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9 Great April Catering Menu Ideas

  
  
  
  
  

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.

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7 More Great April Catering Menu Ideas

  
  
  
  
  

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!

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7 More great Corporate Catering Ideas

  
  
  
  
  

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.

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7 Great Corporate Catering Menu Ideas for April

  
  
  
  
  

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!

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How to Get The Best Special Event Catering Quote

  
  
  
  
  

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?

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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.

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Best Holiday Catering Lunch Ideas

  
  
  
  
  

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

Help Me With My Holiday Party

Happy Holiday Lunch Planning

Best Holiday Catering Breakfast Party Ideas

  
  
  
  
  

It's really time now to start planning your holiday gathering. With so few days left until holidays start...it's now time to pick you party menu. Here are some menus to spur your imagination.

Breakfast Holiday Buffet Cateringbreakfast buffet catering

A great quiche, crepes or a breakfast casserole, some fresh pastries and muffins, fruits and juices, coffees, hot teas and even a salad or two depending on what time you'll be having this.

Baked French Toast

Country Breakfast Casserole

Oatmeal Bar
Let your guests top their oatmeal with:
Scallped Apples, Chopped Nuts, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Butter, Milk and even Chocolate Chips or fresh Banana Slices and Berries

Breakfast Potatoes

Danish, Muffins and Coffee Cake Slices

Fresh Fruit 
Create with either citrus or seasonal fruits cut up as a salad or skewer fruit for a fancier look

Chilled Orange, Cranberry, Grapefruit and Apple Juices

Coffees suh as Cappuccino, Mocha, White Hot Chocolate,
Hot Cocoa
add some gourmet flavored creamers, sugar cubes or chocolate stirring spoons for a special touch

No time to create a hot breakfast buffet? Then consider a Continental Breakfast with breads, pastries and fresh fruits and juices 

continental breakfast catering

Continental Breakfast Menu Idea

Gourmet Coffee Cake Slices
Marble, Cinnamon Sugar, Lemon and Orange Poppyseed

Assorted Dansih
Almond, Cheese, Fruit and Cinnamon Raisin

Mini Muffins
Blueberry, Cranberry Orange and Lemon

Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls

Fresh Fruit Salad
Citrus fruits and berries, or melons, pineapple and
berries with a yogurt based dressing

Signature Drinks to Compliment any Breakfast Menu

To add a little extra sparkle to your menu, consider adding a signature party beverage

Bellinis

Peach juice and some champagne makes a perfect brunch cocktail and dresses up any menu and compliments a lighter breakfast fare.     

Read more about 
Party Drink Recipes

Bloody Mary

Perfect choice to comlplement casseroles, pancakes and other breakfast foods.

Mimosas

Simple and easy, some fruit juice and champagne and a bit of garnish and you have light party drink.

Champagne Punch

Just about any fruit juice, fruit punch and chamagne garnished with fresh fruit slices or a fruited ice ring and you have a pretty and fun breakfast punch idea

Sweet Sunrise Mocktail (no alcohol)

This easy beverage is made with orange juice, granadine and a fresh slice of orange and you have a party drink perfect for continental style breakfast.

Irish Coffee

If you're offering coffee on the menu, and it is a party after all, consider offering Irish whiskey, a hint of brown sugar and some whipped cream for a dressy addition to the beverage choice 

What party rentals will you need?

Depending on where you're hosting your event, you may need additional tables and chairs. Banquet tables, guests tables, chairs, linens and even place settings can all be provided by a professional caterer or local rental company who can provide you all the details for your specific special event. There will be a demand on holiday linen colors so the sooner you reserve yours, the better.  

Note from a pro:

Enjoy your party!  So many people try to host a party on thier own party and end up being exhausted by the time the party starts. Consider contacing your local professional catering company to prepare and provide all you need including professaionl wait staff. Wait staff will set up, serve and then clean up the entire party so you can enjoy your time being with your guests instead of serving your guests and replenishing food trays and party platters.

