Corporate Breakfast Catering For Your Next Big Meeting

Whether it is a new business pitch, a meeting with current clients or an executive gathering, what you serve on the board room table can go a long way in making a great first impression. For breakfast meetings particularly, your prospects, clients or employees are generally coming in early to attend your meeting and likely have a high expectation on breakfast that will be served.

Have no fear! Undoubtedly the easiest and most delectable way to impress at a morning meeting is with corporate breakfast catering. From hot foods to healthy, platter options, corporate breakfast catering will take the guesswork out of your day.

 

Here are 5 corporate breakfast catering tips for your next big meeting

 

1. Offer warm food options, and keep it hot!

When it comes to catered food, warm food options are a must. With breakfast items you can offer home style hash-browns, crispy bacon, fresh farm eggs and more.

The most important part of offering warm food options is to keep it hot! Remember to have warming options, which your caterer should provide. Place the breakfast bar close to an electrical outlet so the food warmer can be easily plugged in.

 

2. Provide alternatives for vegetarian attendees

We have written about providing dietary alternatives for guests who are vegetarian, and the same should be said for the breakfast meal. Consider creating a breakfast menu with tempeh in addition to bacon, or a tofu scramble alongside the egg dish.

 

3. Don’t skip on the fresh basked goods!

For those who prefer a lighter breakfast, you can’t forget the fresh baked goods. From danishes and muffins to scones and turnovers, offering fresh baked goods will provide your guests with options that also compliment your hot foods.

Bonus: Keeping the fresh basked goods as a mid-meeting snack, after your hot breakfast, will impress your guests! 

 

4. Did someone say waffle bar?

Providing something unique and with flair for your guests will leave a lasting impression. A great option is a customized waffle bar before your meeting. With fresh waffles provided, you can have your guests add extras like whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, or delectable pieces of chocolate.

This unique addition to your corporate breakfast catering menu will help to break the ice before getting started with your day.

 

5. It’s always best to have more than less

…especially during breakfast. 93% of Americans believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which means that your guests will be arriving hungry!

This means that it is important to have more, rather than less, food available for your guests. An array of options will help to ensure your guests begin the meeting feeling content and ready start the day.

 

At Catering Visions, we have been providing corporate breakfast catering options for years. As you are preparing your next meeting, consider the benefits of having a delectable breakfast option available for your meeting guests.

Inspiring Menu Items To Prepare For The Fall Season

The Summer is upon us and before we know it, we’ll be well into the Fall Season. Can you believe how quickly this year is moving? With the Fall season comes new menus with food items that are in season, warm soups that you have been craving since the Spring and herbs that are in their final stages of being picked. The dream of catering companies!

As our clients are preparing for their Fall corporate events, we are creating inspiring menus that we are certain will impress your corporate guests.

 

Here are four inspiring menu items for the Fall Season we know you will love

 

1.  Bring on the mixed roasted vegetables

One of the easiest, and most delicious, side dishes in the Fall is a beautiful roasted vegetable dish. From roasted yams and squash, to chopped peppers and zucchini, fresh and roasted vegetables is an excellent addition to any meal.

This side dish can compliment virtually any meal, from meats to poultry. It is worth noting that vegetables are high in fibre, and are very filling in nature, so you may wish to accompany with light salads.

 

2.  Warm Greek chicken souvlaki and accompaniments

There is nothing more soothing and comforting like Greek food, right? You might see a plethora of options from other catering companies, though we love to keep it simple in our corporate dishes – like chicken or vegetable souvlaki, with rice pilaf, a Greek salad and pita bread.

On a cool, Fall day, there is truly nothing like a hearty Greek dish with plenty of accompaniments.

 

3.  Seasonal, fresh seafood will make for a light and delectable dish for catering companies

Living in the Pacific, we are lucky to have access to fresh and seasonal seafood dishes a-plenty. Here’s a quick guide as to what is available in the Fall months:

  • Dungeness crab is available from November to February in the southern West Coast, and June through August in the Pacific Northwest
  • Halibut is available March through November
  • Sablefish is available from March through November
  • Spot prawns are available from February through December

Based on the above, you can create an array of dishes from Dungeness crab and a delicious baked potato, to Halibut and vegetables. Understanding what is in-season is not only a great list to have while in a grocery store, it is also handy when working with catering companies in developing your perfect menu.

