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Be a Rock Star Parent, Have a Catered Party

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We all have childhood memories of that one birthday party that we will never forget. It may be because of the activities, or the people, but don't kid yourself, the food probably played a large role too. Food is what brings a culture together, and it's only natural to want the best. But, how can you ensure the best for your child and their friends when you're working in a small kitchen? And worse, if you spend the whole party cooking, how will you be able to experience the event?
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From Vegan to Gluten-Free: Top Catered Food Options

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Planning a large event can be both a stressful and difficult task. Between selecting the perfect venue, picking up the decorations, actually setting up said decorations inside of the venue, creating a playlist or hiring a band, and last but not least, the food, there's a lot to get lost in. When planning parties, one of the most common problems people face can be determining the proper foods to have catered. Whether you're planning a corporate event, wedding, or fundraiser, everyone who attends eats slightly differently. Figuring out the correct foods to order for each person's specific dietary habits and requirements can be extremely difficult. With vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets growing increasingly popular, it can be tricky to figure out what foods are safe to have catered to your event. Luckily there are a few options that make for wonderful treats to have catered to any event.
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Tips for a Better Business Lunch

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Having a business lunch can be more stressful than people realize. There are a few things that happen during a meal that don't always fit into the business setting. If you aren't careful, it's easy to give someone the wrong impression during a business lunch. Thankfully there are a few simple tips that you can follow in order to set yourself up for a better business lunch.
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How to Please a Variety of Palates at Your Event

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You might not be a picky eater yourself, but you'll probably have a few on the guest list of your next catered event. Of course, you want to please everyone and make sure all your guests are able to fill up, and it's not as difficult as it sounds! Follow these tips to ensure you'll please all kinds of palates at your event.

Variety of Macros

It's impossible to guarantee that everyone will like everything. As long as you serve a variety, everyone should find something they like. And, no matter what else they like, most people like bread. Make sure there are plenty of bread baskets or other carb-loaded options, so people who like very plain food will at least get their fill.

Low-carb or no-carb guests will be happy with plenty of protein and other carb-free options, like barbecued meat, beans, and veggies. It's also smart to choose a red meat and white meat, like steak and chicken, to cover as many bases as possible.

Don't Skip Dessert!

The main dish is the star of the show, but dessert is the last thing your guests taste, so it has to be good! However, even with dessert, it's good to have at least a couple options to choose from. You can't go wrong with something fruity and something chocolaty.

Manly Catering Tips: Foods He’ll Love!

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If you’re catering an event for some manly men, follow these tips to ensure the menu will be a hit.

Meat & More Meat

If there’s one thing men love, it’s meat. Protein of all kind is not only filling, it’s versatile. Whether you go with steak, chicken, or pork, it’s a safe bet most everyone there will like it. If you want the main dish to be even better, choose a few meat options for your guests to choose from.

Hearty Sides & Apps

Cucumber sandwiches and green salad might be a big hit at a baby shower, but men want a little more rib-sticking, filling complements to their meal. Why not serve more meat as hors d’oeuvres? Chicken wings or meatballs are small enough portions that your guests won’t fill up too soon, but won’t get hungry while waiting for the meal.

It also doesn't hurt to have a veggie or fruit tray for your health-minded guests. Even manly men like to get their greens in.

Decadent Desserts

If you thought rich desserts aren’t a manly menu item, think again. It’s hard to find a man who wouldn’t love to demolish a big slice of chocolate cake, pecan pie, or New York cheesecake. Choose at least a couple of options for dessert to make sure you’ll please everyone on your guest list.

Why You Should Talk about Business over Barbecue

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People aren't always comfortable discussing business. When it comes to business matters, people can be guarded, defensive, and play things close to the vest. Changing the environment and atmosphere can be a good way to transition people to a more fluid and natural way of communicating. That can make it a bit easier to get the discussion moving along. But how do you make that happen?

Barbecue and Business Deals

Going from the board room or PowerPoint presentation to a more casual setting can be a great idea. That's especially true if you know what everyone likes. Enjoying food and being relaxed makes for a friendlier encounter, which makes it much easier for you to break the ice and get to know each other. People don't always enjoy getting into business without knowing the person first. This gives everyone an opportunity to go through that process. If you're hosting the occasion, that gives you the chance to steer things into the direction you want them to go without seeming to be pushy or aggressive.

Contracts and negotiations can become heated. That's understandable. You may be talking about projects and plans that have been in the works for years. Business partners could have poured hundreds or even thousands of hours of their lives into those developments. People can be very passionate about their life's work. Of course, the easiest and best way to diffuse a situation is to simply never let it shift into that tone. Starting with and maintaining a relaxed atmosphere is much easier to accomplish than trying to navigate a hostile environment. It might not seem obvious that barbecue and business deals make for a great partnership, but they work together far better than you may think.

