One of the things that guests remember from any event is the food. Yes, the venue may be gorgeous and the centerpieces on the tables may be beautiful. However, if the food is not appealing or does not wow your guests, it can bring down the entire mood of the event altogether.
When you get to the menu creation phase of your event planning, the overwhelming feelings can set in very quickly. Here are a few tips to help you during the planning process.
This is one of the first steps and the most important step of this process. When you decide to work with your caterer or chef, this is the first question that they will have.”What is the budget for this menu?” When you start with knowing how much you can spend per person attending the event, then you can begin to develop a menu that works within your budget.
2. Decide on the Number of Guests
Your chef will need to know how much food to prepare based on your budget. This step goes hand in hand with determining your budget. You do not want to have a small budget, yet have a large number of guests. If you do, everyone will not be able to eat, or there will not be enough food to satisfy your guests. Keep in mind that your guests will be spending a lengthy amount of time celebrating with you. It is a courtesy to make sure that you thank them with a nice meal.
3. How Will The Food Be Served
There are three ways your food can be served at your event. The first is a plated dinner. This type of service is when the chef or caterer prepares the food and presents it to your guests on individual plates. The second way is to have your food served buffet style. With this style, the food is presented in large chafing dishes or platters on a long table. Guests can walk up and serve themselves or have a member of the venue place a serving on their plate. The third type of food service is family-style. In many cultures sharing food is the norm and this also transcends to the event meal. Food is prepared and served on large platters or trays and each guest creates their own plate while seated at the table.
Knowing how you would like the food to be presented will also play a major role in conjunction with your budget. Keep in mind that plated meals typically cost more than a buffet or family-style service. This is because you have to consider the time it takes to prepare each of the individual plates and the labor involved in serving the plates. So, if you want your guests to not have to get up from their table, except to hit the dance floor, then you will have to pay a little bit more for the convenience.
4. Determine the Theme for your Event
Now we are getting to the fun part! Once you come up with the theme, create a mood board and put it together with photos of your vision for them to see. Whether this is a wedding, birthday, or corporate event you are planning a menu for, having a theme for the event will bring out the creativity of your chef or caterer.
5. Determine the Dietary Needs of Your Guests
Consider the dietary needs of your guests when you are in the planning stage. Go through your guest list to understand what allergies, dietary restrictions, or cultural preferences they may have. You may not be able to accommodate all of your guests. However, the guests with extreme dietary restrictions should be a priority. Bring these to the attention of your caterer or chef, so that they will be able to come up with a menu/plate that is a win-win for everyone.
Overall the saying is true, “We eat with our eyes first.” When it comes to the food, the presentation and taste of food must be done properly. The food needs to taste amazing. Also, the guests must leave the event saying great things about their meal. When all of these come together, it adds to the grandeur of the entire event. Thus leaving your event to be the talk of many conversations to come.