When throwing a party with catering, there are many factors that can determine whether your party will be remembered for weeks or quickly forgotten. In this article, we’ll go over tips for creating a successful event with a caterer.
Once you’ve decided on the date, invited your guests and chosen the venue, comes the hardest part – planning the food and drinks for your guests. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time hosting a party, it’s important to carefully plan every detail to ensure your guests receive top-notch service, food and drink.
The following checklist can help you plan a party, whether it’s a large party like a corporate event or wedding, or a smaller party like a graduation or birthday party.
Who is on the Guest List?
The guest list can consist of anyone from your closest friends to a wide range of professionals, men and women.
Knowing what type of event it is and who will be attending is the first step in planning a party. Who will actually attend the party? Many business people often attend several conferences and other social events each year and are simply tired of the same old lousy food.
Here are four questions to ask yourself about your guests when planning a party:
- Will the event be formal or informal?
- How often do your guests attend events similar to the one you are hosting?
- Where are your guests coming from? From another country? From the next town over?
- What is the ethnic breakdown of your guests and their backgrounds?
Understanding Your Guests’ Food Preferences
Once you get to know your guests and their backgrounds, you’ll understand the makeup of your guest list and their general profile. With this research, you can then plan a party with food and drinks that are perfectly suited to your guests’ tastes.
By keeping the following party tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a menu that is tailored to your guests:
Do your guests travel a lot and like to try new flavors or do they prefer spicy or more ethnic dishes?
Considering Dietary Needs/Restrictions
We’ve talked about your guests’ favorite foods, but in the modern age of party planning, there are many different dietary needs to consider. Do your guests have any dietary restrictions, such as gluten or lactose intolerance, or are they vegetarian or vegan? First and foremost, you need to determine which people need a special diet because they are allergic or intolerant to a specific food.
The special diets you may need to consider are:
- Food allergies such as lactose intolerance, nut allergy, etc.
- Gluten intolerance
- Religious requirements for guests on a kosher or halal diet
- Optional dietary restrictions such as veganism or vegetarianism
Provide Several Different Menus
Once you’ve done your best to tailor the food to your guests’ taste buds, you’ll need to create a selection of different appetizers, buffets, and entrees to ensure that all guests are equally satisfied. Here are some general guidelines for when to plan your catering menu:
Offer a Variety of Appetizers
- This way, both meat lovers and vegetarians can be satisfied.
- Offer two or three different salad dressings, as well as premium oil and vinegar for the more health-conscious guests.
- Whenever possible, allow guests to add their own sauces or other condiments.
Offer two types of desserts, one that is a little more substantial (dark chocolate is always appreciated) and one that is more healthy.
Use a Reliable Caterer
Organizing a party takes time, effort, knowledge and experience to make it a success. We recommend that you call on a professional caterer who will take much of the burden of organizing your party off your shoulders.
Have you ever hired a caterer for one of your party before? What was your experience with this service? Tell us everything in the comments below!