Corporate and Special Event Catering Blog

Best Catering Menu Ideas for September

Posted on Mon, Sep 1, 2014 @ 06:56 AM

September is a month full of National Food Holidays that can easily be incorporated into any office or special event menu you'e planning and even into wedding menus. You can weave these into a catering menu ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even snack menu ideas to consider for for your next event.

Let's start with the Foods of the Month:

This entire month hosts national holidays for the foods for the entire month:

Breakfast_Catering_Biscuit_Sandwich
National Biscuit Month
Better Breakfast Month
Cholesterol Education Month
Honey Month
Papaya Month
Potato Month and,
Rice Month

The second week is dedicated to:

National Waffle Week (great breakfast idea!)
Biscuit and Gravy Week (another great breakfast catering idea!)
Vegetarian Awareness week

The fourth week is National Rice Week

Then, there are the daily National food holidays that can be used to help design fun and different catering menus that will sure to please your guests
September 1
National Cherry Popover Day - swap out the cookies to some great cherry popovers for lunch, and celebrate!
It's also the beginning of Wine Season so for any cocktail parties you're planning, bring in some different wines, accompanied by some great appetizers and share the history of wine season.
 
Another food to recognize today is Oysters. Oyster Season begins today so that would be a perfect appetizer to go with the wine. For Oyster Appetizer ideas either ask you caterer to suggest some or, if you're preparing these, here are some recipes to get you started.

September 2
National Blueberry Popsicle Day is here! Did you know an 11 year old boy invented the Popsicle? Read more

September 3
Well it's Welsh Rarebit Day. What a clever breakfast menu to serve at the office. A hot, warm and savory cheese sauce you can either use as a fondue with toasts sticks and English Muffins Strips, or, ladle it over some toasted English Muffins and serve with some fruit for a great breakfast offering.

September 4
best_box_lunch_catering_dallasYou can go nuts of National Macadamia Nut Day. So many ways to use these, we offer them with white chocolate chips baked into a cookie so swap out the ordinary chocolate chip cookie for a Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip cookie in your box lunches!

September 5
With National Cheese Pizza Day you can have the traditional pizza, red sauce and plenty of cheese, or try a White Pizza typically made with a hint of spinach for color, lots of mozzarella and sometimes fresh tomato slices. Just add a salad and lunch is served.  

September 6
Dessert is served with National Coffee Ice Cream Day. Consider adding slivered almonds, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, toffee crumbles and create an ice cream sundae bar as an afternoon snack. Your guests will thank you.

September 7
One catered lunch idea is to add Acorn Squash to your hot meals so you can celebrate National Acorn Squash day. If you add this to your chicken dinner and you'll really celebrate two holidays in one meal!

Want us to help you create a perfect menu
with these National Food Holidays?
 

Topics: catering menus

3 Most Common Catering Delivery Services

Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Free_Delivery_IconWhen planning your corporate continental breakfast catering, catered box lunch or Board meeting luncheon, getting a quote is the first place to start. Many Dallas catering companies can help you with a menu which is just part of any catered event, but delivery charges and other fees may not always be obvious. Some caterers charge a flat rate delivery fee, others a percentage fee, some delivery fees are based on mileage, some even charge a delivery fee for each item you order. There are expenses to the caterer for the manpower and catering vehicles needed for any delivery service you pick and how they charge for that is not necessarily standard. Comparing the different catering quotes you receive should include not only the food, but all the other delivery, service and set up charges too.

The catering menu you select can also play a factor in what type of delivery you’ll need. Box Lunches, sandwich trays and other cold menu items don’t require as much work or equipment as hot food delivery does so there may be a fee for any hot meal catering delivery. More equipment and manpower is used to pack and load your order prior to departing for your address. Aspen Catering has three options for delivery with some of them being FREE based on the distance from us to you.