Plan a Catering Menu to Impress Guests

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If you want a memorable dinner, it’s important to put some effort into the food choice. In case you’re stumped, we have a few tips for you.

Food Choice

The most important part of a dinner is the food choice, and the best way to impress your guests is to offer them food that shows careful thought and consideration. If you take the trouble to find out about your guests, especially their likes, dislikes, and dietary restrictions to tailor your meals accordingly, you’re halfway to getting the reaction you want. If, on the other hand, you have guests that only eat vegan, kosher, or halal foods and you only have a dish or two to accommodate them, they will be extremely unsatisfied. It also helps to choose your food based on the type of event and time of year, especially with the help of fresh seasonal items. Of course, food quality is paramount as well.

Presentation

It can be hard to find food that stands out on its own, which is why it’s important to find food that can be shaped or presented in fun or interesting ways. You can find chefs who plate their food with unique props or garnishes. You can even use this for buffet items if you are hosting that sort of event. You could also pick foods to match a theme, and you should definitely make sure you don’t have a bunch of foods that look the same, especially if they’re all a boring brown.

Budget Tips for Saving Money on Wedding Catering

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With the average wedding in the United States costing tens of thousands of dollars, it’s no wonder couples are looking for ways to save a little bit of money wherever they can. One place many people overspend is the catering company. Here are 3 ways to cut back when it comes to your reception.

Choose the Right Foods

Saving money on catering is all about choosing the right foods. Don’t think you have to serve the most expensive fish courses you can find, or that you have to provide round after round of hors d’oeuvres. Go with some less expensive meats and supplement the table with colorful salads and fruit plates that will look attractive but cost only a fraction of the price.

Holding your wedding at a non-meal time is another way to save. You can choose a brunch or dessert menu instead of a full meal to drastically cut down on costs.

Provide Your Own Supplies

Talk to the caterer to see if you can get a discount by providing your own tables, chairs, linens, silverware, and other necessities. The less the catering company has to supply, the more of a discount you should see.

Cut Down on Staff

Another way to save money is by hiring the minimum amount of catering staff necessary. Offer buffet tables for appetizers or even the entire meal instead of having waiters serve the food. Ask your caterer how many chefs, servers, and other staff members are included in the price and find out if there are any ways to reduce the number of staff needed.

 

Questions to Ask Wedding Caterers

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Your wedding caterer plays a huge role in your wedding day, so it’s important to choose the right one. He or she will take much of the responsibility for setting up before the wedding and keeping the reception running smoothly. The right food can become the perfect ending to a perfect day, while the wrong food can leave guests going home disappointed. And, of course, a caterer will make up a large portion of your wedding expenses. Here are some of the most important questions to ask your caterer.

What’s Included?

Find out what comes included in the catering package. Does the catering company provide tables, chairs, and place settings? Are they licensed to provide alcohol, or should you handle the bar separately? Is the staff responsible for serving the food as well as preparing it?

What’s Your Specialty?

Every caterer has a specialty, although most can be flexible and prepare a custom menu for your event. Find out what they specialize in and what other choices they offer to make sure they’ll be a good fit for your event and your guests' needs. Do they offer meal packages, or is everything à la carte? Can they accommodate guests with allergies or dietary restrictions? Do they offer a separate children’s menu?

How Many Staff Members Will Be Present?

Be sure to ask your caterer what staff members will be present on your wedding day. Will the caterer be present to supervise the event? What’s the staff to guest ratio? If you have a bar, will the catering company provide bartenders as well? If you think you’re going to need more staff, ask if they can provide extra waiters or bartenders for an additional fee. Finally, be sure to ask what the catering staff will be wearing to make sure it blends in well with your wedding theme.

 

Winter Appetizers for Your next Event

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If you need an event catered, it helps to keep in mind the time of year to pick the most appropriate foods. In the summer, you’ll find a lot of fruit and a lot of light or cool foods to help refresh your guests. The winter, on the other hand, is all about coziness and friendliness and finding the right foods to evoke those feelings.

General Winter Themes

Seasonal flavors can change to some extent to suit current fashions, like raspberry, but a few core flavors have remained timeless. Apple, cinnamon, pecan, cranberry, pumpkin, and sweet potato are some of the most common. While these are mostly associated with desserts, they can be incorporated into an appetizer lineup, especially if they’re warm, like sweet potato latkes or apple fries.

Holiday Themes

If you’re specifically catering for a holiday, it helps to keep in mind the foods and traditions associated with this holiday. For instance, those aforementioned latkes might work well at a Hanukah party, But, for a Christmas party, you might want to incorporate gingerbread, peppermint, and other flavors that pair well with the holiday. You can also find food in seasonal shapes; for instance, you could have cheese balls or other small appetizer items arranged into the shape of a Christmas tree, or put out a cheese tray so that your cheeses are in a wreath on some sort of decorative plate.