To learn more about seasonal seafood and more, click here.

 

4. Soup, soup and more soup!

For a sit-down lunch or dinner, a warm and hearty soup is an excellent appetizer or starting dish, especially in the Fall. From a very hearty option, like a chilli, to a light and fresh butternut squash soup, you can select a soup that accompanies your main dish well.

As shared in our blog last month on Vegetarian and Vegan food options, soups can be made to suit many diets and lifestyles, from the aforementioned Vegetarian and Vegan to those who are gluten free or celiac.

 

With the Fall coming up quicker than we might like to imagine, there are plenty of food options to create a delicious and delectable menu for your corporate guests. To learn more about customizing your menu, contact us here.

Corporate Catering Tips for Vegetarian Guests

As we enter 2020, the number of Vegetarians or those who follow a plant based diet is only increasing. Vegetarian and Vegan-forward restaurants are opening with great success, #MeatlessMonday has become a hashtag that is popular on Instagram and Twitter, and plant based bloggers are becoming influencers.

As such, corporate catering menus need to adapt to these lifestyle and diet choices in order to accommodate guests. While some might consider this an overwhelming task, we have been developing vegetarian-focused menus for years!

 

If you have a corporate catering event coming up, here are six tips to accommodate your vegetarian guests.

 

1. Move away from the salad

Vegetarians can all agree on one thing – if they are sitting down for a meal and they select the Vegetarian option, it certainly shouldn’t be a salad!

There is a common misconception that salads are the only thing a vegetarian eats; and it’s just that, a misconception. While a great Greek Salad or couscous blend is an excellent starter, it is important to consider alternatives for the main dish.

 

2. Consider a plant based protein

For a balanced meal, your corporate menu should consider a plant based protein for your Vegetarian or Vegan guests. Excellent protein options for plant based individuals can include tofu, tempeh or bean based options.

Tofu can be a great addition or replacement to a meat option for a main dish. For example, you can replace a chicken stir-fry with tofu, keeping all of the same sauces and sides.

 

3. Surprise – many of your appetizers might already be Vegetarian

Taking a look at your current menu options, some of your appetizers might already be meat-less, which removes any sort of customizations and extra additions for you, the host. Bruschetta, vegetable skewers, gourmet cheese (not vegan, but vegetarian) are all excellent options to provide for many lifestyles.

 

4. There are some delectable plant-based desserts available

Fresh fruits, gourmet crackers and vegan cheeses, watermelon “cake” and more are all plant-based and simply delicious. While you will likely offer other options (such as meats and cheeses, cakes and pastries), you might be surprised at how much you can create, that is plant based!

 

5. Vegan-ize any barbeque items, even burgers

If you are searching for a casual menu, you might be selecting a barbeque style of lunch or dinner. Think pork ribs, chicken breast and roasted potatoes.

The greatest part of a casual barbeque is that you can truly vegan-ize any of these items. There are a plethora of plant-based burgers that can be made, from bean-based to soy-based. In fact, 93% of people who are purchasing and consuming plant-based burgers like the Beyond Meat burger are meat eaters, so you may find yourself attracting a large crowd!

 

6. Invite your guests to provide their favourite menu item recommendations

While we are in a period of transition, the transition of our population considering plant based and Vegetarian dishes more and more often, you can expect to receive feedback from your corporate catering guests. As such, why not ask your guests to provide their recommendations on menu items and requests? You may very well receive feedback that can be used to create your next menu.

 

While you create your upcoming lunch or dinner corporate catering menu, you might consider Vegetarian or Vegan menu items. Don’t be afraid to create a blended menu that suits all guests of your event, never jeopardizing taste for diet!

 

Why You Should Partner With A Local Caterer

Whether it is your wedding, a luncheon or a corporate event, partnering with a caterer is often a must on your list. We’ve long shared what you should consider when looking for a caterer, though have you considered why you should partner with a local caterer, specifically?