Drop Off

Delivery options can be as simple as a “drop off” which means the caterer will prepare and package your food, deliver it to you and then you would set up the food in the location you planned. This is the simplest and, more than likely, the most economical food delivery service.

Delivery and Set Up

Some caterers will deliver your catering order, and set it up for you where you request it for an extra fee. If your menu used any of the caterer’s serving equipment like platters, chafers, bowls and serving utensils, there will be a return trip to pick those items up so make sure that fee is included in the quote before you select your catering quote. Catering charges for this could be second delivery charge, a flat fee or more.

Full Service Delivery

Full service delivery fees can include delivering the catering order, setting it up, serving the food and cleaning up the entire meal when the event ends. Typically this includes professional wait staff and will carry an additional charge. Some caterers will charge the wait staff by the hour, some catering quotes will include the wait staff in the price of the meal so it’s important you understand the quote you receive.

The type of event you’re hosting will more than likely determine the type of delivery service you’ll need to complement the menu and the guests’ experience.  The catering quote is more than just the menu so be sure you understand your quotes and the total real costs of your catering before selecting the winning catering company.

7 great foods to incorporate into your catering menu

Posted on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 @ 06:13 AM

Happy July! A month packed full of great food holidays which will give you some great ideas for your catered corporate office lunch, dinner, reception or any gathering you're hosting. The month starts off with Natioanal Culinary Arts Month so congratulate, thank and recognize those very hard working professionals the parpare your catered meals, create special event catering menus, and wedding menus. 

 

Add to the month National Hot Dog Month and National Ice Cream month - sounds like a picnic already and perfect for your 4th of July celebrations! July also hosts National July Belongs to Blueberries month! Put some of those on our ice cream and you're well on your way to honoring all these foods.

National Canned Lunchoen Meat is celebrated the first week of July also. What is that you ask? The most common canned lunchoen meat is probably Spam ®. For inspiration on using this in your menus, check out these ideas.  

In addition to all these ideas, we've created a collectoin of Red White and Blue Food ideas for your July 4th get-together. 

And holidays by the day:

July 1

Creative Ice Cream Flavor day. With so many flavors out there today, can you actually make a new, unique one?  Check this list out for what's already been created and then start creating your own.

National Ginersnap Day is also the 1st. Maybe that should be part of the Creative Ice Cream Flavor you'll create.

July 2

It's National Anisette Day. Anisette is that licorice flavored liqueur typically served after dinner because of it's sweetness and made from anise seeds however is can also be used in baking so either way you prefer to use it today is the day to celebrate this holiday.

July 3

You have two foods to honor today: Eat Beans Day and National Chocolate Wafer Day. So green beans, lima beans, pinto beans, baked beans or green beans can be part of your corporate office luncheon or dinner and then end the meal with a dessert make with the chocolate wafers

July 4

Enjoy your holiday! National BBQ Spareribs Day is today so get your grill going now! And it's also Caesar Salad Day so add that to your party or picnic and you'll have both holidays in one meal

July 5

National Apple Turnover Day is today.  Golden, flaky triangles of puff pastry filled with sweened apples and drizzled with a hint of icing are a great dessert for your professional caterer to prepare for you. And since it is National Ice Cream month, go ahead and have them topped off with a scoop of your favorite flavor!

July 6 

fried_chicken_salad_aspen_catering

Fried Chicken has a day and it's today! You can eat fried chicken hot, cold, on a salad or as a snack. It's an American staple of a menu. For lunch, add some mahed potatoes, corn, great salad and you have a office lunch sure to please or for a healthier version, have it sliced and put on a great salad. For breakfast or a snack, put strips on a biscuit and serve with honey so you can celerate this day antyime.

 

July 7

Wrapping up the first week of July is National Strawberry Sundae Day. Still keeping the ice cream going for the month, some sweetened sliced fresh strawberries smothering your scoop of ice cream and a treat will be had by all.

Happy Eating!

What can we parepare for you?

