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Plated Meals vs. Buffet

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One of the hardest decisions you will make regarding your catering is whether or not to serve plated meals or offer a buffet for your guests. You need to consider who will be attending the event, the atmosphere that you would like to evoke, and the setting of the event. Presentation plays a large role in the satisfaction of your guests, but your preference matters as well. Ultimately, there are many different things to consider when deciding whether or not to get plated meals or a buffet.

Plated Meals

A general rule is to assume that almost everyone would rather have their food served to them rather than getting it themselves. If you are planning a fancy event or wedding, the majority of your guests will assume they’ll be waited on. Table service provides that uniform experience for everyone. Plated meals allow a consistent serving time for each person, and more time for quality conversations among the guests at each table.


A buffet offers each guest the ability to get exactly what they want. If you're unsure about the portion size to give each guest, buffets offer the benefit of not worrying about it and letting the guests choose for themselves. Buffets come in handy when you don't know the dietary preferences of your guests. You can offer beef, chicken, and salads, and allow each person to get food for themselves. If you plan to have a laid-back event with intermingling socialization, buffets create the perfect setting for this atmosphere.

3 Reasons to Serve Barbecue at Your Next Event

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Planning an event can be difficult enough before you even begin to consider which type of food you're going to serve. When it comes to hiring a catering company, there are so many different choices for food on each company's menu. Some companies specialize in Italian food, while others have vegetarian options only. If you're having a difficult time trying to find a food that will please everyone, stick with good old fashioned barbecue.

Become More Social

If the main goal of your event is to increase some social behavior, a barbecue is the way to go. Most summer parties include nothing but a barbecue. Barbecue food seems to bring out the love of socializing in the majority of people, and also provides a sense of community. While backyard barbecues are simple enough to cater on your own, when you're planning a large event, it becomes extremely difficult to prepare all of the food needed to feed a hundred people. Getting barbecue catered is a wonderful way to spice up the life of an event with ease.

Easy to Serve

Barbecue food is incredibly easy to serve. Unlike plated meals offered through catering companies, you can get dozens of customized platters of barbecue food to serve your whole party. Each person is able to pick through the platters and dish out their favorite barbecue food with ease.

Cost Effective

No matter what your budget may be, barbecue food is always cost effective. It isn't extremely fancy, so there are no upcharges based upon exotic ingredients.

Unique Themes for Your Next Catered Event

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Creating a fun theme for an event is a great way to take a normal event and turn it into something truly memorable for you and your guests. However, when choosing a theme, it can be difficult to come up with something that hasn't already been done hundreds of times before. There's nothing wrong with a tried-and-true theme, but if you can come up with something truly different, you can really make your event special. Here are a few possibilities!


Do you have a few people with ties to a certain part of the country? Celebrate it by having people wear things that remind them of back home and serve some local flavor along with it! For example, perhaps you have a group from Chicago that moved south to avoid the cold winters. Serving hot dogs with all of the toppings on a Chicago dog can be a great way to give them a taste of home while enjoying their new location. You can even do a side-by-side comparison of the other city's cuisine with that of their new home and see if something else can win their affection!


Food is timeless, but your party can focus on a specific time that creates a fun costume for your guests to get creative with. A great way to really enjoy the night is to create a throwback night that lets guests pretend it's a favorite decade again. For even more creative fun, you can even have everyone pick their own decade and let people attempt to guess who's dressed up as what era.

No matter what theme you pick, your guests will enjoy having a great meal and a great environment as you make your next event something truly unforgettable.


Choosing an Event of Hors D’oeuvres or Full Meals

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When you host an event that you expect to take a few hours, the food is going to be one of the main parts that guests will remember when they depart. With that being the case, most hosts are well aware of how important it is to serve the right menu and keep everyone in a good mood.

But what might not be as apparent is how much of the right menu to serve to your guests. Choosing whether to serve hors d'oeuvres or a full meal is every bit as important as choosing what to serve, because if there's too little food, your guests are going to leave disappointed and earlier than they would have. Too much food will result in either your guests being unable to enjoy the rest of the festivities or you having more leftovers than you can manage.

What you need to do is be honest with yourself as far as the event, the time of day and the type of activities that you'll be engaging in after eating. If you're planning a shorter event that's early in the day, a plate of hors d'oeuvres works well, as it satisfies hunger without being overwhelming or causing havoc with the rest of the day. The same is also true with an event where your guests will be active, because few people want to be active on a full stomach. Taking this route also allows your guests a variety of tastes without becoming uncomfortable.

Conversely, a later, low-key event is perfect for a full meal that caters to guests' tastes. In longer events like these, the meal is often the main attraction or close to it, so it should be something filling and memorable. This is especially true when guests are likely to head straight home afterwards, as they won't want to be scouring for restaurants when many have closed for the night.


Vegan Options That Will Appease Meat Eaters

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If you've recently embraced a vegan lifestyle, but some of your friends still prefer to eat meat whenever they can and aren't very familiar with a vegan diet, planning a party menu can seem like a challenge. On the surface, it might seem like you're left with two unappealing options: either choosing to serve a menu that you personally can't enjoy or choosing to hold to your principles and serve a menu that your guests might look at with confusion.

Luckily, serving vegan meals to those who prefer meat doesn't have to be something to stress over if you take the time to think it through. The main rule when it comes to appeasing meat-eaters is the most basic rule of the kitchen: make sure that what you serve tastes great. If the meal tastes fantastic, nobody is going to miss the meat, and very few people will even notice that you served a meatless meal because they'll be too busy enjoying it to even think about it.

