Whether it’s a family gathering at your home or an upcoming corporate event at your office, providing your guests with quality food is essential.
In most cases, food is not the central focus of the gathering or event, but it most certainly plays an important role in the overall experience. And while you want to provide a great catering experience for your guests, you also need to be mindful of your overall budget.
We know it’s somewhat of a Catch-22, but we’re here to help you find the perfect balance! With over 35 years of catering experience, we’ve compiled a list of affordable event catering ideas to help our customers make educated decisions on what to include in their upcoming event menus. See below for a list of our top event catering ideas:
1. Provide Vegetarian Food
We all know that meat is generally more expensive than vegetables. And while most people are aware of this, they aren’t aware of how tasty vegetarian options can be. We carry everything from buttered corn niblets, haluski, and an assortment of potato options to salads, seasonal fruits, and coleslaw. If you want to sprinkle some meat in, we can do that too! Feel free to peruse our buffet catering menu to see more of our vegetarian food options.
2. Offer Rice or Noodle-Based Cuisines
Many local catering companies in Pittsburgh, and across the country, typically only offer traditional American or European food for their customers’ event catering needs. And while we also offer those selections, that doesn’t mean you can’t venture outside of your comfort zone. There are many other cuisines that your guests would equally love. Rice and noodle-based cuisines like Mexican, Indian, and Thai have increasingly become more popular over the years. This option is not only tasty and filling but also budget-friendly.
3. Choose the Serving Time Carefully
Serving food at the right team is as important as serving the right food. Serving the food at usual mealtime will mean that people are hungrier and might consume a lot of food. This will not only mean higher bills, but you might see some of them yawning at your event – something that you never want to witness. If you’re arranging affordable breakfast food catering or the best brunch in Pittsburgh, time is quite crucial.
4. See if Your Catering Company Offers the ‘Full Package’
In addition to the food, many event caterers provide additional services such as floral arrangements, linens, dinnerware, chair covers, and table décor. With that being said, it’s definitely worthwhile asking your caterer what additional services that they offer and then compare them to the aforementioned rental companies. When you price match these items, it helps give you a leg up when looking for the best available discounts for your event. It will also help reduce the overall planning, and stress, if you can get everything from one place versus having to reach out to multiple places. This is especially true for wedding catering and large corporate event catering.
5. Include a Self-Serving Buffet
Many people are reluctant to include buffet-style catering at their large events. That’s more than likely because they haven’t had Cooked Goose style buffet catering. Our buffet catering menus allow guests to pick and choose food items that are not only delicious but fresh and homemade from scratch. A buffet allows you to save money on waiting for staff services.
6. Don’t Have Too Many Appetizers
While everyone and their mothers love appetizers, we recommend that you don’t have too many. The thing about appetizers is that they can get expensive, especially when you include a wide variety of options. That’s why you should consider limiting appetizers to a few or even arranging the appetizers by yourself. Preparing veggie platters, cheese boards, charcuterie, and salad dips is pretty straightforward and could end up saving you a good chunk of money.