4 Different Types of Catering Operations

Posted on Sat, Jun 14, 2014 @ 07:26 AM

Catering business is one of the rapidly evolving businesses these days. Gone are the days, when catering services were only limited to preparation of food, food presentation, staffing services, floral arrangements, etc. Several people today prefer high quality catering services for all types of parties, festivals, gatherings, corporate meetings, etc.

Event organizers make use of professional services of catering in Brisbane as these services help them to save ample amount of time, efforts and also helps to avoid hassles. Regardless of the type of event, you are going to host it is very important to avail the services of professional caterers to make your event, a huge success.

As far as catering services are concerned, finding the best suitable company which satiates all your needs can be a daunting task. By conducting a little bit of research, you will be able to find the best one as per your need and budget. Besides food and drink services, several catering professionals also do offer cleaning services after completion of the events. They have a special team of professional and insured cleaners especially for this purpose.

guest blog pic

Some professional caterers specialize in certain types of events, while others offer range of complement services to make sure that your event/party is a memorable one. Below are some of the most popular catering operations offered by catering industry:

1.     Special Events – A special event catering company is inclusive of all services for events such as anniversaries, weddings, large-scale parties, etc. Special event operations usually include both presentation and service side of offering a stunning food menu. There are number of companies that are involved in certain essential aspects of arranging the event namely arranging decorations for the event and providing creativity for planning the event.

2.     Mobile – Mobile catering services more relates to the mobile van or truck that travels to specific locations with right food and catering equipment on board. This type of catering service may relate to meals-to-go services, fairs, festivals, etc. The main aspect of mobile catering services is often low set-up costs owing to the small-scale and part-time nature of this business.

 3.     Industrial – Catering services that are generally involved in industrial areas are sure to offer meals for airlines, prisons, hospitals, schools and such other institutions. Several industrial caterers usually agree to annual or semi-annual contracts with different companies that help them to provide long term and more stable employment. Serving food is not a requirement with industrial caterers as the prepared food is passed on to number of institutions that are served generally in cafeteria style.

4.     Business – Business catering services are intended towards offering style of food that is favored at training sessions, corporate meetings, etc. This is one of the important areas which has great demand and which is very competitive in nature and offers the ability to enjoy year-round catering opportunities. It is very crucial to prepare popular types of dishes for this type of events as it is very important to please every member who is attending corporate meetings and events. 

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It can be said that different types of catering services really prove helpful to make any event special and memorable for you and your esteemed guests. To summarize, it can be said that professional caterers will take the full responsibility for taking care of all the essential aspects of providing food and will also make sure that food served by them is safe to consume.

Author Bio :

Daniel Clark, owns a catering business that offers services of catering in Brisbane. He has been serving to varied demands of clients with quality catering services priced at reasonable rates.

Topics: business catering, buffet catering, catering service

9 Great April Catering Menu Ideas

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 04:43 AM

As we approach the end of April, there are still more menu ideas to jazz up your office catering or reception banquets. If you plan corporate catering meals, training class lunches or afternoon reception menus, keeping the menu new, different and seasonal, puts the extraordinary in what is typically treated as routine and boring menus. So, here are the last April food holidays to consider for you next catered event.

April 22

National Jelly Bean Day. Wow! With 100 and more different flavors of jelly beans, it should be easy to pick one or several flavors to add to a lunch or afternoon catered affair. Have a simple contest of guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar, the winner of course, would get the jar and it's contents. Have people bring in their favorite flavor and create a candy station with different size containers filled with the flavors they brought in or, make a small gift box or tote for everyone with an assortment of flavors and give one to each person as they arrive to work. Many smiles will surely be seen today.

April 23

meat cheese tray cateringNational Cherry Cheesecake Day AND National Picnic Day falls on this date.  This should be an easy menu to offer. Order a meat and cheese tray, assorted breads, fresh tomato slices, lettuce and add some pasta, potato, or garden salad and a picnic is had! For dessert, bring in the cherry cheesecake and you're celebrated both holidays with one menu! It's a great menu for working lunch catering, training class catering and catered meetings. Easy!

