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.

 
GET IN TOUCH TO PLAN YOUR NEXT CORPORATE HAPPY HOUR
 

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.

 
GET IN TOUCH
 

Sourcing Locally: The Importance of Ingredients in Texas Catering

Fort Worth caterer Vestals Catering

 

From tender Texas beef and fresh Gulf Coast seafood to juicy peaches, flavor-rich peppers, and complex herbs, fresh Texas ingredients sing in catering dishes like nothing else quite can. As one of the country’s leaders in everything from agricultural production to cattle to poultry, the Lone Star State gives us tons of options to choose from for more delicious dishes in Texas and Fort Worth catering… every single time.

Whether you’re chopping up fresh veggies for a Tuesday dinner or hiring our Texas-based catering team to customize a menu for your Fort Worth catering event needs, sourcing local — and focusing on fresh — can make all of the difference.

 

Venue: Timberview Farmstead https://timberviewfarmstead.com

The importance of local ingredients in Fort Worth catering and at home

 

In a world of DoorDash and Instacart, it can be a lot easier to worry a lot less about sourcing and a lot more about convenience. (We get it, and there’s always a place for convenience!) However, adding fresh, local Texas ingredients to everything from your breakfast omelets and the cream in your coffee to the meat at your dinner table and the berries you eat for a snack matters. 

Wondering why? 

Fresh Texas ingredients let you shake up the menu:

As the seasons change, there are always different (and delicious!) ingredients making the rounds through Texas farmers and producers. Embracing the changing seasons with new flavors keeps your grocery lists diverse and your flavors even bolder. (Psst… click here to see some of our favorite seasonal Texas ingredients!)

Locally sourced ingredients are better for you:

While you can purchase healthy food anywhere, there’s a special benefit to fresh, locally sourced ingredients that you can’t get at every grocery store. Since your Fort Worth-grown blackberries, Canton-grown okra, and Mission-grown tomatoes don’t have to travel as far, they’re processed and stored for less time than something grown in Utah. Plus, you’re able to get a better quality ingredient.

You’ll enjoy flavor (and quality) you can taste:

Those Fort Worth-grown blackberries, that Canton-grown okra, and those Mission-grown tomatoes we mentioned are also harvested right at their peak ripeness when they’re only being transported throughout the state. This gives you a juicier, deeper flavor that sings on your plate. 

Local sourcing reduces your environmental impact:

Supporting local farms and Texas growers on your grocery lists and in your catering menus means fewer miles traveled — reducing your carbon footprint and allowing you to enjoy food grown on Lone Star soil. Psst… that’s not all! Often, supporting local farms also allows you to support places that are prioritizing things like biodiversity and soil health.

You can support your local growers and artisans:

As one of the most agriculturally active states in the country, Texas has an endless amount of incredible farmers, artisans, and growers to support — and by supporting those local producers, you can build relationships with people in your neighborhood and support the economy.

 

Local farms and suppliers to support: Fort Worth caterer edition

With almost 250,000 farms (USDA data), there are a ton of local Texas farms to support. And, that doesn’t even begin to touch additional suppliers, growers, and artisans in the state. If you’re wondering how to support more local Texas suppliers, you can try out everything from a CSA box to simply looking for local options at the grocery store. Luckily, it’s not as tricky as you may think to prioritize Texas suppliers! 

At Vestals Catering, we cater events in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin — and have tons of recommendations for farms, venues, and suppliers to support. Here are some of our very favorite local Fort Worth, Texas farms and Fort Worth event venues to support as a catering company:

 

Timberview Farmstead

Timberview Farmstead is our new non-profit teaching farm located in Fort Worth, Texas. We are currently working towards the goal of sourcing the majority of our produce from the state-of-the-art aquaponic greenhouse on site. Timeberview’s mission is to help young people in Tarrant County live a more deeply rooted life. Using a medley of farm-based learning and the embrace of unreasonable hospitality, Timberview Farmstead has a vision of educating and empowering Fort Worth’s kids to thrive.

At Timberview Farmstead, you can find 26 acres of climate-controlled barns, gardens, and animals — and all ages can explore the teaching farm and try out hands-on experiences and activities. Teachers show everything from aquaponics and hatching to how to hold baby chicks, feed goats, and interact with horses, cows, and donkeys. 

To support locals at Timberview Farmstead, you can buy eggs from on-site hens and home-grown produce, shop inside The Farm Shop, and join in for the grand opening on March 2, 2024. We are also offering exclusive Timberview Farm Dinners are available to start reserving now, rooted in the importance of gathering over a shared meal. Each menu is seasonal, curated by our local chefs, and sourced with the highest-quality, local ingredients. Click here to learn more about dining at the Farmstead to share the most universal human conversation — a meal.

DINE WITH US

 

Want to support further? By joining the Timberview Collective, you can invest in Fort Worth’s future — and you can donate here, volunteer here, and learn more here.

