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Catering

Catering: How Much Food Do You Need

Hard work goes into planning a special event, and worrying about something going wrong can cause lots of stress. There are plenty of elements to consider, including catering services and the amount of food you need. To avoid the embarrassment of running out of food, we are sharing some smart event catering tips to help you out.

First of all, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  • Number of guests
  • Length of event
  • Type of event
  • Type of food

These are especially important because, for example, the food required for an evening cocktail party will be noticeably less than that needed for an all-day event. And remember, the longer guests stay, the more food they will consume.

To be safe, you always want to round up when estimating. Some guests may eat more, others may eat less, and in the end, it should all balance out. Anticipate which food and drink selections will be more popular and order more of those.

In addition, if you are having numerous food options, it would befit you to serve them in smaller portions so that guests may try a little bit of everything.

Here are more helpful catering guidelines for your next special event or gathering:

Appetizers

  • If you are only serving appetizers in the evening (no dinner to follow), plan on at least 10-15 pieces per person. If it will be served buffet style, round up – people tend to eat more in this situation than if a tray is passed.
  • If you are serving pre-dinner appetizers, 3-5 pieces per person should suffice. And since dinner will follow shortly after, choose lighter options.
  • Plan on 1-3 pieces per person for a mid-day function with a meal to follow.

Beverages

  • Plan on about 3 beverages per person. And on average, coffee drinkers consume one cup every 1.3 hours.

Breakfast

  • People will generally drink 2 beverages (juice, coffee, tea, etc.).
  • Shoot for a main entrée (about 5 oz. per person), along with two sides, including bread.
  • Fruit makes an excellent breakfast dessert. You should plan on about 3-5 pieces of cut fruit, or one cup or less of fruit salad, per person.
  • If you are only serving pastries, plan on 2 pieces per person.

Lunch

  • For hors d’oeuvres, provide about 2-4 per person.
  • Serve a main entrée (about 5 oz.) with 2-3 sides, including starch and a dessert.
  • Offer a selection of drinks (ex. soda, beer, lemon water, etc.).
  • For sandwiches, allow for 1 to 2 per person.

Dinner

  • Depending on the number of courses, provide about 3-5 hors d’oeuvres per person.
  • Serve a main entrée (5-7 oz.) with 2-3 sides (veggies, beans, pasta, etc.).
  • Offer small portions of bread, salad, or soup.
  • Always have water, along with other beverages.

Desserts

  • Anticipate 1-3 servings per person.
  • Offer one slice of cake, tart, or pastry, or 4 oz. of a creamy dessert (ex. mousse).
  • Serve smaller portions if you have a wider variety.
  • It should be noted that coffee consumption peaks after dessert is served. Set up a post-dessert coffee bar or refresh the coffee pot while dessert is being served.

Do you have any other catering tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective catering option, choose the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We provide our signature sandwiches, fresh side salads, and tasty desserts. Visit us online or call 909-596-5225 to learn more about our catering options.

Common Catering Food Trends

Whether you are planning your own event or attending someone else’s bash, one of the most important and memorable details is the food you serve. The restaurant catering can make or break an event. Depending on the type of party or event, you will want to choose a catering menu that works well with the event space, your vision, and your guests. With that said, here are some of the popular restaurant catering trends today.

Buffet
Who doesn’t love a buffet? Buffet dining is the easiest way to feed a large group of people, thus, is ideal for larger events (ex. weddings).  And the best part is that they can be customized to suit different events and budgets.

Food Stations
Similar to a buffet, food stations are also appropriate for larger groups. Rather than providing food on one long table, the menu is divided among stations throughout the dining room or event space. Foods at these stations are usually comprised of appetizers and finger foods. Because the set up requires guests to move around, food stations are great for cocktail receptions and the like, where people normally mingle about the room.

Chocolate Fountains
If you have ever encountered a chocolate fountain at a party, then you know it is often the pièce de résistance. These can be purchased or rented, and pricing can vary depending on the quality. You can make up for the cost by choosing less expensive dipping items (ex. pretzels, fresh fruit, marshmallows).