April 24

breakfast catering dallasPigs-in-a-blanket has a holiday and today is it. This screams a breakfast menu for office catering. Add some fruit, juice maybe some yogurt and you have a great alternative to a typical continental breakfast or breakfast sandwich catering. These are easy to serve and perfect for any morning breakfast catering you'd be hosting today.

April 25

National Zucchini Bread is today. Another great breakfast idea to jazz up continental breakfast menus.  Have your professional caterer add that to the pastries, muffins and Danish typically making up a breakfast platter and then share with your guests why you added that. Just a small twist to an ordinary breakfast menu.

April 26

office snack cateringToday honors Pretzels for National Pretzel Day. Add these to your box lunch catering instead of potato chips, include as part of an afternoon snack catering, or, go all out and have your caterer prepare hot soft pretzels to celebrate today. It will remind them of pretzels they've had at the Ball Park, amusement park or carnival. Add some cheese, order some cinnamon sugar coated pretzels or pretzel bites and have fun with this simple snack idea.

April 27

professional wait staffWhat a day today is - National Prime Rib Day! Who wouldn't look forward to having that on their banquet menu or catered reception? To really dress things up, hire professional wait staff to carve this on site and you'll have entertainment built in to your special event. If you're not having a banquet then you could include Prime Rib Sandwiches like a French Dip for lunch catering or a Prime Rib Entree Salad.

April 28

National Blueberry Pie Day is today so your dessert catering menu is easy. Whether a luncheon, dinner, banquet or reception, everyone could celebrate this holiday. Order individual blueberry tarts, and or add some ice cream, great coffee the holiday dessert catering will become a celebration of this holiday.

April 29

National Shrimp Scampi Day is today! What a treat to add to any banquet catering or reception catering you're hosting today. This is a great item to offer as a food station with this prepared on-site in front of your guest.  Add some other seafood items, incorporate the rest of your menu as more food stations to present your entire menu as an action station. It will be the talk of the town!

April 30

Ending this month is National Raisin Day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner catering menus are chock full of items with raisins. Pastry, Oatmeal Stations, Fruit Breads, Salads, and desserts all can include raisins and here's some inspiration on how to include raisins in our entrees.

Topics: banquet catering, corporate catering, office catering, breakfast catering

7 More Great April Catering Menu Ideas

Posted on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 04:55 AM

More April Food Holiday ideas for your office catering are here! Though we missed telling you about yesterday, it was National Pecan day so if you had a continental breakfast, dessert bars or even a salad catered in, then you probably did actually celebrate this holiday.

April 15

Today is National Glazed Spiral Ham Day. A spiral ham is a centerpiece of an entree and can easily be enjoyed at a corporate celebration, wedding reception or catered dinner. Don't forget to hire a professional caterer to provide wait staff to carve this magnificent entree in front of your guests. And if you'd rather do the carving, here's some information on how to do that!

April 16

breakfast catering eggs benedictWhat a day for breakfast with National Eggs Benedict leading the way. Poached eggs, English Muffins and some bacon or ham and Hollandaise sauce and your breakfast is served. The history behind this fabulous breakfast idea is interesting and how this dish came to be. Read more about it while enjoying yours.
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/ipalatin/5261997126/

It's also Day of the Mushrooms so that's easy to incorporate into a corporate catering, wedding reception catering or banquet. Include these in your appetizer with mushroom pockets, on an entree like Chicken Marsala or even in a salad like a traditional spinach salad an you've celebrated this holiday easily. Know how many kinds of mushrooms there are and how to use them? Read all about them.

April 17

appetizer catering cheeseballWith National Cheeseball day it's easy to add this catering menu idea to your day either as an appetizer or, as an afternoon snack. So many types of cheeseballs can be made, just ask for your caterer to create your favorite, add some gourmet crackers or even some fresh fruits and vegetables and you have this holiday celebrated.