The second rule is to go with familiar options whenever you can. For example, portabella mushrooms are often considered the vegetarian version of steak, and they can make a great option as the star of the dish for meat eaters.

Other options include hearty vegetables that can bring out great flavors when cooked, such as eggplants, butternut squash, or zucchini. All of these are familiar vegetable options to many meat-eaters, and an option that includes one or more of these vegetables can ease the minds of meat eaters who might be unsure what vegan cooking is like. Another thing to consider is creative appetizers, as many meat eaters are accustomed to eating salad and vegetables prior to their meal. By giving them a familiar opening, you can give your guests something they'll enjoy, without compromising your principles.


The Best Handheld Meals for Your Event

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Sometimes, you want to have the flexibility of hosting an event that allows your guests to be on the go at any point of the day. This can especially be true at a get-together with a lot of fun activities where it wouldn't be prudent to have your guests confined to one area for eating. For these kinds of events, handheld meals are a perfect way to allow your guests to go where they want and enjoy what they want at the same time.

So what are some of the best options for those who don't want to sit down and eat off of a plate? Sandwiches have long been a top option for a meal on the go, as you can customize your sandwich to be whatever you want based on taste, texture, and how easy the sandwich will be to hold. If you're going to be moving around a lot, a high amount of mayonnaise can be disastrous for a sandwich. On the other hand, a wrap could be a great option to cut down on issues with holding the sandwich and worrying about toppings spilling out.

Other great choices for handheld meals include some of the most expected meals at cookouts: burgers, hot dogs, and barbecue. These three staples are pretty popular for most outdoor cookouts because of the taste of freshly charred meat, and they're also excellent options for moving around and enjoying yourself during the day. For barbecue, your guests can use a little less of the sauce, making sure they get all of the flavor while keeping themselves clean for the rest of the evening. Whether you want to go healthy or indulge, there's a great handheld meal available for your guests, giving you the chance to plan an event you wanted to attend and make it memorable.


Guidelines for Calculating How Much Food to Have Catered

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Hosting an event can be stressful enough before you consider the food. Once food gets involved, you have to decide what catering company to go with, what food to order, and how much of it to order. Figuring out how much food you will need for the amount of people you are inviting can be complicated. You ask people to RSVP, but only so many of them will actually do this. Either way, through a catering company, you will be required to pay per serving. Even if the serving number is higher or lower than the number of people who actually show up.

If you can't seem to figure out how to determine the servings on your own, ask the catering company for help! They are trained professionals, and it helps to listen to what they have to say! Even when you get help from caterers, you still need to have a basic understanding of how food portioning works. Luck for you, there are a few basic guidelines for calculating how much food you will need to have catered.


If you plan to purchase beverages, whether independently or through the catering company, be sure to allow one drink per person per hour for approximately four hours. If you plan for your event to be longer, include the extra hours.


When it comes to appetizers, allow approximately 3 to 4 per person per hour. If the appetizer is heavy, and intended to be included as a part of the meal, allow 5 to 6 per person. If you plan to serve salad, four ounces per person is standard. The main course should be 6 to 8 ounces per person with dessert being 3 to 4 ounces.


The Most Expensive Catered Events

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When it comes to cost, there's one major rule that comes with catering: the more guests you have at your event, the more expensive it's going to be. It's just a basic fact that when you have to order more food, the costs will rise simply because of quantity. However, not every rule is ironclad as there are some catered events that are costlier than others.

Weddings are traditionally the most expensive of all of the catered events, and a large part of that is because of the attention to detail. The details of a wedding are always noticed, and every detail has to be perfect because these are events that will be captured in photos for a lifetime. The most intricate weddings involve plated presentation, servers, and strict attention to the needs of the guests, making sure that everyone is completely taken care of from beginning to end.

Other expensive events include those when a high-end food item is prominently featured on the menu. Items such as steak, filet mignon, and prime rib are sure crowd pleasers if your guests enjoy eating quality beef, but these items are always in high demand and will cause the budget for the event to balloon considerably. The basic rule of thumb is that a higher demand for an item leads to a higher bill at the end of the event.

The other factor that pushes a catered event into the most expensive categories is opting for plated service over a buffet-style meal. When guests serve themselves, it cuts down on the cost because fewer staff are needed to attend to the meal, allowing them to focus on other needs of the guests and keep the event running smoothly. By contrast, a plated meal means that your guests will be getting attention from the servers from beginning to end, requiring a higher cost to create the atmosphere you want.


John McClane’s Favorite Holiday Party Food Items

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Most people are pretty familiar with the Die Hard franchise and the epic heroics of John McClane in each of the five movies, but few people have likely taken much time to think about the food aspect of the movie. After all, in the original “Die Hard” movie, there are only three instances in which the viewer sees anyone eating anything, and those happen so infrequently that only a careful viewer will spot the Nestle Crunch and Mars Bar being consumed. Read the rest of this entry »

Cater Your Next Football Party

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Its football season, and your favorite team is doing well. The big game is coming up in three weeks, and you know it's going to be one for the record books. You have already decided that you want to invite your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. This is a game not to be missed. In this situation, the last thing you want to worry about is what food to serve and whether or not you have enough to keep everyone fueled and happy. Luckily, there are great catering options available in the Fort Worth area to keep you focused on the game and the people you are with. Read the rest of this entry »