Do not do your own bartending...you'll never be with your guests if you do. Use Professional bartenders for any alocholic beverages you decide to offer and let them serve and replenish your guests beverages. Caters can also coordinate or provide party rentals, linens, place settings, wait staff, bartneders and decor. All you have to do is ask. Haven them customize a quote for all the services you want and then decide. You'll have a much better time at your own party.

Want help with
your holdiay party?

Help Me With My Holiday Party
 

Happy Holidays!

4 Steps to take now for Holiday Party Planning

  
  
  
  
  

 

It’s time!

Your holiday event planning
should begin now.

With temperatures soaring, it’s hard to even think about the holidays, however, if you want the very best in a holiday party, now is the time to start your planning.

Ask about our 
Holiday 
Savings Program
holiday catering dfw

1. Venueparty venues dallas

It’s time to find your venue and reserve it.  The demand for places to hold a party or holiday gathering will be high. With Thanksgiving being Nov. 28th, that leaves 3 ½ weeks to host your holiday party in December.  If you want to have your party on Friday or Saturday, the most common days for a special event, than that means you really have 6 days available before Christmas to host your gathering unless you’re having a New Year’s Eve Party and then you have 1 day to pick from like everybody else wanting to host a New Year’s Eve Party. Booking the venue should be a high priority for you now. If you already have a venue, that's great..however you still need a caterer and a menu so skip to number 3.

December 2013 calendar

2. The Party Time

The venue’s availability will also influence what time you hold your party.  If the day is the most important part, the time of the party would be second.  With only 6 weekend nights in December, the availability of the venue may push your party to an earlier time if the evening is already reserved.  Some venues won’t host two parties in one day, some give you 6 hour rental periods so it’s the venue that may have more influence on what you decide to do and when.

3. The Menu

Once you have the location, settled on the time of the event, then it’s time to start planning the menu.  Professional caterers and event planners will be able to help you and provide all the details you’ll need for a successful party. Holiday packages, themed menus, décor, wait staff,  party rentals can all be taken care of most efficiently with  a professional caterer and event planner. They too will have a high demand placed on them with just 6 weekend nights for a holiday party.

4. Reserve Reserve Reserve!!!

Even though you don’t have all the details worked out, it’s best to get your deposits down, reservations confirmed and then work on the final details. If you wait too long to reserve your party hall or banquet room, you may just lose the venue you wanted. And if you wait too long, you may lose the professional caterer you wanted. And if you wait too long, you may have to start your planning all over again.

Help Me With My Holiday Party
 

How to get the Best Professional Catering Quote

  
  
  
  
  

So you’re planning a party, corporate catering event or other special event and need a catered meal.  Whether it’s a breakfast catering, lunch banquet or plated dinner meal service you’re not sure what to do or what professional caterer to use let alone how much food to offer or how to offer it.

Here are 5 simple questions your caterer should ask to get you the most accurate quote possible:

What time is the party?

The time you’re hosting this will influence how much food will be needed to feed your guests adequately

How many people are attending?

Always provide an estimate for the number of people you’re expecting. This should include you, the guests and any other service provider participating in the event.  For example, if you’re having a guest speaker, a videographer, photographer or even a DJ, decide whether you’ll provide them the same meal as your guests will be enjoying, or ask you caterer for a box lunch or dinner they can eat during their break from the event.

What Menu do you want?

Of course the food will be part of the expense of the catered meal however there are many things that influence the actual price of your event.  Once you’ve shopped your caterer’s menu and selected the menu you want to serve, other items need to be discussed before any caterer can truly give you an accurate quote.

What kind of service do you want?

banquet catering dallasBuffet Service

Your breakfast, lunch or dinner menu will be presented on banquet tables for all your guests to travel down and assemble their own meal from the items you’ve chosen for them.  This is the most economical service to offer as it requires less professional catering staff to serve all your guests.  Beverages and desserts can either be included with the buffet, or separate tables for these two items can also be set up to allow for a bit better guest flow at the buffet tables.

plated meal cateringPlated Meal Service

This is the most formal service for your catered event. Guests are seated at tables and served their pre-plated meals by professional wait staff just like a full service restaurant. This is also the most expensive service so you should budget accordingly.