April 18

So today is the birthday of the Animal Crackers. What a great way to add this to your office meeting menu. If you have a training class, orientation or a staff appreciation planned today, having boxes or bowls of Animal Crackers catered in will put smiles on everyone's faces.

April 19

It's Garlic Day today! So many ways to honor this food, you simply have to shop the appetizer catering menu, entree or main course banquet menu, and a salad menu to and have this holiday celebrated. Your caterer should be able to recommend just the right items for you. 

Since it's also National Amaretto Day you can enjoy that in your coffee, after your meal, or in your dessert and you've incorporated this holiday into your menu planning. This is perfect to have after the garlic celebration too!

April 20

National Pineapple Day allows for many options to have on your catering menu today. Fresh fruit trays, fruit and cheese trays, dips and chips, salads, desserts or grilled chicken and pineapple kabobs work well for any reception catering, banquet catering, or business lunch catering.

Also celebrating today is Lima Bean Respect Day. Finally Lima Beans have a day to be honored.  They are named after Lima, Peru where they're grown and easy to add to your luncheon.  Toss those with some corn or other beans for a great side item and a bit of fun to the ordinary catering menu.

Want us to help you with any of these menu ideas? We can!

Topics: corporate catering, office catering, catered lunch ideas, catering menus

7 More great Corporate Catering Ideas

Posted on Sun, Apr 6, 2014 @ 06:28 AM

Continuing this month's food holidays, here are some more foods being honored this month and how easily you can add them to your menu planning. It allows you to add some new foods to the ordinary office catered fare and have fun all at the same time.

April 7

breakfast catering continentalCoffe Cake Day and who doesn't love that? Instead of donuts on the way to work, pick up some cinnamon coffee cake, try our all butter pound cake coffee cake slices or bake your own and share!

 

April 8

National Empanada Day is today so you can enjoy those as part of your Mexican style lunch, make a lunch out of them or even have them for dessert. Veggie, Chicken, Beef and Shrimp empanadas are like little hand pies but appetizer size so you could make a lunch out of them. Or, had fruit filled empanadas for dessert. Either way you'll be offering something a bit new and different.

April 9

Chinese Almond Cookie celebrates today so consider an Asian style meal for your corporate office lunch and bring a bag of the almond cookies and offer another new and different lunch catering ideas.

April 10

Now Cinnamon is in today since it's National Cinnamon Crescent Day. So easy to make, so easy to enjoy!  Add some fruit, juices and coffee and you'll have a great continental breakfast menu for the office, meeting or party at home!

April 11

Today brings us cheese. It's National Cheese Fondue Day and so easy to do, so impressive to offer. Ask your professional caterer to prepare this and everyone will have fun dipping into a pot of warm melted cheese. Great for bread, fruits, blanched vegetables, raw vegetables, meatballs- the sky's the limit on what you can offer!  Make it fun and entertain guests at the same time. Read more here.

April 12 

sandwich catering grilled cheeseTwo things to celebrate today - Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. How easy to incorporate into an office catered lunch! We make ours panini style but there are so many other ways to serve that and here are just 40 of them.

National Licorice Day so do you know what that is? Here's more on that. To celebrate today, bring in a box, bowl or bag of licorice and pass it out after lunch for a little fun!

April 13

dessert catering peach cobblerToday celebrated National Peach Cobbler day and all we can say is sweet! A perfect desset to add to any banquet catering or reception catering of office lunch catering you're hosting today. Ask your caterer to prepare this dessert menu item and make sure they include whipped cream for a special touch.

Topics: corporate catering, office catering, catered lunch ideas, catering menus

7 Great Corporate Catering Menu Ideas for April

Posted on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 @ 07:47 AM

7 Fun Office Catering Ideas

April brings many food holidays to incorporate into your office catering menus. Professional Caterers can easily create menu items to help celebrate and get the boring out of ordinary meals.

