In Catering Tips, Catering Trends, Funeral Catering

Funeral planning is indeed an emotional and difficult task and one of the most difficult aspects of planning a funeral is deciding on funeral catering menus.

You want to show respect for the memory of your loved one and bring solace to the bereaved people at the funeral. Offering a good spread of food is one way to bring comfort at the funeral and keep the attendees refreshed.

However, the process of selecting the right menu for funeral catering that meets your specific situation might be overwhelming. Let’s take a look at how you can plan appropriate funeral catering menus.

1. Consider the type, time, and location of the funeral service

The first thing to think about before planning a catering menu for a funeral is whether it will be a funeral service at the church, at the cemetery, or at your family home. Funerals can differ in many ways based on the traditions or customs prevailing in societies, religions, or families and these can be observed through wakes, viewings, burials, cremations, memorials, or celebration-of-life ceremonies—these factors might affect the type and amount of food you serve.

For instance, if the wake or viewing precedes the funeral service itself, you could serve light snacks and beverages, such as finger foods, mini sandwiches, salads, cookies, coffee, or punch. On the contrary, if you’re hosting a burial or a cremation, you may want to choose a more filling meal after the service, such as a buffet or a sit-down lunch. Also, if you’re conducting a memorial or celebration of life, you could try to serve meals that were enjoyed by your loved one.

The time and place of the funeral also affect your funeral catering menus. For example, for a morning service, you could offer breakfast and brunch items, such as muffins, bagels, eggs, bacon, or fruits. If you are doing the service at noon or evening, serve the attendees some lunch or dinner items like pasta, chicken, beef, vegetables, or soup. Also, the location of the service may help or hinder the availability of and access to kitchen facilities, refrigeration, heating, or serving equipment, so keep this in mind when planning catering.

2. Consider the budget, the number of attendees, and their preferences

A few more things you need to consider when planning catering menus for funerals are your budget, the number of attendees, and their dietary requirements, allergies, and food restrictions. You need to have a menu that provides high-quality food that’s also plentiful.

You could try using some online calculators, graphs, or guides to determine how much food you’ll need to order for the number of people attending. Aside from these, you can make use of RSVPs, invitations, and sign-up sheets which will help you obtain an estimate of the number of guests and their choices. Additionally, make sure to stock up on some extra food, especially if you suspect that many more guests than expected will arrive, or some of them may stay for a while longer.

The food you include in the menu should be safe and pleasant for the attendees. Labeling the food, separating the food, for example, placing the meat items away from the non-meat items, or avoiding the use of specific ingredients is very important. Food containing nuts, gluten, dairy, or alcohol, for example, may not be suitable for some attendees. Make sure to ask attendees in advance about their dietary needs, allergies, or restrictions or use by using symbols, signs, or cards to show the attendees the ingredients.

3. Consider the theme, style, and presentation of the food

Another factor to keep in mind when planning a theme for a funeral catering menu is the style, design, and organization of food. You want to order food that is in line with funeral traditions, appetizing, and also visually pleasing.

The funeral could be based on different themes, such as the season, the purpose of the service, or the culture of the deceased and their family. Say that you are organizing a funeral service in the winter, you may want to include hearty and comforting dishes such as stew, chili, or hot chocolate.

You could factor in all of this and ensure the presentation is up to par with the help of a catering company. For example, if you’re holding the funeral in a funeral parlor or a church, you may want to have a buffet to allow attendees to eat at their leisure, so you’ll need to find a catering company that can offer a buffet spread for the funeral.

4. Consider the catering company, the services provided, and the layout

Planning a catering menu for a funeral isn’t easy, especially when there are so many other aspects of the funeral that you need to work on. Also, this will be a difficult time for you and your family, so emotions are high and it can be hard to focus on what needs to be done.

Fortunately, when you work with a catering company. They will handle all aspects of catering at the funeral for you and will give you a selection of food based on their catering menu packages.

When choosing a caterer, make sure to look at the services they provide and the benefits they offer, such as trained waiting staff. Also, think about the kind of layout you’ll want for the catering—your chosen catering company may be able to help you set it up.

Create the perfect funeral catering menus

Planning a catering menu for a funeral can be overwhelming, but by working with a good catering company, this task can be made a lot easier. Getting in touch with a reliable catering company in Pittsburgh can take some of the weight off your shoulders during this difficult period.

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