Be it a wedding celebration or a corporate affair, when it comes to hosting a great event, food and beverages play a very critical role. Good food can make an event a memorable experience for all the guests at the event. So, while you search for party venues in London, don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of quality food in a presentable manner. Take a look at these tips for catering an event successfully if you want to make yours a big hit.
Do a Head Count
The first step to take when catering an event is to have a clear idea of the number of people whom you need to serve. This allows you to decide the menu and serving style (buffet or sit-down meal) as well as make various other arrangements accordingly.
Pick a Catering Option
Depending on the guest list and the venue where you host your event, there are three main options that you can choose from.
- Work with the catering manager at the venue itself
- Hire a private caterer
- Arrange/cook the food on your own
Needless to say, the third option is only applicable to small-scale events or very private parties where you only invite a few of your closest friends or family members. For most events involving 30 or more people, it’s best to hire professional caterers. Some party venues in London have an in-house catering service whereas others might only rent out the venue and you will have to arrange the food from a private vendor.
Once you have decided which option is the most budget-friendly and best suited to your event, move on to the next step. Decide the menu, do the grocery shopping (if you’re bringing your own food) or start searching for caterers and shortlist the best ones in town. Ask for referrals from your friends or look for food vendors online. Visit the event venue in person and note down the facilities that they have and the services which they offer. If you have booked an all-inclusive party venue in London, that’s well and good. However, if you have opted for a dry hire instead, then make sure the place has a proper and well-equipped kitchen and sufficient space to accommodate outside caterers.
Decide the Menu
Now, moving on to one of our main tips for catering.
When deciding the menu for your event, consider factors such as the number of guests, their background and food choices as well the purpose of the event and the timing of the occasion.
Number of Guests
If you wish to be really generous with the food options for your event, you can easily do so for a small gathering. From appetisers and starters to a three-course meal, desserts, cocktails and more, please your guests to their heart’s delight. As for large events, it’s preferred to stick to a few main dishes to avoid chaos and keep it all manageable.
Purpose of the Event and Timings
A wedding reception at night calls for a hearty full-course meal. Corporate meetings held in the afternoon must include proper lunch with appetisers and entrées followed by the main dish and dessert. Similarly, if it’s a full day business conference, you must offer tea breaks in between.
Background and Food Choices
If most of your guests are flying in from abroad, they might prefer something light to avoid any problems while travelling back. Or if there are any guests with health issues or dietary restrictions, make sure to account for them as well. People who are gluten intolerant, diabetic, or vegetarian must be catered to accordingly. If you cannot change the menu entirely, try to have something made especially for them in a small batch.
Account for the Mood and Setting
For a casual wedding party held under the open sky, you might serve light food such as chicken sandwiches, pasta, smoothies or cocktails. For high-end sophisticated weddings held in a large banqueting hall, you should upgrade the menu to include proper, nutritious meals. But for a corporate event involving business executives, it’s best to steer clear of serving food-on-a-stick appetisers or messy items such as burgers.
Meet the Expectations
Depending on the theme or the nature of the event, your guests might have some expectations regarding what they will be served on the main day. If you invited them to a Caribbean wedding but serve traditional dishes instead of tropical cuisine, they are likely to be disappointed. Similarly, conducting a social event to promote health and fitness amongst your employees and not including vegetarian options in the menu is bound to create a bad image as well.
Moreover, if the event is being organised to appreciate and acknowledge the hard work of your employees, try to avoid a buffet and go for a sit-down meal instead, as this is more in line with making them feel special and honoured.
Once you have the menu ready, decide whether you want it served buffet-style or not. Self-serve can reduce your catering costs, but a full-service waiting staff ensures a smoother event flow as they keep the party food flowing without missing a beat. Also, talk to the venue manager so that they arrange the seats accordingly.
Hire the Best Caterers
Food and catering can make your event the most talked-about topic in town. But whether it’s talked about in a good or bad sense is entirely up to you.
Something that has the power to make or break your event must be left to the experts. So head over to VUK Banqueting and leave your catering worries at the door.
Besides a large banqueting hall and various facilities, VUK Banqueting offers a great catering service that provides fabulous food for all events and tastes. Our chefs are masters at cooking delicious food from various cuisines including Indian, African, Mediterranean as well as Greek. We can handle the entire catering on our own, or you can hire the hall only and bring in a vendor of your choice. Our well-equipped kitchen will facilitate them in carrying out their work efficiently.
VUK Banqueting is the ultimate party venue in London. Give us a call to arrange your next event.