step. As long as you're well-organised and continually making progress, you should be able to create an event that's unforgettable. And once you find your caterer, everything else often falls into place. 

Are you planning a corporate event? It's never too early to book a caterer. We provide complete corporate event services, and can even connect you to some of the best venues in Sydney. Contact us today at (02) 9209 4810 or make an enquiry online.

Corporate Breakfast Events

Date Posted: 7/11/2016 1:40:54 PM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

8 Top Tips for a Successful Business Breakfast Event

It’s no secret that Australians love a good breakfast. In fact, Australian breakfast food is world famous. From the vegemite obsession to Melbourne’s world’s best croissant, Aussies love for the first meal of the day runs deep.

Conference Centre 9636

Breakfast events are good for conferences, meetings, seminars, workshops or any event that can fit within that pre-work time slot when you want people to be fresh and ready to learn or digest anything that will be presented in the event.

 Business events held over breakfast work well for 2 important reasons:

  • Attendees are more likely to RSVP as they will not feel like you are interrupting their routine or taking them away from their personal time.
  • Studies suggest that early mornings are when the majority of people are most productive and alert.

In fact, most business events work pretty well over breakfast and events that include motivational speakers, business coaching or leadership training work well over the breakfast time slot.

But making the most of this opportunity will take some effective planning. You have to consider that not everyone is a morning person so making the most of your guest’s time is your goal.

Below are some very helpful tips to make your business breakfast event successful.

Serve Great Coffee

This is essential as some people will not function without a great cup of coffee. Making sure there is great coffee available upon arrival and throughout the event is a must. Coffee service doesn’t need to be available as soon as they walk in the door; let guests settle in first and mingle. When it is time for coffee, make sure the service is quick and do not skimp on quality. Coffee drinkers tend to know their stuff, so weak and tasteless coffee will not be tolerated. Make sure you also have a steaming hot selection of teas available for those who aren’t coffee people.


Fancy a chai latte this morning? Come on and enjoy the view #coffeeaddict #coffee #catering #anmmuseum #anmm #sydney #greysydney

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on


A Balanced Breakfast is a Must

Your guests are more than likely to be hungry when they arrive so make sure to serve a balanced breakfast to kick-start their day. Food served on platters or a selection of grab-and-go items on arrival is a good idea to satisfy your hungry guests before the event starts. Pastries, muffins, yogurt pots, granola bars, fruit platters, muesli and a good selection of fresh fruit and smoothies are some of the great examples you can consider.

Conference Centre 9632

Once your guests are seated and settled, a plated breakfast is usually recommended to be served on the table. The event can be started and the guest can be served discreetly without any interruption or hassle. A buffet breakfast would only be suitable if you have lots of time, otherwise it can take too long and can break people’s concentration during a speech or presentation.

Start the Day on a Positive Note

Your guest got out of bed early to attend your event, so make it worth their time. Your MCs and motivational speakers should be energetic, your presentations should be inspirational, trainings and workshops should be upbeat. People want to start their day on a positive note.

Provide an Easy and Relaxed Opportunity for Networking

Breakfast networking can done during the event or after, and it’s much more relaxed than networking at a big industry function with cocktails. Guests can mingle about the venue or office space with their coffee in hand, talking to colleagues, new faces or event guests.

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To facilitate networking, collect business cards from your guests and ask them if they want someone to meet. You can assign some staff members to arrange the introductions after the event. Your guests might meet someone they will do business with in the future.

Goodie Bags

No one will say no to a good goodie bag. Your guests are more likely go straight to the office after the breakfast event, so a nice gift or a giveaway will likely be brought to their desk and be a nice reminder of your event or brand.

Finish on Time

2 hours in the morning before work is more than enough time to have a successful business breakfast meeting or training event. Food shouldn’t be left out for too long, and you don’t want to distract guests from getting to work on time.

Use some of these tips when planning your business breakfast event and it will surely be a breakfast to remember.

Click on the image below and enter your details to check out our delicious breakfast menu. 



Sydney Corporate Christmas Party Venues

Date Posted: 29/09/2016 11:34:46 AM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

7 Venue Choices for Your Next Corporate Christmas Party

In this guest post, Kim Jones talks about the winning points for seven venues in Sydney.

Jingle bells and jingle that phone! There are only around 13 weeks until silly season starts with a frenzy. If we cut out weekends, we only have around 65 sleeps to go so it’s time to get started on where you’ll hold your Christmas function!

Here are seven great venues and their winning points:

1. The Island


  • Australia’s most exclusive, first and only floating beach club
  • Positioned anywhere in Sydney Harbour
  • Picturesque views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House
  • Up to 200 guests.

