In Catering Tips, Catering Trends

Throwing a party? Then it’s time to start planning!

Parties are a great way to bring your friends and family together, create some great memories, and show off your hosting skills!

Now, one of the most important parts of planning a party is figuring out the food. And let’s be honest—the food is going to be one of the main events of the party. But you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for hours cooking up a storm and miss the chance to mingle with your guests. And this is where food catering for parties comes in.

Let’s take a look at 10 helpful tips for planning food catering for parties.

1. Get a Head Count

Start by taking a head count of the number of guests you will be having over. Send out those invites and keep track of RSVPs. When it comes to food catering for parties, you shouldn’t underestimate or overestimate how much food you’ll need.

Also, party guests tend to underestimate how much they will eat at a party, especially if the food looks incredible (and with a caterer, it will!). So make sure to add a buffer or about 15% to your headcount—this way, none of your guests will be left hungry!

2. Budget Like a Pro

Parties are always fun, but they can also drain your wallet if you‘re not careful. As far as catering is concerned, figure out your budget beforehand. Most caterers have an array of packages and menu options to suit different budgets. But keep in mind that the final price for catering won’t be set in stone.

Several other expenses can affect the final price, such as taxes, delivery fees, and rental of tables, linens, and chafing dishes. A good caterer will be completely honest with all the expenses involved, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs.

3. Let Your Caterer Know the Vibe you Want

Is it a summertime backyard party? A happening cocktail party for work colleagues? A casual movie night with friends? The theme of your party is what sets everything in motion, from food to decoration, so you must inform your caterer about the theme you’re going for.

Caterers are masters in designing menus that suit different vibes. For instance, a summer BBQ wouldn’t be a BBQ without juicy burgers and fresh salads, while a cocktail party wouldn’t be fun without hors d’oeuvres and miniature desserts.

4. Don’t Worry About Dietary Dilemmas

Chances are that a few of your guests might have some dietary restrictions but don’t let that stress you out! Reliable catering companies can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and other special diet requirements.

Just make sure to find out what the dietary restrictions of your guests are and communicate them to your caterer as early as possible when you’re finalizing the menu. Also, most caterers will gladly give you their recommendations for mouthwatering and inclusive dishes that all your guests can enjoy.

5. Keep Variety in Mind

Different people have different preferences—and that’s a good thing! With this in mind, you should decide on a menu with a lot of options to suit different tastes. Try to add some appetizers, main courses, and maybe even some dessert for later.

This means there will always be something for everyone and no one will get bored at the grazing table.

6. Think About Presentation

We all know the saying “We eat with our eyes first”. Food shouldn’t just taste good—it should look good too. That being said, you should work with your caterer to come up with a visually stunning buffet table that’ll be a feast for the eyes—pun intended.

Caterers are true artists when it comes to food presentation. They’ll arrange the food in a beautiful and eye-catching way that’ll make your guests want to take a picture!

7. Get Super Creative

The humble cheese platter is a crowd-pleaser but catering allows you to try out some exciting and unconventional menu options. So ask your caterer about their signatures or specialty menus for the season.

Sometimes caterers can come up with some truly unexpected menu options that’ll surprise your guests. But try not to forget to add some crowd-pleasers—it’s not worth trying new dishes that might make some of the guests feel uncomfortable.

8. Plan with Your Caterer

Organizing a party can involve a million little details. Let your caterer do what they do best. The caterer will take care of almost everything from menu planning to food preparation, delivery, and even set up and cleanup. This allows you to shift your attention to other crucial things such as planning decorations, music, and becoming the ultimate party host!

9. Think Beyond the Food

Catering services generally go beyond just offering food. Besides catering services, some caterers also provide additional packages such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, rental tables and chairs, and even wait staff to make sure that the event goes off without a hitch.

So make sure to ask your caterer about what additional services they can offer you to make the party planning process easier.

10. Be the Perfect Party Host

The truth is—parties can be tiring no matter how fun they are. Since your caterer will be handling everything related to the party menu, you’ll have some free time on your hands.

Take this time to hang out with your guests. Remember, being a good party host plays a big role in making a party a hit.

How to choose a great caterer in Pittsburgh

Here’s your guide to finding a Pittsburgh catering champion:

1. Know What You Want

Before checking out caterer websites, think about what kind of party you’ll be having. Is it a big outdoor party or a small, cozy one? Do you want to stick to a particular cuisine, or do you want the caterer to decide for you? Caterers in Pittsburgh provide a variety of pricing models such as buffet and plated dinners.

2. Decide on a Location

Pittsburgh is full of amazing places, from quiet neighborhoods to bustling downtown areas. Choose a location that can accommodate catering and make sure that it’s a spot that your caterer can reach without much trouble.

3. Do Your Research

There are many caterers in Pittsburgh so you’ll need to do your research if you want to find the right one. Ask around town or talk to friends and family about any caterers they’ve worked with in the past.

Also, check out the caterer’s website—this may help you get a good idea of the quality of their services and you’ll also be able to take a look at their menus.

4. Remember Reviews are Your Friend

Don’t sleep on online reviews—they can be great sources of information when you’re looking for a caterer! Check out websites like Yelp and read some Google Reviews to get a good idea of what a particular caterer offers and how good their service is.

Also, ask the caterers if they offer food sampling. This way, you can get an idea of the quality of the food and see if their menu options match your preferences.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Right Questions

Clear and open communication with your catering is important. Be honest about your budget and let your caterer in on all the important details, like dietary requirements and other details of your party.

A good caterer should be willing to listen to your requirements and tailor their catering services to meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions about food catering for parties:

1. Do caterers offer free tastings?

Not all caterers offer free tasting; some caterers may charge a small fee. Also, this fee may change depending on how many people will be present for the tasting session.

2. Can I make changes to the menu after I’ve booked it?

Yes, you can. Many caterers are very flexible and can make changes to the menu when needed. Just be sure to let them know about the changes as early as possible.

3. Should I tip the catering staff?

If the caterer doesn’t include gratuity in the final bill, it won’t hurt to tip the staff. This is a kind gesture and may motivate the catering service to work with you again in the future.

Food catering for parties doesn’t have to be difficult

With the help of a good caterer with great catering menu packages, you can host a killer party that will be the talk of the town for months to come! Food is a huge part of any party so make sure to find the right caterer in Pittsburgh today.

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Cooked Goose Catering Company 7851 Steubenville Pike
Oakdale, PA 15071

Event Catering: 412-258-5944
Goose Express: 724-695-2322

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