Catering in Surrey, BC presents a wide variety of options, from varying cuisines to service offerings. Having been in the business for over 15 years, we understand what our clients are looking for in a trusted caterer.

That’s why we always recommend our clients to choose local. Just like sourcing for local foods or products, there are plenty of benefits to partnering with a local caterer in Surrey, BC.

Read on for our five reasons why you should partner with a local caterer.

 

1. Local caterers understand local venues.

Having worked with clients since 2003, we have truly been everywhere – from corporate offices to local golf courses and venue halls. As such, we understand the intricacies of such venues, be it the quirks of the kitchen or where we can access the nearest power source.

Partnering with a local caterer means you have a breadth of experience behind you.

 

2. Sourcing local foods offers both value, taste and health benefits

There is no doubt that sourcing local foods offers a wide variety of benefits. Local foods are shown to be healthier for you and for the environment.

With a local caterer, you will benefit from relationships built with local providers, such as local farmers or distributers, to offer foods that are rich in flavour and healthy options.

Working with local farmers, particularly, can open areas of opportunity to source excellent meats and produce, ensuring freshness at your next lunch or dinner table.

 

3. Schedule in-person consultations quicker and easier

If nothing else, working with a local caterer means you can have a thorough consultation that is easy to schedule. At Catering Visions, we believe that consultations are integral in the success of any event. While we have event menus available for your review, these are simply menus to begin with. Every single one of our events are created with customizations in mind, to ensure your guests receive only the best in their appetizers or meal.

 

4. Chances are, we’ve worked with someone you know

Partnering with a local caterer in Surrey, BC means that you can source referrals from local clients. Chances are, we’ve worked with someone you know over the last number of years! Having had hundreds and hundreds of clients means we have great referrals to provide you. Head on over to our photo gallery and take a look at some of our past work!

 

5. We are aware of in-season food options

Local caterers are not only able to provide locally sourced food options, we are also very aware of in-season foods and beverages. Many of our guests prefer to eat what is local and in-season, such as potatoes and kale in the Fall, and apples, peaches and sweeter options in the Summer (think – Summer salads!)

In-season food options are an excellent way to deliver some impressive menus for your next event, regardless of the purpose or number of guests.

 

At Catering Visions, we recommend partnering with a local caterer. Not only can local caterers provide the vision and experience in your area of Surrey, BC that you require, we can also source the best of the best food, to ensure your guests have the ultimate in cuisine experience.

To learn more about how we can support your next event, contact us here.

Choosing a Wedding Catering Vendor – These Are The Questions To Ask

Choosing your wedding catering vendor is no small decision. After the venue has been selected and your guest list is underway, it is quickly time to determine not only what kind of food your guests will eat, but who will be developing a simply impeccable menu for your wedding.

The menu, including the quality of your food and the presentation of the meal, is one of the most important pieces in a wedding. While your guests will certainly remember the love that you will share and celebrate as a couple, the food can set the mood for the evening.

So, when it comes to selecting a wedding catering vendor, what are the key questions you should ask to determine if this vendor is truly for you? Having been in the business since 2003, we have been part of weddings of all sizes, with a variety of themes.

Here are the questions to ask when selecting a wedding catering vendor.

 

1. Do you have small print?

At Catering Visions we offer a variety of menu and a la carte options, which form the basis or starting point for more customized solutions. While we are upfront and transparent about our contract and agreements, it is important to ask your wedding catering vendors about their agreements. Is there small print that you should be made aware of? What about charges that happen before, during or after the event? Understand your agreement and your expectations of a vendor.

2. Can menus be adapted?

While your wedding is certainly about you, your guests will appreciate the finer touches. This means that the food menu must be taken into account for each and every one of your guests. Be it vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or otherwise, ensure that your selected vendor can adapt their menus based on guest requirements.

3. Where do your source your food?

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “where do you source your food, be it locally or from elsewhere?We pride ourselves on offering high quality cuisine that is delicious and freshly prepared, always seeking to source local ingredients where possible.