The Island is a perfect choice for your Christmas party if you want to:

  • Experience Australia’s first and only floating beach club
  • Combine European beach club culture with the iconic Sydney Harbour
  • Enjoy 5 star service and picturesque views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House
  • Relax on beautifully decorated VIP cabana’s and daybeds
  • Arrive in a private taxi water service
  • Savour a fresh summer menu, cocktails and canapés customised for your event.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at The Island.

2. Wylie's Baths


  • A few hundred metres south of Coogee Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs
  • Sweeping 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the famous Wedding Cake Island
  • Up to 250 guests.

Wylie’s Baths is an iconic Eastern Sydney spot, perfect for:

  • A relaxed beach vibe
  • Any event from cocktail parties to weddings and formal dinners
  • Overlooking the historic Baths at Coogee Beach and Wedding Cake Island
  • Themed parties.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at Wylie’s Baths.

3. Harbour 220

Harbour 220 Cover Photo

  • Located on the 15th floor of the Hudson Building on Macquarie Street
  • Exclusive and intimate venue in the heart of Sydney’s CBD
  • Stunning views of Sydney Harbour
  • Overlooking the Opera House and Botanical Gardens
  • Up to 150 guests.

Harbour 220 is for discerning clients who enjoy spectacular expansive harbour and city views:

  • Elegant and sophisticated
  • For functions, events and Board meetings
  • Fabulous outside balcony
  • Secure parking in the building.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at Harbour 220.

 4. Inglis Newmarket Stables

Inglis Newmarket Stables

  • From 32 guests to 1,000 guests
  • Located in Randwick near the University of NSW
  • Only 10 mins form Sydney’s CBD
  • Secluded destination set on an incredible 11 acres.

With its majestic ceilings, this vintage barn style venue is surrounded by manicured gardens, towering fig trees and heritage listed buildings and provides the perfect backdrop for:

  • Different rooms and spaces that lend to any size function or event
  • Warm country heritage ambience in the city
  • Privacy around your celebration.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at Inglis Newmarket Stables.

  5. Australian Technology Park Conference Centre

900ATPExhibition Hall - Bar.JPG

  • The most original conference and exhibition venue in Sydney within 4kms of Sydney’s CBD
  • Expert event management team with personalised coordination services at your fingertips
  • Outdoor sporting facilities for corporate team building
  • Different dedicated venue spaces to accommodate from 140 to 5,000 guests
  • 1,000 rooms of accommodation in nearby hotels
  • Volumes of on-site easy parking.

The Australian Technology Park marries a living heritage icon with state-of-the-art wireless electronic and video conferencing facilities and security to create the perfect space.

A venue of distinction and versatility to accommodate:

  • A week of celebrations
  • Conferences
  • AGM
  • Exhibitions
  • Gala events like the Australian Fashion Week Award ceremonies
  • Product launches
  • Video or press conferences
  • Easy access for transport of event assets.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at the Australian Technology Park Conference Centre.

 6. National Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum cocktail view

  • An architectural icon on the water celebrating our maritime history
  • Located on the edge of Darling Harbour with views of the city skyline
  • Events on shore or offshore on a vessel, even a destroyer!
  • Different venue spaces to accommodate your function from 30 to 400 guests.

The National Maritime Museum is the perfect venue to reflect:

  • The Maritime’s history of marine engineering
  • A focus of excellence and detail for each venue space to customise size, shape and themes for your event.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at the  National Maritime Museum.

7. Prince Henry Centre


  • Spectacular views over coastal sandstone cliffs and the Pacific Ocean at Little Bay
  • 25 mins from the heart of Sydney’s CBD/ 15 mins from Randwick’s Anzac Parade.

Prince Henry Centre is the perfect backdrop for private celebrations with:

  • Sustainable and innovative design
  • An award-winning function centre
  • A range of flexible spaces to accommodate 10 to 250 guests.

Read more about what your event will look and feel like at the   Price Henry Centre.

Don’t leave it too late!

Enjoy your Christmas party planning; there are a lot of spectacular venues to choose from!

If you'd like some more information about any of our venues   for your  corporate Christmas party, don't hesitate to contact us  or make an enquiry about a venue. Our team would be happy to help you plan a spectacular Christmas party for 2016.


More about the author

Kim Jones is a non executive director on private company, government and not-for-profit boards.

