Have you ever been to a restaurant and found yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on the menu? This can actually make the dining experience more stressful as you sift through so many options to try and make the best possible decision. That’s why so many high-end restaurants actually offer fewer dishes. It’s also a question of quality control. A restaurant that offers pizza, burgers, chicken, Chinese, and any number of other cuisines is not likely to produce the highest quality, no matter what you order.
The same basic rules apply to catered events. As an event planner, you are going to have a lot of menu options to choose from, and the task can seem overwhelming – especially if you’ve never done it before. Professional caterers need to be able to offer a wide array of foods and beverages in order to properly service a wide array of parties, themes and events.
In terms of knowing what to order for your event, there are a couple of questions to keep in mind.
Who’s coming to the party?
Knowing your crowd is one of the most important factors in determining what kind of food and drink you should serve. If it’s a fairly large event, it can be difficult to anticipate the dietary needs and preferences of each individual guest. If the event includes an RSVP, many event planners recommend asking guests to indicate whether they have any special dietary needs. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to provide a sufficient number of options for different tastes. Two different meat options, along with at least one vegetarian option, along with a choice of sides and salads, is a common strategy amongst professional caterers. When you get in touch with the professional, one of the first things they’ll want to know is what you know about your crowd.
Does your caterer specialize in something?
A caterer might offer a very broad scope of menu options, but it’s worth knowing if there are any foods a caterer is particularly known for. If you’re serving a steak dinner, for example, you’ll want to find a caterer who is known for turning out excellent steaks. Playing to the strengths of your catering company can definitely work in your favor, provided those strengths are in-line with what you really want to achieve for your event.
What’s your budget?
Obviously, money is a major concern for most event planners. Feeding a crowd is costly – and the more options and extras you add, the bigger the final tab will be. The task of a truly reputable and expert caterer is to find creative ways to give you the options you need, while sticking to the original budget as much as possible.
Hitting on the right menu for your event
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of options available is an added stress that event planners simply don’t need. Partnering with a highly reputable (and experienced) catering company it is a surefire way to focus in on what matters, simplify the process, and develop a menu that is crowd pleasing, elegant, and budget friendly!