Guest Approved Special Event Catering – How do you please the masses?
Gluten free, vegan, dairy free, vegetarian, peanut free. . . It’s all Greek to you! You’ve heard these terms before, but truly understanding the needs of your event guests can be overwhelming. At some point when feeding large groups of people, you have to draw a line between reasonable accommodations and items you just can’t make happen. It’s inevitable that some guests will have food limitations that you will need to accommodate with your special event catering menu. Here are some helpful hints that you can use to keep your guests happy and still maintain your event planning sanity.
Survey Your Guests in Advance
Ask about food allergies and sensitivities ahead of time. Include a place on your registration form for guests to include any diet restrictions for the special event catering. It’s best to have an area where they can type a response compared to pre-determined check boxes. This ensures guests feel comfortable communicating their dietary needs to you. As the event planner, you want your guests to enjoy all event aspects including the food.
Communicate with the Event Caterer
Experienced event caterers know common food allergies and restrictions. This won’t be the first time and certainly not the last. Communicating these needs as far in advance as possible will eliminate many headaches and menu changes on your planning end. It will allow the event management to go smoothly and stress-free. Buffets are great options for special event catering to accommodate many dietary needs. It will allow everyone to pick and choose their meal. Just make sure the items are properly labeled in each chafing dish and serving platter.
Consider the Big Picture
A well-balanced event catering menu will pay off in the end. You don’t want all of the side dish options to be carbohydrates. It can leave everyone feeling too full and sluggish. Consider lean proteins to lift everyone’s energy. Lunch with salad, fruit, and small portion options gives everyone lots of choices and balance. Offering a sweet treat is still recommended, but have them bite sized instead of a full-sized portion. That way guests can try the brownies, cookies, petit four cakes and not be over full.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
The drink menu can easily be overlooked by event planners. You’ve spent time scouring the buffet event menu for balance and variety so it’s easy to just go with the standard drink menu. Offering tea, lemonade and water are probably the most basic, but this can be improved upon with relatively little cost. Having iced tea and sweet tea will keep all your tea drinkers happy. Offering lemon slices to add to water and iced tea is an easy complement as well. Don’t forget your coffee drinkers in your special event catering. Offering flavored creamers, decaf, sugar and sweeteners is sure to please everyone.
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