Kim is also a management consultant, with more than 30 years experience with roles including superannuation trustee, investor relations and communications specialist with ASX100 institutional fund managers and financial services companies. The earlier part of her career was spent as a marine scientist, high school teacher as well as promoting new technology at the University of New South Wales.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Education, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Corporate Events at The Australian National Maritime Museum

Date Posted: 12/08/2016 10:21:10 AM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

Your Next Corporate Event: The Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum has been a number one venue choice for many of our client's corporate and cocktail events over the past few years. The venue is perfect for small and large events thanks to the many hosting areas on offer.


Cocktail parties never looked for great! @anmmuseum #Yots #sydneyvenues #sydneyevents #SydneyHarbour #Sydney #LightHouse #Summer #Cocktails

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on


Blending functionality with history, this Sydney Harbour venue could be exactly what you are looking for to complete your next corporate event.

Corporate Event Planning with ANMM

For meetings and corporate events, the ANMM offers different function rooms that can cater to all of your event needs. The Terrace Room, Yots Cafe, the HMAS Vampire, the Theatre, the Tasman Light and Deck Gallery, the Lighthouse Gallery and the Ben Lexcen Terrace offer space for cocktail events, sit down breakfast meetings, luncheon conferences and corporate soirees.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these function rooms:

The Terrace Room

terrace evening

Your guests will take in the stunning views of Darling Harbour and the Sydney skyline. The Terrace Room can accommodate 300 guests for cocktail events and 190 guests for sit-down functions. The view over the water makes it a unique and inspiring venue for any company event. The Terrace also features an outdoor balcony, dance floor and lectern.

Yots Cafe


Late lunching- Winning!! @anmmuseum #Yots #beautiful #SydneyHarbour #love #picoftheday #amazing

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on


Yots has the same capacity as the Terrace room and is great for a cocktail event at night or a coffee and sweets gathering during the day. Its charm as a venue comes from its view of the museum’s vessel collection. Yots Cafe also has a great menu, which you can find here.


HMAS Vampire 

HMAS Vampire Entertainment 2

The HMAS Vampire can accommodate 200 guests for cocktails and 30 for sit down events. Moored at the south wharf, the vessel provides a popular photo opportunity for tourists and locals alike. The lights of the harbour really make this venue come to life during the night. A corporate event in this decommissioned naval destroyer will certainly be a conversation starter.



Theatre open

ANMM’s theatre can hold 210 guests and is perfect for conferences, presentations and launch parties. It boasts the latest audio visual equipment and plush seating. If your company is celebrating a milestone, this is the place to do it.

Tasman Light Deck 

Tasman Light Gallery

The Tasman Light Deck contains interesting museum exhibits and is often recommended to be used in conjunction with the theatre. It can host formal dinners, cocktail parties or for refreshments and canapés before entering the theatre.

Lighthouse Gallery 

New Venue Launch

The Lighthouse Gallery can host a whopping number of guests; 400 for cocktails, 400 for theatre and 250 for sit down events. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the Lighthouse Gallery allow guests to see the spectacular water view and the CBD from an exclusive angle while they feast on canapés  and refreshments.

Seared scallops, sweet butternut puree wasabi cavair

Ben Lexcen Terrace 


Ideal for any exclusive event, the Ben Lexcen Terrace is spacious enough to accommodate 300 guests for a sit-down meal and 400 guests for a cocktail event.


If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect venue for your next corporate event, the ANMM might be it! The many classy and functional venue spaces wouldn’t be complete without refreshing drinks, exciting canapés and carefully prepared meals brought to you by our  Laissez-faire catering team.

 For more information on the venues on offer at the Australian National Maritime Museum, click here.

The Main Dietary Requirements To Be Aware Of When Planning Your Next Corporate Event

Date Posted: 11/11/2014 7:00:00 PM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

The space is booked, the budget finalised, and the guests invited. It's going to be the biggest event of the year, with big names flying in from around the globe to discuss partnerships, endorsements. Some might be wary of dairy; others might wish never to see shellfish. As an event planner, how can you accommodate all your guests' dietary restrictions?

Know the Big Eight Food Allergies

According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), approximately 1 in 50 Australian adults have food allergies. Ninety percent of all food-related allergic reactions stem from eight foods: milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

1. Milk

All dairy products contain milk, and it is a core ingredient in many dishes. Creams, sauces, cheese, and butter are all common sources. Milk allergies are different from lactose intolerance, which usually isn't life-threatening. Coconut milk makes a good substitute.

2. Eggs

Eggs make the base for many sauces, dressings, and condiments, including hollandaise, mayonnaise, custard, and creams. Egg yolks are also used as a glaze on baked goods and as a binding agent for soups, broth, and desserts like pudding and ice cream. Egg substitutes include tofu, applesauce, bananas, and pureed fruit.

