5 Things to Consider when Planning Food Arrangements for an Event

Every person’s food preferences are different, with some pickier than others. Some enjoy spicy meals, others deep-fried, and others completely vegan. So when it comes to planning the food arrangements for an event, what dishes should you serve? It’s a question that requires event organizers to juggle many competing needs. 

Selecting the right meals to accommodate your guests can be just as overwhelming as the rest of your party’s details. Whether it is a wedding, fundraiser, grand opening, or office party, the food options should matter when strategizing the occasion. At Catering By Mario’s, we specialize in providing high-quality catering services for a range of events. Using our food expertise, we came up with five things you should consider when selecting the entrees for your party menu.

As a top-notch Philadelphia catering company, we offer various dishes for our clients to choose from for their event. We understand that this decision is not always an easy task. Follow these simple guidelines for determining a party food menu that will satisfy everyone, from the first guest to the very last.

Know Your Guest Demographics

To properly plan your menu, you’ll need to know who is coming to your event. Get as much information about your guests as possible before you start making food arrangements to create as inclusive a menu as possible.

Finding Regional and Dietary Requirements

Finding out essential profile details about your guests can aid you in your food selection process. Some factors you can consider include ethnic backgrounds, living locations, frequency of event attendance in the past, and professional levels. Sometimes you’ll need your menu to accommodate multiple demographics and food requirements. By doing proper research and guest vetting ahead of time, you can get the jump on crafting an inclusive menu.

Take Note of the Ages to Attend

It’s no secret that different types of food appeal to different age demographics than others. An event geared with younger attendees will respond better to mac and cheese and chicken fingers than an older audience. Having a menu that reflects that will help your event go smoothly. 

A wide range in age can make an impact on your event’s food menu. The key is to find an entrée that will satisfy all ages or provide a middle ground. For instance, older guests may prefer a more mild taste, while younger guests may like spicier dishes. Having a menu that appeals to your range of guests will help keep everyone feeling nice and full.

Give Attendees a Choice

Not everyone’s palette is the same. Some people have a dedicated sweet tooth, while others want you to pile on the spices. Unless your event is celebrating a hyper-specific cuisine, offering your guests more than one option will help ensure everyone has something delicious to choose from. You’ll also want to know if any of your guests have special dietary requirements that need to be addressed.

When you start menu planning, a good rule of thumb is to offer at least 2 to 3 entrée options so that guests can select their favorite. Offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options can help ensure that every guest has something on their plate. Make sure that you include a variety of condiments and salad dressings as well.

Make the Food Dishes Seasonal

Seasonality is a food and menu concept that helps keep your menu fresh and helps keep food costs down. When you select menu items in season or have no one defined season, you ensure that you receive the freshest options available. Check on what produce is in season around your event. You can do the same with your fish dishes as well. 

Additionally, when planning your event menu, ensure that the meals accommodate the time of year. If your event is held in the winter, your guests will want warm food, whereas if your event is held in the summer, they may want to eat something cool. Also, keep in mind what food types are favored during certain times of the year. (You don’t want to be serving pumpkin pie in the middle of July!)

Coordinate Meal with Event Timing

Certain dishes require different time lengths to eat. Ask yourself how long your event is going to be, and choose a dish that will coordinate with the time frame of your event. For example, let’s say your event has the guests on their feet for the whole time, and they’re mingling with each other and moving throughout the event space. A sit-down dinner would interrupt the flow of the meal and not work with the event’s overall vibe. In cases like these, it may be best to serve a boxed meal. 

For longer and slower-paced events, your guests will find the time to sit around and chat in a fixed location. For events like wedding receptions, awards ceremonies, and banquets, a long-form sit-down menu can prove beneficial. If the event were a couple of hours long, a plated meal or buffet would be better suited.

Bringing Your Event Together

Now that you have gotten the menu planning out of the way, how you prepare and present your food becomes the next step. The Catering by Mario’s team can help make your next Bucks County corporate catering event genuinely shine. Our amazing chefs and coordinators can help you with your menu selection process for your event. 

Think you have what it takes to plan a killer event menu? Take our quiz and find out today! 

We take the burden of cooking and serving off of your shoulders so that you can enjoy your party and relax. Call us today to make catering arrangements for your next drive-by catering event!