4. How long have you been in business?

Working in the wedding industry means we have seen it all, from event planners to entertainment and everything in between. We always encourage our clients to ask questions from their selected vendors, to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible with their decision. An excellent question to ask from your wedding catering vendor is, “how long have you been in business?” Working with a long-standing company can help to ensure their breadth of experiences makes your day one to remember.

5. Can the catering staff adapt their attire to my theme?

If a black tie event is the theme for your big day, you will require your wedding catering staff to dress accordingly. An integral question to ask your selected vendor is if the catering staff can adapt their attire to your theme. Wearing casual khaki pants just won’t do on a big day!

 

Wedding catering companies are around every corner, so it is important that you choose a vendor who will align with your vision. These five questions above will help you decide who you should partner with for your big day. To learn more about Catering Visions, contact us here.

 

Catering Services For Your Event – Here’s What You Should Consider

When planning an event, there are so many decisions to make – from who to hire as your event planner, to where you will hold your event, to selecting your catering services and food menus. As such, we know that making these decisions can be overwhelming.

Looking particularly at catering services and food menus, we like to think that this is the most important decision you can make. After all, the food you present and menu you select can truly make or break the event!

 

When selecting your preferred caterer, there are key points we always recommend you consider.

 

Read online reviews

In this day and age, online reviews are more important than ever. From Google to Yelp, online reviews are truly the new method of referrals. When searching for catering services for your event, consider reading online reviews as you search through possible companies to work with.

Ask for an in-person or phone consultation

Consultations are important for any vendor with any event. We always recommend having a conversation with a company prior to making a decision as to who you will partner with. Why? Because in a consultation, you can determine whether a business will work with you in developing the best menu possible. At Catering Visions, our catering menus are not set in stone, though they will provide you with the framework to get started.

Search for photos

While the taste and texture of food at any event is important, presentation is equally as impressive. Search for photos on a search engine, on the catering services company’s website, or on social media. Do you feel inspired? Is it making your mouth water?

Determine – is customization possible?

Each and every event is different, whether corporate event, wedding menu, or simply a gathering of friends. As such, you might wish to customize your breakfast, lunch or dinner menu based on the nature of your event; therefore, it is important to ask your selected vendor if customization is possible.

Can your catering services company scale for small to large attendance?

As an event planner, you know that events can increase and decrease in attendance at the drop of a hat. Weddings, for example, can fluctuate. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of those invited will decline, which leaves plenty of food for others! When selecting a catering services company, you should ask if the company can scale for small, medium or large attendance sizes. It is important to also ask when the company will require final headcount, as you should adjust your RSVP dates accordingly.

Selecting a catering partner to create the menu of your dreams, regardless of the theme or purpose of your event, can be overwhelming. After all, we know that there are plenty of companies in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to choose from! When selecting your catering services partner, we encourage you to connect with us so that we can provide a consultation and review of how Catering Visions can partner with you for your next event.

5 Reasons Why Corporate BBQ Catering Will Compliment Your Next Event

Planning a corporate event is no small effort. Whether it is a leadership off-site event or a Spring BBQ for your entire staff, the logistics of invitations, location, menus and budget can become a part-time job for any team member. After years of partnering with companies in the Lower Mainland, we have seen the intricate details that go into every corporate event. So, when event organizers come to us for menu consultations, we often opt to recommend corporate BBQ catering options. Especially suitable for companies searching for a casual, yet delectable menu solution, corporate BBQ catering can be made simple with Catering Visions.

 

Here are 5 reasons why corporate BBQ catering will compliment your next event

 

1. BBQ menus offer something for everyone

One of the most challenging tasks of organizing corporate events is the menu selection. Inevitably, everyone has different and unique tastes, and also inevitably, there are allergies to be aware of.

BBQ menus offer something for everyone. From meat kebabs and salads to potato options and vegetables, corporate BBQ catering menus focus on simple, yet delicious options.

2. We have plenty of local selections

We are proud to live in an area that is so abundant with fresh produce, meat and poultry options. In the Fraser Valley, we have local, organic solutions for our sourced meats, and plenty of vegetable and fruit selections year-round.

Our BBQ menus are abundant with locally sourced products. We strive to use fresh and local ingredients, while working directly with local farmers and markets, wherever possible.