3. Peanuts

A common ingredient in desserts and Eastern dishes, peanuts can even appear in soup crackers and carb-based treats such as muffins and cakes. Peanut butter may be present in some sauces, and peanut oil finds its way into many pre-packaged foods. Sunflower seeds may make a safe substitute.

4. Tree nuts

These are the nuts often found alongside peanuts in cans of mixed nuts on store shelves. They include almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, chestnuts, Macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts. Peanut and tree nut allergies may intertwine, as many products containing one may have come into contact with the other through manufacturing and sorting. Tree nuts can be found in cookies, chocolates, flavoured coffee, sauces, marinades, and a variety of desserts. Though uncommon, some alcoholic beverages may contain tree nut extracts. If several of your guests report peanut or tree nut allergies, it may be best to strike both from the menu.

5. Wheat

Wheat is commonly found in pastas, bread, and bagels. Unexpected sources of wheat include soy sauce, food starch, beer, and ale. Many people are more specifically allergic to gluten, a protein abundant in wheat and other grains such as rye and barley. Corn and rice are generally safe substitutes.

6. Soy

While less common in Australia than in other countries like the United States, soy allergies are still prevalent. If your guests report soy allergies, be wary of Asian cuisine, which may contain trace amounts of soy even if listed as soy-free. Foods that may contain soy include tofu, tempeh, baked goods, canned foods, desserts, and processed meats.

7. Fish

Fish proteins can trigger allergic reactions not only when consumed, but also when released into the air during cooking. Some sauces, dressings, and relishes may also contain fish, as may meatloaf.

8. Shellfish

Shellfish comprise a large group of invertebrates including crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and mollusks. Like fish allergies, shellfish allergies can be triggered by airborne proteins. Although fish and shellfish allergies are unrelated, cross-contamination is common in during food preparation.

Choose an Adaptable Caterer

Many catering services have their own procedures for handling specific dietary needs. The easiest way to make sure these needs are met is to hand out a form for your guests to fill out and return to you at least two weeks prior to the event. Make sure all guests receive the form and know how to complete it. Passing this information to the caterer gives them plenty of time to prepare special dishes or avoid certain ingredients altogether if many guests report allergies.


Before you hire a caterer for your next corporate event, get as much information as you can:

  • Does the caterer label food allergies on the menu? Many already do, and others can add them without too much hassle.
  • Can the caterer accommodate special orders for guests with specific food allergies or medically restricted diets? Savvy caterers knows how to make substitutions like a veteran rugby coach.
  • Does the menu offer vegan/vegetarian options or low sodium, low glycemic index choices?
  • Can the chefs prepare any simple dishes that require only a few ingredients? They may come in handy if guests make last-minute changes to their orders.
  • Can the caterer provide a list of ingredients for each dish, or can the chefs scan for food allergens before preparation? It doesn't hurt to ask.

Don't expect caterers to adapt to every dietary preference. However, preventing food allergies keeps the event safe and fun. It's best to meet with each potential caterer in person to discuss the issue. You'll know immediately if they're experienced enough to handle it.

Start with a Healthy Menu

Limiting the menu options to low-fat, low-sodium, and low-sugar can shave off a good portion of the common eight food allergies and other dietary restrictions. Opt for grilled or roasted selections over fried. Choose lean protein, and offer salads and other vegetable-focused dishes.


Get Specific with Guests

Not all food allergies are created equal. Some people can't ingest specific ingredients, while others may develop symptoms simply by being near the trigger. For example, peanut garnishes, peanut butter, and Pad Thai sauce are all no-goes for an allergic individual.

Also, don't assume that simply picking food allergens off of a prepared dish removes the danger. For example, people with celiac disease can develop life-threatening symptoms if they eat even a crumb of gluten in foods like wheat, barley, oats and bran.

If the dining area is adjacent to the kitchen, guests seated near the cooking area may be exposed to allergens in the steam. Have your guests distinguish between life-threatening allergies and light to moderate sensitivity. The more guests attending your event, the more thorough you'll have to be in collecting information.

With the right knowledge, the right preparation, and the right caterer, you can ensure that the handshakes and clinking glasses go over smoothly at your next event.

At Laissez, helping our customers ensure that their menu selections are appropriate and cater to the many dietary needs of the attendees is a key part of the planning process, and something we have years of experience with. If you'd like help planning your next event please contact us to discuss your needs further.

Check out  our Everyday Conference menu  by clicking on the banner below and ask our team about  dietary requirements.