Planning an event and being a perfect host can feel overwhelming, but it can be done. Whether you are planning a wedding, a cocktail reception, a corporate event or a private party, hiring a caterer will help you ensure that each of your guests will be able to enjoy some amazing food.
Your caterer will help you figure out the best menu for your event. If you are in need of some additional inspiration, here are the top 10 catering food ideas for parties and special events:
1. Sandwiches of all kinds
Sandwiches are perfect catering food ideas that can constitute a perfect menu for the most casual events. And you don’t have to settle for boring, ordinary sandwiches.
Think about grilled cheeses, wraps, paninis, submarine buns, croissants, bagels, ciabatta bread, club sandwiches, and bread rolls, all garnished with the freshest ingredients. Everyone has a favourite type of sandwich, and your guests will be happy to discover which ones are on the menu.
2. Ethnic cuisine to try something new
Do you want to make it possible for your guests to discover exciting new horizons and new flavours? If so, ethnic cuisine should be one of the catering food ideas on your event menu.
Each culture has its own marvelous traditional dishes, and most caterers love to experiment and to seek out new flavours, colours, aromas and textures. Ask your caterer about their most exotic menu items.
3. Timeless classics
Full catering services usually feature appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, entrees, and desserts. Mashed potatoes are often seen as a side dish, and chicken and beef entrees are popular.
Some caterers will be able to fully customize your event menu, so if you are preparing a party with your friends or your family, why not ask for dishes that you and your guests love? A selection of timeless classics is sure to please everyone.
4. A buffet for the whole family
Depending on the event you are planning, you might want to offer a hot or cold buffet to your guests instead of relying on table service. Your buffet should include a variety of dishes that can please everyone.
Your guests will be able to fill their own plates, and then to sit at the table of their choice, or to walk around, mix and mingle.
5. Hors d’oeuvres and platters
There are also events who simply don’t require a full buffet. If you only want your guests to enjoy a few delicious hors d’oeuvres, your caterer should have a great selection of canapés, pastries, and small bites.
Cheese, cold cuts, vegetable, and fruit platters are also a perfect option for receptions and events where a full meal is not expected.
6. Fancy cocktails
What is a perfect match for hors d’oeuvres and platters? Cocktails, of course. These beverages are great catering food ideas for parties. Check with your caterers to see if they can provide you with the cocktails of your choice, specialty wine, or champagne.
Mojitos, Daiquiris, Martinis, Bloody Marys, Margaritas, and, of course, non-alcoholic fruit punch for the children and for those who don’t drink alcohol should satisfy everyone.
7. A vegan and vegetarian menu
If your event will attract many vegan and vegetarian guests, ask your caterer to prepare a menu with delicious vegan and vegetarian options.
If only a few of your guests are vegan, make sure your caterer can provide you with a description of all the items they prepare for you. Everyone will easily know which food is vegan, and which food isn’t.
8. Barbecue catering for summer events
If you are planning a very casual wedding or party, why not consider barbecue catering? Barbecue is one of the more underrated catering food ideas. If your event will be held outdoor, or inside a rental tent, your caterer could prepare the meal on open grills.
After all, everyone loves burgers, hot dogs, steaks, skewers, sausages, corn on the cob, and grilled tomatoes, especially when they are cooked on a barbecue on a warm and sunny day.
9. Food served in bowls or glasses
Any type of food will look different and exciting when it’s served in a small and elegant bowl, or artfully layered in a clear glass. Bowls and verrines, as they are called, are a convenient way to enjoy different food items during a reception.
The possibilities are endless if you are interested in this option. Just ask your caterer what they would recommend for your event.
10. Amazing desserts
After a delicious meal, your guests will be impatient to find out what they will be eating for dessert. If you are planning a wedding, be sure to choose a catering service that can serve you the most wonderful wedding cake you have ever seen.
Brownies, cookies, cheesecake, cupcakes, carrot cake, chocolate cake, tiramisu, chocolate mousse, creme brulée, pies, and tarts are all perfect options to crown the menu of your event. The most difficult part is to not choose them all.