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Tips for Success: Catered Affairs, Buffet-Style Parties & Off-Premise Events

Posted on December 01 2019

Hosting a successful catered event or banquet requires proper preparation and planning. This helpful guide highlights key points to consider when creating menus, designing food displays and serving large groups at off-site events.

Foodservice and Hospitality Marketing: For each occasion, determine a clear ambiance that will drive your menu and decoration decisions. When establishing the feel of the event, understand the reason your guests are coming together. A wedding, reunion or birthday will often be more social than a corporate or educational function.

 

Buffet-Style Parties: Your first consideration when planning a buffet menu should be to understand your budget and the availability of ingredients you will be using in dishes. Clients may need to be reminded of the fact that produce not in season is often more expensive and less flavorful.

 

Scheduling and Preparing Dishes: Make sure to consider your schedule. Serve dishes that fit the time available for prep and cooking. Accompaniments such as sliced breads, deli meats, cheeses and fruit offer both easy to eat finger foods and accent colors. Avoid dishes with flavors that do not complement each other as guests will often grab a little bit of everything for their plate.

 

Catered Events: Understand Your Guest Profile

Since many people attend catered events, it is essential to know the professional level of your guests, their demographics, customs, and ethnic traditions. Inquire about your guest’s likings to create an enjoyable menu. Typically, older attendees prefer a milder menu while younger or middle-aged individuals prefer spicier and more adventurous meals.

Offer vegetarian choices for diners who have dietary restrictions or are health conscious. Also, anticipate possible food allergies and religious requirements.

Include Seasonal and Fresh Items: When creating your menu, consider the time of year for food and beverages selections. Also, be aware of the event’s location in order to incorporate popular food items from that specific area.

Consider the Presentation of Food and Beverage: Guests eat with their eyes, which makes it crucial that the presentation of your cuisine and beverages is visually stimulating. Little details such as matching the table linens and decorations around your menu will help enhance your guests dining experience.

Off-Premise Events: Selecting an Off-Site Location

Check the electrical requirements for your equipment in order to execute your menu. It is recommended to have a walk-through of the location from the transport drop-off to the setup spot to determine the pathways for moving your equipment and racks.

Proper Food Handling 

Safety should be a number one priority at an off-site event, since there is a higher risk of foodborne illness exposure. Rolling racks, insulated coolers and chafing dishes can help maintain proper temperatures for your food.

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