August 13, 2010

Catering Tips: Menu Planning

Formulating the menu can be one of the most difficult aspects of planning an event. Whether it is a corporate function or a wedding, if you are the host, and you are feeding your guests, you are going to have to plan the menu. Use the following advice to make it a stress-free process:
  • Take advantage of a pre-planned menu. This is by far the easiest solution, where the Executive Chef has done all the planning work, determining the best food combinations for different types of events, and all you have to do is provide your event information and place the order. Or use a menu as a starting point, adjusting a few of the choices to personalize it to fit your needs, while keeping the basic structure already provided.
  • Choose an overarching event theme. A Southern menu with a shrimp and grits appetizer and peach cobbler for dessert is always a crowd-pleaser for a classic Savannah occasion! Or try a brunch theme with an omelet station. The sky's the limit. Once you have a solid theme in place, the menu will naturally flow from it.
  • "Give your guests an 'out.'" Paul's statement is tried and true. It means that it is okay to be true to yourself in your menu choices, but if you want to avoid having some guests leaving your event hungry, provide variety or a "safe" (universally-liked) alternative. For example, an all-seafood fare is likely not going to be well-received by many children, so also offering chicken tenders or grilled cheese sandwiches is a nice solution. Expanding on this, there was an interesting article published this week in the New York Times regarding vegetarian and vegan brides feeling pressured into serving meat at their weddings solely to please their guests. We firmly believe you should never feel pressured to serve something against your religious or moral beliefs! There are always ways to accommodate the needs of both you and your guests. Talk to us about it; we love being creative with the menu!
Do you have a catering question? Ask us, and we'll be happy to answer it in an upcoming post.

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