How to Host a Successful Corporate Happy Hour


The way we see it, catering corporate events doesn’t have to be stuffy — and, well, it shouldn’t be. And our favorite corporate event to cater? Corporate happy hours, always. There are so many unique ways to curate these events with professionalism and spunk, whether you’re planning a monthly office event or a special branded happy hour at a festival like SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Wondering how to host a successful corporate happy hour? We have you covered with our how-to guide.

How to host a successful corporate happy hour


What’s your business objective?

When hosting any kind of corporate event, you want to make sure it hits some sort of business objective — whether growth, teambuilding, community, networking, or even pairing alongside a bigger event. By aligning things like corporate happy hours with business objectives, you’re able to get more buy-in from leadership and secure the kind of budget you likely want to work with.

Need some ideas? Here are some corporate happy hour objectives we’ve helped support:

  • Celebration of employee milestones like birthdays, awards, or retirements
  • Company-sponsored recruitment events
  • Company culture boosters and stress relief
  • Departmental or organizational team building
  • Employee retention efforts
  • Networking events
  • Client happy hours at events (Need some inspo? We recently supported 6 different companies hosting client happy hours at SXSW in Austin — a two-week festival celebrating tech, film, education, and so much more)

(And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!)

When and where is your happy hour?

Deciding on a time and place for your corporate happy hour is important, so take a look at everything from the size of your team and the ambiance you want to create all the way to the overall objective, the date, and the food and drinks you want to serve. There is a ton of value in hosting your corporate happy hour at your office headquarters (we love an in-office event!). Need some inspiration? Here are some ideas for in-office corporate happy hour locations:

  • Office kitchen
  • Unused office space
  • The rooftop at your building
  • The lobby area
  • Large patio or open spaces
  • Outdoor courtyards
  • Office dining area
  • Neighboring venues (check out our Venue Finder Tool for ideas!) 



Find a corporate caterer for your happy hour

To elevate your corporate happy hour experience, look for a corporate caterer who can help you hit your business objectives with creativity, taste, and fun. You’ll want to find one close to your location (we cater corporate happy hours across Texas, especially in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio), and it’s key to look for a team that’s excited to bring something new to the equation.

Wondering what this might mean? We recommend looking beyond your typical house wine and house beer and instead focusing on a corporate caterer who can provide exciting signature cocktails and culinary experiences.

Get creative with activities

While there’s definitely benefit to standing around and talking to each other, you can also go further to plan activities during your corporate happy hour. Here are some of our favorite ideas for leveling up a corporate happy hour:

  • Cocktail-making competition: You never know when you might have some former bartenders or sommelier-esque team members — so host a cocktail-making competition during your happy hour! (Psst… you can compete with anything from chili and brownies to coffee brewing and cookie decorating if cocktails aren’t your vibe)
  • Non-cheesy team-building activities: Rent a karaoke machine, host a scavenger hunt, create an escape room, or head outdoors for kickball, soccer, or something similar.
  • Hire live entertainment: Add unreal energy and excitement with an appearance from a band, DJ, or even a magician or comedian.

Keep it professional

While we love a corporate happy hour event that’s unique and fun, it’s also highly important to retain a professional environment. Consider having HR reach out to set pre-happy hour behavioral expectations and make sure your team is set up for moderation and success. Bonus points if you provide resources such as Ubers or other transportation.


Planning a Texas corporate happy hour?


At Vestals Catering, we specialize in curated, experiential corporate happy hours and events. We can kick off in the mornings with breakfast and beverages (did somebody say espresso bar?!), provide lunch, and also provide afternoon snacks, happy hour, and dinner. Whether catering in the Texas Hill Country or helping you with a DFW-area corporate event, we have you covered.

Our all-day beverage services include non-alcoholic options like prickly pear lemonade, locally roasted coffee, and espresso bars — as well as alcoholic options such as craft cocktails, locally sourced wine, and craft beer. And, as a dedicated Texas caterer, we specialize in high-quality menus inclusive of all types of dietary restrictions — we can provide vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free menus — for a perfect team event.


Elevating Your Private Property Wedding: Your Ultimate Wedding Catering Partner

When it comes to creating unique, personalized wedding experiences, there’s nothing quite like a private property wedding. As a Texas wedding catering team, some of the sweetest celebrations we’ve been a part of are at private properties. 

Wondering how to elevate your private property wedding with wedding catering, full-service support, and a personalized celebration? We have you covered.

Why private property weddings?


When planning a Texas wedding, there are many things to consider. From picking the perfect venue (there are so many options!) to making the seating chart, the to-do list is long. This is where private property weddings come in as a more flexible, personalizable option. 

Private property weddings create a beautiful opportunity for a specialized ceremony and party, whether you’re at a family estate or in a stunning garden — and we love helping our clients pull off magic with these types of weddings. They can be more intimate than larger venue weddings and you can have the option to pick places of sentimental value. 

However, the best part of a private property wedding is actually the lack of restrictions. Since you’re not at a large commercial venue, you’re able to use the vendors you want and celebrate longer into the night. 

Win, win.

Want some inspiration? Here are just a few private property weddings we’ve seen and loved — the opportunities are endless:

  • Family properties, from large estates to grandma’s backyards
  • Texas ranches
  • Beachfront homes
  • Historic estates and manor houses
  • Privately owned gardens and museums
  • Homes owned in the mountains, by the beach, or lakefront


Planning a Texas private property wedding? Keep this in mind

While we’re huge fans of private property weddings for tons of reasons (just read above!), there is something that you can often miss out on — and that’s help with the execution. Since private properties aren’t outfitted with venue staff and processes, you’re often on your own to coordinate things like tents, rentals, catering, and more.

We definitely recommend a wedding planner (reach out to us for recommendations!) — but here are things you’ll still want to keep in mind when planning your private property wedding: 

  • What logistics do you need to consider? As you already know if you’re planning a wedding, the logistics piece can be a beast. When you’re utilizing a private property for your wedding, you’ll want to make sure there is enough parking, signage, transportation, and seats. 
  • Who are your vendors? From your wedding caterer (hi!) and your florist to your DJ, lighting, and rentals, you’ll want to choose trusted partners — and then coordinate them.
  • What’s the weather plan? A lot of private property weddings are outside — it’s just the nature of most of those events. However, this makes them extra susceptible to weather fluctuations. 
  • What’s on the menu, and where is it being prepared? The most important part of a wedding is, well… the love part (of course)! But after that comes the food! No matter where your wedding is, you want to work with a team that will create a completely custom menu. From the cocktails and the hor d’oeuvres to the entree and dessert, our Vestals Catering team creates menus just as unique as your private property venue.

That’s where we come in.


How our wedding catering team helps with private property weddings


As a full-service wedding caterer, we specialize in catering packages that go beyond the simple plated dinner. When you choose us to cater your wedding, you’ll be paired with a wedding specialist who partners with you on everything from your custom wedding menu to your event logistical needs. We can manage your rentals — hello, gorgeous tablescape! — and advise on tenting to keep your guests chic and covered.

Plus, we specialize in off-premise catering. That means we can convert any space—whether it’s a private ranch or a family lakehouse—into a beautiful space for your wedding table.

There’s nothing more important to us than putting our couples at the center of everything we do, and we take great pride in being a trusted part of the most special day of your life. As long-standing Texas wedding professionals, we’re happy to consult on your wedding and create an impeccable experience for you in DFW, Austin, or the state beyond.