3. You can set-up different food bars

For corporate events, you need to offer attendees much more than just great food (although that is the focus, of course!) With BBQ menus, you might consider having additional food bars, such as mac and cheese, gourmet cheese and crackers, or charcuterie options. Setting up different food bars, especially as a late night option, gives your guests additional opportunities to snack on delicious food!

4. Our Rustic Estate BBQ menu is perfectly presented

In addition to enjoying delectable food, we are proud of the presentation for our Rustic Estate BBQ menu.

This menu is a popular selection for corporate BBQ catering as it provides a set menu of options. With our cocktail hour portion, guests can enjoy prawns, skewers and chicken satay prior to entering the main course, which includes sides and salads alongside New York strip-loin and salmon or chicken kebabs. Late night options are an excellent accompaniment after your guests have enjoyed a full meal with beverages and refreshments.

5. Corporate BBQ Catering can set the theme for your event

Corporate events, especially around the Holiday season or as a summer get-together, are often accompanied with a set theme. A BBQ menu often positions events as business casual, which helps your guests understand attire, purpose and positioning of the event. With corporate BBQ catering menus, your theme can be easily set and guests will be ready to enjoy themselves!

At Catering Visions, we offer many menu options for our clients, from corporate BBQ to traditional menus and custom solutions in between. With the Spring approaching us, we are getting ready for the weather to warm up and the BBQs to come out of hiding! To learn more about menus for your next corporate event, click here to connect with our team.

Bountiful Benefits of Buffet Catering

So, you have a major event coming up within the next year or so. Perhaps it’s a holiday soiree or maybe a business luncheon or even a wedding. And if there’s to be food involved, there’s no doubt that you’ve been thinking about the best options for your main meal.

When it comes to serving food at your event, you’ll have a number of options from which to choose. Many hosts are absolutely set on having a served, plated meal. That’s often the number one choice for a very formal event. Another option is to serve your main meal “family-style”, which includes placing large bowls and platters on the table for all to share. That can be a good option, depending on your food choices, and can be quite cost effective as well.

And then there’s the buffet meal. Many hosts view this as only an option for a more laid-back event, but the truth is that buffet meals can be quite lovely and can offer food that is equally as scrumptious as that which is served at a sit-down dinner. There are also a number of other wonderful perks associated with buffet catering and choosing this type of meal for your event.

  • Variety – With buffet catering, you can offer more foods and a greater variety of items as well. Buffets often include several entrée choices as well as many sides, salads, and more. And for dessert, buffet caterers can provide a huge spread of sweets that guests will love much more than that single ice cream parfait or slice of cheesecake. In addition, variety means there’s likely to be something everyone likes, which means less wasted food.
  • Portion options – With a plated meal, everyone gets the same amount of food, regardless of their appetites. With a buffet option, those with small appetites can take smaller portions while those who really enjoy eating can load up on their favorites. Again, the option to control one’s portion results in less waste.
  • Dietary restrictions – Buffets are an easy way to offer options to those with particular dietary restrictions. For example, most caterers will suggest that you have several vegetarian options as part of your choices and you may even want to include something like a gluten-free pasta and some gluten-free desserts on your buffet. This way, everyone can enjoy their meals together and no one will be waiting for their special plated vegetarian entrée to arrive.
  • Guests can mingle – With a buffet meal, guests do indeed need to get out of their seats to get their food. Some individuals might groan a bit about that, but it really is nice for your guests to be able to meet others at the buffet tables and enjoy a chance to chat for a bit before they return to their assigned table.
  • Cost – In many cases, the cost of a buffet meal is less than that of a sit-down option. For many who are hosting large events, that’s one of the most important considerations, so pricing should definitely be discussed with your chosen caterer before you make a final decision about meal styles and food selections.

A little bit of both

If you’re not totally sold on the buffet option for your wedding, party, or other event, maybe you’ll want to consider a meal that is a combination of plated meal and buffet. You might think about having plated salads on the tables for your guests at the beginning of the meal and then allowing them to partake of the buffet for their entrees and sides. Afterwards, you can do a plated dessert if you prefer, or offer a wonderful sweets spread buffet-style for your guests to enjoy.

