First off what is a hackathon? It is where designers, developers, and business folks get together to build a demo or prototype of an interesting business idea over a weekend. It is part tech gathering, part business networking and part geek revelry. Remember the drunken marathon of programming scene in The Social Network? That is what gave birth to the hackathon.
We conceived our startup coming out of the hackathon at Startup Weekend, so it is only natural that we would see the immediate value in helping future hackathons plan out their catering as a solid use case of Fiestah. The first event we catered was 3 Day Startup. Then we returned to Startup Weekend, but this time to help them out with their food ordering. People loved our service and since then the word has spread to all the other hackathons around NYC (we have a knack for making people’s lives easier). We’ve helped out with Lean Startup Machine, Dwolla‘s eCommerce Hack Day, and Helping Hacks to name a few — and have another handful in the pipeline for this fall. We have become the go-to for catering hackathons and it is safe to say that we are experts. Here is the lowdown on how to cater a hackathon like a boss.
Friday — It’s like the first day of school. Everyone is saying hi to people they know and meeting people they don’t know. Pizza and beers are the norm and best way to ensure a relaxed vibe.
Saturday — People normally get bagels for breakfast. It’s a NY staple and everyone loves a good bagel. If you aren’t a fan of bagels another option is Italian egg sandwiches and yummy Nutella croissants from Gaia. Sandwiches for lunch and Mexican or Asian cuisine for dinner are great options.
Sunday — This is pitch day. That means that a lot more people (especially the general public) will show up just to hear the pitches. So it is good to plan ahead. Have wraps or get a local food truck to drop off their goods for lunch. Wraps are very useful because they make a minimal mess and people can just grab them and go. Be sure to allocate more of your budget on the dinner during pitch time. That will allow you to wow the attendees with your event. Remember to order enough for the increased attendance. Taco and Burrito bars are popular.
Remember, when feeding a hackathon-er they really just want to be fed something simple, so they can go back to working with their team. But simple does not mean the cheapest thing you can find. The tech world is full of foodies, so treat them with respect and make conscientious decisions when ordering for so many people. Don’t forget to always have vegetarian choices so that everyone has something they can eat.
We love all the business we have received from the tech community, and are now slowly venturing towards different types of events. Our focus is to help events organized by everyday people like birthday parties, networking events, office parties, etc. We are constantly striving to provide unique options for each event we help with and there is still much more room to learn. Thanks to those that keep spreading the good word of Fiestah. Every event we do is an amazing learning process and we are just happy for the opportunity to make every event a great one.
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