When planning a birthday, dinner or celebration, deciding and preparing food can be a stressful experience. Catering for all your guests’ dietary requirements, and providing food that is liked by all, isn’t always easy. We have compiled a list of catering tips to help you take the stress out of planning your next occasion.
Top Catering Tips
- Plan, Plan, Plan! Remember failing to plan, is planning to fail. Create an outline of what dishes you want to serve at your event and make a list of necessary ingredients. You can use apps to keep track of your list and the best deals. For example, the app ‘Shopjam’ allows you to choose your closest Coles and Woolworths, add your shopping list, and then compare the prices of items between the two to ensure you are always getting the best deals. Keep an eye out for sales to ease the financial hole in your pocket the party will cause.
- Make the party BYO alcohol. The cost goes up significantly when the host needs to provide alcoholic beverages. Let your guests know that you will provide soft drink and cold water, but if they want their own drinks, they need to bring them. As the host, you may choose to make a fruit punch, which is a much cheaper alternative. Provide ice filled eskies or buckets for guests to keep their drinks cold.
- Create a formula! By this, we mean work out how many entrées, mains and desserts you are going to need per person. For example, you may serve:
- 3 entrees per person i.e. pastries, arancini balls, rice paper rolls or chicken skewers.
- 1 main meal to fill everyone up e.g. Roast lamb, salads and roast vegies.
- Share platters with cheeses, meats and biscuits
- A few desserts like a cake, or chocolate mousse, as well as a fruit platter.
- Cold foods are easier to serve than hot foods. Salads, and platters can be prepared before the party, so you have less to worry about during the event, for example; potato salads, pasta salads, garden salads, fruit plates, etc.
- Ensure you have enough space to store all the things you buy. All cold foods will need to be stored in a refrigerator, do you have enough room for that? For items that don’t require being cold, I like to store them in flexi storage tubs until the event. This keeps your pantries organised, and your event items in a convenient to find place. On the day of the party, these buckets can be filled with ice and used to cool drinks!
- The day before; prepare the salads and make all of the entrees or hot foods so all you need to do it shove it in the oven an hour before serving. If you’re serving a main meal like a roast lamb, make sure you put that on before the guests arrive, so it will be ready by the time serving comes around.
Catering does not need to be difficult, extravagant or expensive. Cater to suit your budget and the number of people who will be attending. At the end of the day you want to make it easy for yourself, and ensure that you enjoy the party as well!