Consult your caterer

Your caterer can provide you with a host of options for buffet catering, from very “fancy” foods for weddings and formal parties to options that are much more casual, including barbecue selections. Buffets are also available for breakfast and lunch events and can be a very cost-effective way to feed a large number of people at meetings or conferences.

Talk to your caterer for more ideas on buffet meals that will make your next event a memorable one.

Holiday Event Catering

It’s that time of year and you want to go “all out” for the holidays! You can just hear those sleigh bells ringing, you’ve written down all your party ideas, and you can’t wait to plan the perfect gala for your family and friends.

As a matter of fact, this is the one time of year when you let go of budget concerns and enjoy spoiling your guests with an extravaganza they won’t soon forget. And why not? It’s the perfect season for letting everyone know just how important they are in your life by providing them with a fun evening of holiday merriment, pulling out all the stops and offering your guests the best of everything.
 

Making Your Party Shine


 
What’s the most important part of your party? Some would argue that it’s the decorations. They are certainly integral to creating the holiday mood. You’ll want the best tree you can find, trimmed with lots of sparkling objects. Your yard, perhaps, will be decorated with Santa Claus, candy canes, twinkling lights, and more, setting the mood before your guests even enter your home.

Others would say it’s the music that’s most important. Perhaps some live music would be ideal. A pianist playing popular Christmas tunes, an acoustic guitarist, or maybe even some traditional carolers would be ideal for your soiree. Whichever you choose, music is sure to pump up the holiday mood.
 

And then there’s the food.

 
For many party throwers and party goers, this is the most important piece of the pie…or fruitcake. Seriously, how many people go to weddings, parties, and other events and then go home and comment about the food? Just about everyone!

That indicates, of course, that what you serve will be remembered the next day, though they might not remember what color Christmas balls you had on your tree or the last song the quartet sang at the close of the evening.
 

Planning that Magical Meal

 
So, let’s talk about the menu. It goes without saying, of course, that if this is your big party of the year you won’t be doing the cooking. Instead, you’ll be hiring a caterer and spending your time hobnobbing with your guests. That’s the way it should be!

That means, of course, that you only need to make decisions about what to serve and how to do it, and then you can leave the rest to a capable caterer who can manage all food-related issues including not only the food itself but also linens, tableware, and servers, if and when they are needed.
 

So, what’s the first step once you find a caterer you trust?

 
It’s deciding how you want to present the food (sit-down, appetizer stations, buffet, etc.) and all the particular of what you want to serve.

Many party hosts opt to go with buffet meals of some sort, simply because it’s the most adaptable to the space in your home. Unless, you have a huge room available for a sit-down dinner – most people don’t – you’ll want to stick with something a little less formal. If, of course, you can accommodate the
number of guests in attendance at your table(s), go for it! There’s nothing more elegant than a multi-course meal complete with holiday favorites or other food of your choosing.

If you opt for buffet, you can consider several options. For example, you may want to begin with served appetizers (here’s where the waitstaff comes in) along with champagne or other beverages and then transition to a buffet for the remainder of the meal, including desserts. Make sure, nonetheless, that there’s ample seating or standing space for those who are worried about juggling plates and drinks. You might consider bringing in small standing café tables where 3 or 4 can gather to enjoy their food.

At the holidays, a dedicated dessert table is always a nice idea. You can dress it up with fancy cookies and cakes as well as lovely decorations. Ask your caterer if they have experience in creating a dazzling dessert table that’ll wow your guests.

And what about the menu? Do you have traditional holiday favorites you’d like to include or would you like to go in a totally different direction? Do you have a theme in mind, like an Olde English Christmas or a Renaissance feast?

Whatever your pleasure, be sure before you hire the caterer that they are amenable to stepping out of the box and away from their usual menus. Of course, you might find that one of their usual menus is right up your alley, but be sure you discuss the menu in detail before you sign on the dotted line.
 