So Soft Pretzels get to kick this month off and celebrate because all month long, it's National Soft Pretzel Month. Soft Pretzels are simple and easy to cater for your next office break since they're easy to serve and a great alternative to cookies and dessert bars and are not messy. 

National Soy Foods Month is also in April and covers a gammet of menu items.  Egg rolls, Asian Hot Meals, Salads and many other foods containing soy can be created to celebrate the joy of soy! 

Then we move on to the first week of the month where it's National Bake Week.  So manythings can be used to bring this celebration to office catering menus whether it's a continental breakfast catering, some great sandwich breads for box lunches or soft tender dinner rolls accompanying a corporate lunch, dinner or banquet catering.  Don't forgt the desserts too, cookies, cakes, dessert bars, tarts, pies the list could go on and on so this should be an easy one to celebrate no matter what office catering meal you're hosting.

Then, moving to the second week we celebrate National Egg Salad Week. In a sandwich, on a croissant, as a salad - there are many types of egg salad and many ways to incorporate this into an office catering menu either on sandwich trays, in box lunches or stuffed into a tomoato as an entree salad catering. 

Then daily holidays to consider for office or party catering are next. Starting off with

April 1
National Sourdough Bread Day.  Perfect for your favorite sandwich catering

April 2
Peanut Butter and Jelly Day - have your professional caterer custom make you some for you next sandwich tray and watch the smiles from your guests.

dessert catering chocolate mousseApril 3
National Chocolate Mousse Day is a sweet day to celebrate. In a cup, bowl, pie, tart, or event shortcake, it's a great light desert for corporate lunches and banquet or reception catering. 

banquet catering chickenApril 4
National Cordon Bleu Day is today. Chicken Cordon Bleu comes to mind for office hot meal catering or banquet catering.  Simple chicken, ham and cheese can take the ordinary right out of yet another chicken dinner. Order that for lunch and hear the thank you's for offering something different and fun.

April 5
National Caramel Day is celebrated today. So many ways to bring this into a catering menu in beverage catering like coffees and capuccinos, dessert catering with pies, cakes or ice cream and even just a bowl of the candy brings a way to celebrate this holiday. 

It's also National Raisin and Spice Bar Day today so for those not wanting the caramel, this would be a way for them to celebrate today.  

April 6
Here's a fun idea. National Caramel Popcorn Day! That's an exciting snack to consider for your next office catering where an afternoon snack is scheduled. Get the oh-so-polular CRACKER JACK® in a box, bag or buy some caramel popcorn from a local supplier and watch your participants become kids again! 

April 7
continental breakfast cateringIt's coffee cake day! An easy item to add to any continental breakfast you're hosting. Just ask you caterer to include plenty of it to celebrate and add some great coffee and juices and have fun!

Topics: continental breakfast catering, banquet catering, corporate catering, office catering

How to Get The Best Special Event Catering Quote

Posted on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 05:21 AM

special event catering

So you're having a party!
Where do you start?

So many times a client will contact us about a party they're planning and don't know where to start. Telling us you're having one is a beginning; however any caterer will need all the details about and for the event in order to help you. For the most accurate quote you can get from a caterer, look at these 8 questions and answer as many as you can before you call your caterer. Most professional catering companies will make sure they have the information they need to serve you properly, and they all need to know the following before any real accurate pricing of your special event can be provided. Answer what you can and then contact your caterer for specifics.  

What is the purpose of the special event? 

Is this a celebration, corporate training meeting, working lunch, retirement party, corporate banquet or wedding reception? Each of these special events have their own unique purpose and any professional caterer will know the difference and be able to suggest appropriate menus and service that will enhance the outcome of your event. Will this be a BreakfastLunch or Banquet or an Appetizer Reception?

What is the budget being used to plan the special event?