LEARN MORE

 

Photographer: EE Photography https://eephotome.com

Dove Ridge Vineyard 

Eggs, produce, and meat are not the only things you can purchase locally! Did you know Texas is home to some incredible vineyards and wineries? As a Texas caterer who specializes in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin events, we work with several venues that bring us (and our clients) so much joy. One of our favorite Fort Worth wedding venues is Dove Ridge Vineyard, a 56-acre vineyard nestled in Tarrant County with breathtaking views and a focus on sustainability that we love.

While Dove Ridge Vineyard is a stunning venue, it’s also an active vineyard, and we cater their wine tastings at their Parker County tasting room. From curated cheeses and cured meats to slow-braised short rib, we love getting to pair our food with Dove Ridge’s Texas wines. Learn more about their tasting room and wine options here.

LEARN MORE
 

Fort Worth caterer who prioritizes local

 

Are you planning a Fort Worth wedding or Cowtown event? Driven by unmatched hospitality and powered by culinary excellence that prioritizes the local market, our Vestals Catering team would love to help you produce your next event. 

Our custom menus can be designed for Fort Worth catering needs in events from weddings and private parties to galas, corporate events, and more — and we commit to using the best ingredients available, always. As culinary experts committed to crafting your most meaningful event, we stand behind each Texas ingredient we put on the table. We’d love to meet you and show you what we love. Get in touch to plan your event with a Texas caterer here, and reach out for a Fort Worth caterer event quote here!

GET IN TOUCH

 

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth

So, you’re ready to look for a caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth? Congratulations are in order because it seems like you’re planning a party! Whether you’re planning a wedding, a corporate event, or a dinner, we believe that any party is worth a celebration — and every celebration is better with great food. 

However, we also know that choosing the perfect caterer can be tricky… especially when you’re in a bigger metropolitan era. There are a lot of great caterers out there, and scoping out the right one for your specific event is important.

This is why we’ve produced the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth! Scroll through to read our tried-and-true tips for finding a caterer you can trust (and whose food tastes delicious, of course).

First up… what are you envisioning food-wise at your event?


Before you start searching for a caterer, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for. While the right caterer will help you flesh out your ideas and plan a personalized menu, make sure you’re not going in blind. 

For instance:

  • Are you envisioning a sit-down, steak-and-shrimp meal for an elevated wedding? 
  • Are you envisioning an easy-to-navigate buffet during a laid-back corporate event?
  • Are you envisioning a curated small plate experience for donors at a nonprofit meeting? 
  • Are you envisioning an intimate in-home dinner party to celebrate a special occasion with your nearest and dearest?

By having an idea of what you’re looking for from potential caterers, you’re able to get a more accurate quote and clarify the caterers’ scope of expertise. Then, you can start to create a list of local and semi-local caterers who are in line with your needs. For instance, some caterers may only provide smaller, fixed menus that aren’t aligned with your vision. Being clear on what you want and need is key to ensuring that the caterer you choose is able to help your event really reflect you  — and, when you choose the right caterer, you can trust that your vision is in good hands

Ask the right questions to potential caterers


When you’ve narrowed down a shortlist of your favorite caterers, it’s time to schedule a tasting and get on the phone to ask any questions you might have. If you need a cheat sheet of the best questions when choosing the perfect caterer, we’ve got you covered! 

Here are the questions you should ask when choosing the perfect caterer:

Questions to ask your caterer

Scope out reviews, ask your community, and trust your gut.


As you build out a potential list of caterers, take the time to look through reviews (Google Reviews, website testimonials, The Knot, and Party Slate are all great places to search). While every catering company you see is likely going to have a few not-so-great reviews, the catering company you choose should have overwhelmingly positive ones. Take a look at common themes in the reviews — for instance, do you see tons of reviews speaking to delicious food, or are you seeing a bunch of people commenting on the lateness of the staff? 

Plus, don’t forget to ask your friends, family, and community! Chances are, at least one person you know has planned or attended an event similar to the one you’re throwing. Ask them about their experience with the caterer, find out any lasting memories of their meal, and discuss whether or not they recommend who they worked with.

More importantly, though: Trust. Your. Gut. If you have a good feeling about a caterer, it’s probably right — and if you have a bad feeling about a caterer, it’s probably right, too. You deserve to make your decision with confidence, and your intuition matters.

Are you looking for a caterer in Dallas, Austin, or Fort Worth? You’re in the right place!


At Vestals Catering, we work to create the most tasteful catering experiences across Texas by offering the highest standard of food and even better service. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond the responsibilities of your average caterer to anticipate our client’s needs. We always promise personalized culinary excellence and an unwavering commitment to pulling off your event without a hitch — and as a Texas caterer who loves nothing more than to help produce memorable, special, and delicious events, we’d love to chat! 

Whether you’re planning a DFW wedding, an Austin corporate event, or anything in between, our team is ready. We believe that your event should always be a reflection of who you are, which is why every menu is carefully crafted alongside you and your Vestals specialist. Along with a custom approach to each event and menu, we place a huge emphasis on seasonal, fresh ingredients and over-the-top service. Our goal is always to serve life’s most important moments with joy and intention.

To get in touch with us for your Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, or Greater Texas area event, contact us here. Our team cannot wait to meet you!

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