But remember…

 
No matter how elaborate your party and how fancy and delicious your food, it’s the people around you that count the most. You’ve chosen to use a caterer so that you don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen tending to the food. So, let the caterers do their job and trust their experience. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve selected a caterer you know will make your party one that your guests will remember for years to come.

It’s Not Too Early to Plan Your Holiday Party Catering Details

Yup. The holidays are coming. We bet you’ve gone into your favourite big box or department store in the last few weeks and witnessed rows of Halloween costumes, candy, and jack-o-lanterns on one side of the aisle and Christmas decorations and goodies on the other. After all, there’s only a few months left to plan for the latter while Halloween is practically here!

So, if you’re the type that makes a big deal about the December holidays, you’re probably starting to formulate plans – at least in your head – for fun get-togethers for friends and family members. It’s never too early to give some preliminary thought to what kind of party (or parties) you’d like to host this coming holiday season, and – of course – food is a huge part of any Christmas party, so the details of what you’ll serve should be given priority as far as planning is concerned.

Many party throwers are proud of the fact that they can do it ALL by themselves. Decorate, cook, plan activities. It’s a one-man-show for some happy party planners, but taking on all the tasks of a successful party can be taxing and stressful, especially at the holiday season when there’s simply so much to do.

But what are the alternatives? And how do you know if they’re right for your party?
 

To DIY or Not to DIY?

 
Why do party throwers often insist on doing it all themselves? Well, usually it’s a pride of accomplishment thing. It makes us proud to say we “did It all” with little or no help from others. Similarly, many hosts simply enjoy the tasks of cooking and baking, so they decide that they will plan an elaborate menu and start days before to get everything done before the first guest arrives.

Chances are we’ve all done this at some time or another AND chances are that we sat down when it was all finished and asked, “Why did I put myself through that?” Even those who like to cook recognize the difficulty of taking on the responsibility for all the party food as well as the other details of a well-executed holiday event.

Besides preserving our price of accomplishment, we often take on all this responsibility because we think someone else can’t do it as well as we do. We’re afraid that menus from party caterers will lack the originality we seek when putting together our own creations. We have specific plans in mind that we don’t think a caterer will want to tackle.

Truth is, however, that most catering businesses – at least, the good ones – are more than eager to sit down with you and plan a menu that matches your vision. As a matter of fact, chefs love a challenge and would be absolutely fine brain-storming with you to craft a holiday party that makes you proud to be the host.

If you take time to choose a quality caterer, you won’t get the dry chicken, the green beans almandine, the dinner roll, and the vanilla ice cream dessert that you’re normally offered at so many catered dinners. Far from it! When you choose to go with a party caterer that’s flexible and creative rather than succumb to the do-it-yourself option, you’ll still have plenty of choices.
 

So Where Do We Start?

 
It’s likely that you already have some ideas in mind for your party menu. That’s great! Maybe you’re thinking about an hors d’oeuvres party or perhaps a fancy sit-down dinner. Or maybe a large buffet is the ideal option for the huge gang you’re planning to invite to your soiree. Or perhaps you’re thinking about something else that you deem totally “out of the box.”

Having a definitive idea of what kind of menu you’re hoping to serve is the ideal place to start. You don’t need to have every detail planned, but an overall idea of which direction you’d like to proceed is essential before you start seeking a caterer for your party. Write down some details so that you can best convey your wishes as you meet with prospective caterers and bring those notes to your meetings.

When it’s time to start looking around for the perfect party chef, begin by searching the internet for catering businesses in your area and take a preliminary look at the kinds of events they offer. Do their sample menus show that they are pretty much stuck in a rut or do they demonstrate creativity and a willingness to be flexible? Does the company’s website copy include sentences such as “it’s your party and we want the food to be as unique as you” or “we strive to best compliment that special atmosphere that you are working to create”?

It’s sentences like those that indicate a prospective caterer is willing to listen to your wishes and isn’t stuck to a particular food style or menu.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you may need to be a little flexible as well. All of your ideas may not be suitable to party catering, especially with a large group, and a good caterer will tell you so and then help you figure out other options that will make you just as happy, resulting in a party full of joy and merriment.

And aren’t holiday parties all about joy? Oh, and food, of course!