Special event catering is more than just an umbrella term for food served to you at an event. It is the centerpiece of transforming a special event into a memorable one, and is just one detail that requires your time, planning, and resources.
Here are 4 tips to help you choose the perfect menu for your special event:
Match the Affair
Your menu should pair well with the overall tone of special event you’re hosting. If you’re throwing a casual, outdoor family reunion, you may want to consider finger foods or BBQ style, such as brisket and potato salad. If you’re in need of elegant wedding catering, consider plated food that can be eaten with forks and knives, such as steak or chicken florentine. For corporate event catering for a networker or fundraiser where people will be up and mingling, you may need cocktail-style foods, such as shrimp, meatballs, or cheese plates.
Your event’s tone will also likely determine your style of food service. Service styles include:
- Buffet style
- Family style
- Small bites
Your serving style is going to dictate a lot of your food choices. You wouldn’t serve prime rib on a buffet, for example, and you’re unlikely to serve macaroni and cheese during cocktail hour.
Accommodate Your Guests
A thoughtful menu includes accommodations for your guests. Who is attending your special event? What do they like to eat? Are there any major food allergies or dietary restrictions to consider? Answering these questions is an important step in planning the perfect menu.
Include items on your menu that will resonate with and impress your guests. For those with food allergies or other restrictions, consider including printed menus denoting allergen-containing dishes or set up signs on the buffet table. A thoughtful, delicious vegetarian dish makes the night memorable not only for you, but for those who are vegetarian. Excluding these accommodations forces your guests to bring their own food, which does not leave a positive, lasting memory.
Stick to the Budget
This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it can be difficult to accomplish when you have caterers presenting beautiful, artisan dishes that are irresistible to the taste buds. That’s why it is important to discuss your budget up front with your caterer, so they only present you with options that you can actually afford.
You’d be surprised what tasty food you can serve your guests while matching your affair, accommodating your guests, and staying on budget. You don’t have to break the bank to serve impressive dishes. Your caterers will help point you in the right direction.
Schedule a Food Tasting & Choose the Right Caterer
This is where the magic happens. Schedule multiple food tastings with your favorite caterers, if your venue allows. This gives you the best comparison to find out which food you actually like better, and helps you find the highest-quality food within your budget. Be sure to keep a journal or notepad to write down your notes from each tasting for later comparison. It is easy to forget the way a certain dish made you feel when participating in multiple food tastings.
This is where you’re going to interview your caterers as well. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions! They expect it. Are they insured? How long have they been in business? What type of events do they cater to? You’re going to want to choose a reputable caterer who can cough up recent references.
For more information, contact Simple Fare Catering in Medford.