Catering - Choosing the right food for your wedding, event or party
Whether you are planning an intimate dinner party, your dream wedding or a large-scale corporate event, the importance of choosing the right food is crucial. Taking care in planning the right menu shows your guests just how much you appreciate them, and it will make your event more memorable for everyone. What are the key elements for getting it right?
- Type of event. Base your menu on the type of event you are holding. For instance, if you are planning a corporate networking event then canapes and cocktails, which encourage mingling and socialising, will be more appropriate than a sit-down formal dinner. Likewise, a barbeque-style menu might not be good choice for a black-tie dinner but its a great for a family reunion or birthday dinner.
- Guest profile. Look at the ratio of men to women to children. If you are expecting mostly men at the event then you might need to think about substantial servings or more meat-based dishes. Think about ethnic backgrounds or any dietary needs that might determine menu items.
- Food choices. Try to include enough variation in the menu so that you will satisfy the tastes of all of your guests. Just because you love seafood it doesn't mean you should opt for an all-seafood menu. It is best to combine meat, seafood and poultry with vegetarian options. A combination of hot and cold dishes, sweet and savory is also advisable.
- Portioning. It goes without saying, you don't want to run out of food! Portioning can be tricky but by taking into account the profile of your guests and the duration of your event, your caterer will help you determine sufficient food quantities.
A good, experienced caterer will be able to work with any budget to come up with a quality and inspirational menu. It is better to have good quality and well presented smaller portions than large amounts of low quality food. Listen to your caterer's advice and ideas if budget becomes an issue. They are experts in planning parties and will be able to offer guidance so that you get the most bang for your buck, and still throw a fabulous party!
A word on tastings: Some caterers offer tastings to help you determine menu choices for your wedding or corporate event. This service is generally offered by caterers once a confirmed booking is made, although some catering firms will offer tastings as a sales point. Ask your caterer whether there is any cost for tastings. They are expensive to produce and time-consuming so not all caterers will offer these services free of charge.
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