Whether you’re designing a menu for a corporate event, an anniversary party, or a wedding, getting the food selections right can make or break your gathering.
But these days, how do you please a host of picky palates? We’ve seen quite a few decadent dinners, so here are our top catering ideas and trends for your next event.
Buffet or prepared plates?
The first decision you need to make is whether to go buffet style or serve up portioned plates.
Buffet style is likely to please more people because they will have more selections to choose from. This type of service, however, has several drawbacks.
First, it’s more costly in the long run, because you need to supply more selections and in larger quantities.
Second, it’s also likely to lead to more food waste; because you have to offer so many choices, it’s fairly certain there’ll be a lot left over to be thrown out.
Third, it can lead to long lines at the buffet table.
On the other hand, plating meals in advance makes it harder to cater to those on special diets: keto, vegan, gluten-free, allergy-sensitive . . . the list of food restrictions is long and seems to grow longer every week.
A third option
Another catering idea is the latest trend among the 18-34 demographic: food trucks.
No, these aren’t the tacky fast-food kind that have long appeared at construction sites and office buildings. These days, food trucks have expanded their offerings and are showing up in the most unexpected and even elegant settings.
One recent formal wedding, for example, featured four options for guests from two food trucks: sirloin with a red wine glaze, salmon with a sage cream sauce, prosciutto-wrapped chicken, and stuffed pork tenderloin, each with a potato and vegetable side.
And the food truck industry has taken note of the increased demand for environmentally friendly food, and also offers a wide range of selections, including vegan options and meat-plant blends, milk, flour, and peanut alternatives, and various ethnic cuisines.
Most food trucks can handle between five and twelve different menu items, they’re budget friendly, and they’re flexible.
“They can prepare the food in the truck, then serve it in a more traditional buffet or plated fashion,” Allie Shane of Pop the Champagne Events tells Brides.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a unique venue for your event, try the Historic Alfred I. duPont Building in downtown Miami. Its stunning interiors will provide the perfect setting for any event.