Successful Events: Four Ways to Plan a Catered Menu that Will Wow Your Guests

 

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“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It is not about nutrients and calories. It is about sharing. It is about honesty. It is about identity.” –Louise Fresco

Part of what makes any event successful is what you serve to your guests.

In fact, it can be argued that catering plays an integral role in contributing to the success or failure of any event. For this reason, planning a catered menu that is sure to wow and impress guests would put undue pressure on you. After all, you are not only considering what type of food you should serve, but you are also looking for the best possible affordable catering service that would offer you exemplary food and beverage. In this regard, how can you ensure that you can give your guests an extraordinary experience? One that would keep them talking for days? Well, for starters a delicious meal should be in order.

Unfortunately, most catered events are notorious for serving subpar food which can really diminish the overall experience. You should not fall victim to this scenario of serving less than stellar food, and there are ways of preventing just that.
If you wish to ensure that you provide your guests with an excellent menu and have an event that stands out, here are some of the things you ought to consider:

1.) Know your guest profile

Before choosing a menu, know who you are inviting first. What is the profile of your guests? And in relation to that, what sort of events do you think they will be attending throughout the year? More often than not, by knowing what they do, you can already tell what events they may attend. In this regard, you would already have a subtle hint of what they might always be served at these events. In any case, some of the things you should take note of are the professional level or your guests, the frequency of which they attend similar events, ethnic background and where they reside. From there you can customize a catered menu that will suitably delight them.

2.) Know their preferences

Of course, anyone would enjoy a meal that is filled with their preferred food and favorites. In this regard, it would be best if you took some time to understand the general profile of your guest list. With this in consideration, you would be able to prepare menu options better. However, to narrow it down, consider that older groups might choose a milder menu. Fitness and health buffs would favor a menu with vegetarian options as well as seafood while younger or middle-aged attendees would be more adventurous and may prefer spicy food. The key here is to take into consideration what your guests would enjoy the most depending on the type of event you are hosting.

3.) Provide menu choices

Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to anticipate your guests’ food preferences and plan your catered meal or buffet around it, you cannot realistically expect to please everyone. With this in mind, event planners should at least plan to offer several entrees or at least have a menu choice to ensure that guests will be satisfied with the meal offerings.

4.) Anticipate special needs

Know that allergies are a thing and several of your guests will probably have it which is all the more reason why you should offer a varied catered menu. In this way, they would have a lot of choices and would not be restricted to eating one dish just because they are allergic to the other–or worse, restricted from eating at all because you only served one particular dish—which they happen to be allergic to. In this regard, it is your responsibility as an event planner to know if there are dietary preferences and concerns to consider. Find out if any of your guests have a special dietary need so that the catering management can address this prior to the day of your event.

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Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

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“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

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