When it comes to catering, sticking to a budget is important. No one wants to spend more money than they have to, but running out of food can be an embarrassing issue. If you have an upcoming event, here are some cost-effective catering ideas and tips to help you please your guests while staying within budget.
Breakfast All Day
Morning menus are often cheaper so serving breakfast or brunch for lunch can be a smart option. Simply up your game with breakfast proteins like ham, bacon, and sausages served in casseroles, breakfast burritos or frittatas. Add a bagel, juice, and yogurt bar, along with fruit trays and pastries to round out the meal.
Buffets vs. Boxed Lunches
While boxed lunches can be convenient in most situations, a buffet-style lunch can be more cost-effective for larger groups. Your guests can mingle while enjoying the variety and freedom to build a plate to their liking. For smaller gatherings, you may want to opt for boxed lunches, and those with food allergies, dietary restrictions, or picky eaters can order their own meal to minimize waste and stay within budget.
Choose Meats Wisely
Less expensive cuts of meat, such as chicken, can help you please the crowd while controlling the cost. Enhance these meals with vegetables, stews, or curries. In addition, an all vegetarian menu can not only address dietary concerns but save you money overall.
Choose Cost-Effective Cuisines
Some types of foods are more expensive than others. If you’re looking for budget-friendly foods, steer toward Mexican, Indian, Thai, or Chinese cuisine over Japanese, French or Italian dishes that tend to be higher in price per person.
Time Is Money
If possible, put a time cap on your event. Rather than hosting an all-out, all-night shindig, opt for a shorter event, such as after-work happy hour. In this case, hors d’oeuvres can go a long way, reducing costs and pleasing guests since finger foods are fun and filling.
Providing a full open bar can be costly and tricky. If you want to serve alcohol at your event, try creating one signature cocktail supplemented with beer and wine. Or you can simply limit it to beer and wine to keep your budget in check.
Nix The Staff
Depending on the event, you may not even need staff. Keep it casual to cut labor costs and catering price. Caterers can set up the food per your directions and employees can serve themselves.
When it comes to catering, we often over-order to prevent having too little food. The problem is that this can become costly and wasteful. Here are some simple guidelines for proper catering portions:
- Proteins (ex. pulled pork, brisket): 4-5 ounces per person
- Fried chicken or similar dishes: 3 pieces per person
- Tacos: 2 per person
- Sushi: 8-10 pieces per person
- Side Dishes: 4 ounces per person
If you are looking for casual, cost-effective catering, look no further than the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! From boxed lunches to sandwich catering packs to meat and cheese deli trays and more, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call at 909-596-5225 to discuss your options. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.