Get our Catering Budget Worksheet 

One of the most important questions is how much money you have to spend? Your budget needs to be sufficient enough and realistic for the plans you're making so start noting all the things you'll need or want for the event and put dollar amounts to those items and see what our budget really is. And the menu or meal price is just part of the over-all event pricing. To that price is the cost of wait staff, any delivery and set up fees, take down and clean up service all typically wrapped up in what's called a service charge. So a $10 meal is just that - the meal. Add in all these other real costs and your meal will probably become more like $14-$16 and that's the number you should use for your budget. A service charge is not nor should it be a hidden charge. Most caterers will tell you what their service charge is so ask them about it. 

Who are you inviting?

Are you hosting a special event with all your friends and family? Is this a VIP corporate client appreciation celebration? Is this a grand opening for a new store or office building? Are you launching a new product or service? Or, is this a celebration of a milestone in your life like wedding reception? These details also matter when you initially begin planning your special event and will definitely help your caterer in the event menu deisgn and management of the guest flow.

Will there be seating?

banquet catering seating Is this a walk-and-talk, mix-and-mingle corporate special event or a formal affair? A seated dinner or a grand reception? The food and beverage catering possibilities may be restricted based on your answers to this very important event detail. You would not wish to serve a steak dinner with limited or no seating available for guests to sit down and actually cut their steak so small appetizer size items are what you'd want. Your caterer should be able to recommend appropriate menu items that compliment your event.

What Level of Service do you want? 

Catered Food Stations

Trendy and great for cocktail parties, grand openings, and wedding receptions catering and for events. Stations create entertainment for guests too and are particularly usefull when time permits and when guests are first arriving to your event.

Plated Meal Catering Service

For more formal affairs like a business luncheon or board of directors dinner, and where there is ample budget, a plated meal offers a restaurant like experience in the venue of your choice.

banquet catering dallasBanquet Buffet Service

Buffets are an economical choice for catered lunches, dinners or banquets and for groups of all sizes.

What menu to serve?

Sometimes, depending on the event, a theme can be created to compliment your gathering. If you're hosting a banquet celebrating a milestone, tell your caterer that and let them suggest items that will incorporate the theme in the food choices.

If you have a cuisine in mind, tell your caterer that. The menus they have or can prepare are vast so share what you want and the caterer can take that and design a menu to suit your request.

It's just as important to share what you don't want too. For example, you're hosting your event in a special venue that has a very expensive carpet and they don't allow dips or sauces for fear of ruining the carpet. That's an important detail for menu planning so the more you know what you do and don't want, the better your caterer can help you.

And how much do I need?

Several factors influence the answers to these questions to ensure you're offering just the right catering menu that will complement the purpose of the special event. The actual time allotted for cocktails, dinner, breakfast or whatever the meal, will help guide caterers to the amount of food you need to offer for that time period.

The time of day you're hosting your event will also be a consideration for a light lunch is not necessarily a full buffet. If you have limited time, food stations might not be the choice since guests typically create thier own item from the station and there may not be enough scheduled time to get all your guests served. Your caterer can guide you with what will work and what won't for the actual service time you have for your event.

So, help your caterer help you best! Let them know as much as you do about your event and they should be able to get your the best quote for all the service you need.

free catering quote

Topics: special event catering, special event planning, event planning, wedding reception catering

Best Holiday Catering Lunch Ideas

Posted on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 @ 03:40 AM

Now we're into November and it's really time to get your holiday catering details finalized. Hopefully by now, you've thought about your date and reserved that with your professional caterer. If not, it may not be too late, but contact them now to see what's still available on their ever filling special event holiday catering calendar.

Holiday Breakfast or Brunch Catering

Some great ideas for that you can find on our earlier blog.

Holiday Lunch Catering

Food stations or buffet style menus allow your guests to interact and create their ideal holiday lunch with the items at each station. It also means you don't have to offer as much food as a full dinner so if budget is an issue, this may be a better option than trying to offer a dinner. 