Passed Menu Items and Appetizers

This service is growing in popularity and being requested more and more.  It does control the amount of food you’ll need, however it does add to the wait staff required to plate and pass the items of your choice.  Your caterer should tell you what items work well for this type of service and how many wait staff will be needed to serve your audience in the time allotted for this portion of the meal.  Once these are served, and it’s time for the actual meal, you need to decide if want to serve a plated meal or have them enjoy a catered buffet.

Food Stations

Food and Action Stations are a good alternative to passed appetizers and most of these don’t require quite as much staff as the passed service will. These also create some sort of entertainment for your guests with them interacting and creating their own menu item at the station.  These Action stations do need to be manned with a chef or other professional catering attendant so that needs to be included in your budget as well.

What Place Settings Do You Want?

banquet chinaChina/Glassware

This is the more formal place setting to use and can range from basic white banquet china to numerous other color and shaped patterns. There are so many options out there you’re sure to match the theme or colors that will complement the event.  Be prepared to budget plenty of money for this though as prices start typically at $8 or more per person and that’s just the place setting. When opting for this level of service, more wait staff will be needed to properly service your event.

disposable plates for cateringDisposables

Disposable place settings are gaining in popularity for banquets, receptions and other special event caterering because it’s the most economical option available.

Just as china/glassware has many options, there are many disposable place setting options available today in a variety of colors and shapes and sizes that you’re sure to find what compliments your catering event perfectly.  Because these items are disposable, less wait staff will be needed to serve your guests properly.

Other Charges and Fees

Though all the items above will influence the actual price of your event, caterers have other charges and fees involved for their services in addition to just the menu price. There is delivery, set up, breakdown and clean-up  just to name a few, so make sure you’re getting an actual and accurate quote for your event from your caterer and not just a sample quote.

3 Ways to Update Vegetable Tray Catering

  
  
  
  
  

Vegetable Trays for special event catering or office catering offer color, texture and an economical way to an appetizer or snack option to the catering menu. How much of that will be eaten is questionable. These colorful party trays are also called crudités which sounds more expensive, however, that's French meaning uncooked or raw, so ultimately this type of party platter is raw vegetables, sliced or whole, typically served with some sort of dip, dressing or vinaigrette. With even it's fancier name, the amount that will actually be consumed is probably less than you think.

There are other ways to add a vegetable options
to your vegetable tray catering menu.

Hummus

Hummus dip dfw

Hummus has gained great presence in menu trends lately and is not only vegetable based, it is good for you and offers a healthy option just like the veggie trays of yesterday. Hummus is pureed chickpeas which can be flavored a number of ways, typically with garlic and a bit of olive oil, sometimes with hint of lemon and or tahini (sesame seed butter), it makes a great spread that can accompany fresh veggies, pita bread, flat bread or crostini. You still get the vegetable item, only served in a more modern way.

Black olive tapenadeTapenade

This more gourmet spread dresses up your catering menu and can replace or compliment an assortment of fresh vegetables. Tapenade is made with finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil and can be enhance with red peppers, onion, artichoke and  other ingredients to create a perfect dip or spread for vegetables, crackers, crusty bread slices or party toasts.  


Antipasto Platter

vegetable tray catering dallas

Also called antipasta, in Italian this means "before the meal" so it's a great option for an appetizer. These platters often include cured meats like proscuitto or salamis, marinated vegetables like squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoncini peppers, olives and includes cheeses like provolone or mozzarella. Bruschetta, anchovies, crostini and other breads accompany these platters so the guests can create their own appetizers from the platter selections by layering their selections on the crostini, toasted bread or crackers and then drizzling a bit of olive oil on their creation for a perfect "before dinner" treat. This type of party platter offers more versatility than a vegetable tray.  

You can ask your professional caterer to customize this platter any way you'd like.  You can leave off the meats and cheeses if you truly need a vegetarian menu item and add more vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes or even eggplant.

You can also skewer items together to create some fun and to offer an easy way for guests to enjoy this appetizer.  No matter what you select for the items, your caterer can create a fabulous presentation with an assortment of these Antipasto Skewers.

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