Family Style Dining
This is also known as English Service and is comprised of bowls and platters of food to share at each table, rather than serving individual plates. Sharing food enables tablemates to interact, providing a level of intimacy that may be missing at larger events.

Food & Drink Pairings
These dinners often serve multiple courses, each accompanied by a wine, beer, or cocktail. It is important to note that these often take longer than buffets or plated dinners, so if you’re looking for a slow, leisurely dinner, this one’s for you.

Artisan Food & Drink
Foods produced in small batches are referred to as artisan food, however, there is no regulation on the term. Because of this, you see “artisan” used by large restaurants and chains, and it has become a good marketing term. For example, “handcrafted sourdough baguette paired with an assortment of artisanal cheeses” sounds much better than “plain old cheese and cracker platter.”

Local Foods
While local foods suggest healthier options and better taste, the can pose some challenges. Because fresh fruit and vegetables are not available all year round, a set menu is not feasible. On the other hand, chefs are able to get creative and provide a rotating menu of specials.

Street Foods
These menus offer foods inspired by the ethnic fusion of street food. Some examples include Mexican churros, Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, and more.

Gluten Free Foods
Whether it is due to medical conditions associated with gluten or a health-conscious choice, gluten free foods are growing in popularity. Aside from the health benefits, going gluten free allows chefs to experiment with alternative cooking ingredients such as amaranth, cassava flour, and teff flour.

Mini Desserts
More and more people are opting for mini wedding cakes or dessert tables filled with mini confections such as cupcakes and cake pops, rather than full, multi-tiered cakes. This allows the host to provide a variety of sweet treats to cater different tastes.

If you want to keep it simple, we’ve got the catering plan for you. Enjoy our delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts are your next event. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com or call 909-596-5225 for more information.

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A Smart Checklist For Catering Service

So you have an event coming up and you need catering services. You want to find a catering company that can accommodate your needs while delivering excellent food and service, but you’re not sure where to start. Knowing what you want for your event and doing your research helps a great deal. Take some time to talk to different businesses  to see what they have to offer and if they understand your vision and needs. As you shop around, and before making your final decision, be sure that the company you choose meets the following catering service criteria.

Taste
This not only applies to the food, which should be tasty, but also refers to presentation. Your food should be appealing to all the senses and a great catering service will deliver this. If available, request to see a portfolio. Consider your vision, and be sure they understand it and have the proper tools and equipment to make your ideas come to fruition.

Value
Catering services should be affordable, and most caterers are rather accommodating. Make your budget known, especially if it is limited, as your caterer should be able provide the best options. And although prices are always an important factor, remember that the lowest price is not always the best value. Weigh your options and consider what is and is not included in the bottom line.

Service
Your satisfaction should be their priority. From the minute you first meet with them until the event has concluded, they should be attentive and go above and beyond to help you create the event you envisioned. The company should be well-organized and employees should be responsive to your needs every step of the way.

Dependability
As mentioned, do your research. Speak with friends and family to find out if there are any catering companies they recommend. Great catering companies will be forthcoming with references for customers. That way, you can speak with past clients who can attest to their reliability and quality. When speaking with the catering company, you want to inquire about deposit requirements, the type of menu suggested for budget, and if they readily assist with specific requirements.

Accommodations
Every event is different, and great caterers know that. Some things that may come up include special menu requirements (ex. vegetarian, vegan, Halal, Kosher), specialty equipment and décor, and more. If you have a smaller or larger event, do they understand the staffing ratio needs for bartenders, wait staff, and chefs? As with any event, there is much to consider and as a catering company, they should be able to accommodate and deliver what is promised flawlessly.

Experience
From small gatherings to weddings or other special events, you want to choose a professional event catering company with plenty of experience under their belt. This alone shows potential customers that they know what they are doing and have executed amazing events in the past. You will be glad you chose a caterer with extensive experience and success when your guests leave your event impressed.

Did you know we provide catering services? We offer affordable prices on our yummy sandwiches, salads and desserts for your catering needs. Visit us online at BrickMarketDeli.com or call 909-596-5225 to learn more about our catering options.

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