When planning a lunch, you may not want to duplicate what many will have at home. Many people still want the oven roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and salads just like you'd have if you were at a family dinner.  If you want to offer this kind of menu, you can offer a modern twist on this old fashioned favorite. 

Roasted Turkey Sliders

Oven roasted turkey, sliced thin to be stacked on a freshly baked mini sandwich roll.
Add some great cranberry relish, turkey gravy or even stuffing to put on top of the turkey to create the flavors of the traditional holiday dinner. 

Ham Sliders

Slices of cold or warmed baked ham, Swiss, Cheddar or Havarti cheese, stone ground mustard, honey mustard, mayonnaise and white or wheat rolls, or even cheddar biscuits create a fun way to eat this traditional holiday menu item.

Tenderloin Sliders

Beef will always be a holiday favorite so consider offering a platter of grilled tenderloin, some great horseradish sauce, mushroom ragout, caramelized onions, Béarnaise sauce, or even bleu cheese and crumbled bacon could be offered to create an amazing station. Soft tender rolls, croissants, or potato rolls would work well as bread options.

mashed potato bar cateringParty Potato Options

Herb stuffed new potatoes - boiled new potatoes are hollowed out and then stuffed iwth seasoned mashed potatoes

Duchess potatoes - mashed potatoes are piped onto a cooking sheet like a rosette and then baked. This dresses up any holiday catering menu and impresses your guests

Sweet potatoes - you can create these as rosettes too, or try piping these swirled with regular mashed potatoes for a unique twist to a traditional menu item.

Imitate the ever popular Mashed Potato Martini Bar using sweet and regular mashed potatoes and add toppers like sour cream, real chives, herbed butters, bacon and cheese

For the sweet potatoes, add brown sugar, toasted walnuts, even maple syrup and marshmallows will add some fun to your holiday menu.

Veggies
holiday catering grilled squash

To round out the lunch menu, add some green bean bundles wrapped in bacon, or some asparagus with a red pepper ribbon. Another favorite is green bean casserole which could be offered baked in a pan, or a mini version in a phyllo cup to make serving a bit easier. Broccoli au gratin, corn, peas, grilled squash or just about any other veggie would be an appropriate addition for lunch.

Salads

Salads with fresh veggies, fruit salad even ambrosia have been popular holiday salad ideas. Pea salad, Broccoli Salad, Layer Salad, Tomato Basil Salad, Chopped Salad or even a tradition Garden Salad will work - especially for those opting not to eat meat. 

Dessert

Seems no holiday gathering is complete without the sweets.  Instead of tradition fruit pies, try some tarts with pecan, pumpkin, cherry or apple with a large bowl of sweetened whipped cream nearby so guest can top their own tart. Or hand pies are gaining in popularity. These are two crusted pies (looks like a cookie) stuffed with your requested fillings, baked to a golden brown and designed to be picked up and eaten.  NO plate needed here, but you can still offer one. 

holiday catering dessert

Gingerbread is also a spiced cake perfect for the holidays. Just the aroma that emits in a room makes it feel like the holidays!  Small cup-cake size ginerbread is perfect for this type of lunch catering. Don't forget to have some whipped cream or even spiced applesauce available for guests to top off their treat.

Cookies. How many holiday cookies are there? Too many to include here. Sugar, Shortbread, Peanut Butter Blossoms (peanut butter cookies with a Herhey's kiss on top) Thumbprint, Peppermint, Candy Cane, Cherry and the list could go on and on. Cookies are a fun yet simple way to offer a dessert for a holiday catered lunch.  

You could ask your guest to provide a dozen of their favorite cookies along with copies of the recipe to exchange at the end of lunch. Simply arrange all the different cookies, prop up the recipe near each plate and allow your guest to sample whichever they want and let them know to take a copy of the recipe home with them.

For more help with your menu

Happy Holiday Lunch Planning

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