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Catering Ideas For All Occasions

Food is one of the most important parts of an event. Often the success of an event depends on the quality and variety of catering options.

Here are some creative ideas for presenting unique catering menu items that will wow your guests and clients. Many of these ideas are quick, easy, and affordable.

Grazing Tables

A grazing table is the perfect way to serve a variety of foods at your next event. From savory appetizers and cheese to desserts, you can’t go wrong with this type of buffet. The best part is, you can customize your grazing table according to the theme of your party. This means you can include different kinds of dips, jams, and other foods to create a unique look that will leave your guests impressed.

When planning a grazing table, it’s important to keep in mind your guest’s dietary needs and preferences. For example, if your guests are gluten-free or vegan, be sure to offer appropriate options for them. This will ensure that all of your guests can enjoy the food and feel included in the party.

To make your grazing table even more appealing, use different types of serving platters and utensils. You can also add items such as decorative sign posts and wooden crates to give the table some height and interest. Another great option is to add different kinds of flowers to your grazing table. This will add a touch of beauty and a nice scent to the table.

When laying out the food for your grazing table, it’s best to start with veggies, dips, fruits, and nuts first. These items can stay out for a longer amount of time than meats and cheeses. You should only put out the meats and cheeses right before your guests arrive, so they can be enjoyed fresh. This will help to prevent the cheese from melting or spoiling before your guests have a chance to try it.

Share Boards

Share boards are a great way to serve food at a large gathering. Whether they’re charcuterie, cheese or vegetable or fruit-based, these boards are visually appealing and are easy for guests to serve themselves. You’ll need a variety of small bowls or jars for the wet ingredients (jams, olives, dips etc.) and a few sets of mini skewers or toothpicks for the meat/cheese/veggie items. A smattering of small plates, glasses or dishes for the dry items like crackers, breads and nuts are also helpful.

Once you’ve created a shared board, it’s easy to view and manage who has access to it. A list of participants appears; just move the pointer over a participant’s name to see more information and their current role on the board. To remove a participant from the board, click More and choose Remove Access. For teams whose “Only team members can be invited to collaborate” is activated by their administrators in Team Settings, non-team users like free account users, guests and users from other teams will have to enter a password when accessing the board even if link sharing is enabled. Pending board access requests are shown at the top of the Invite tab.

Portable Stations

Create a food bar for your guests by setting up stations that offer different types of foods. Traveling food stations are an especially creative idea for weddings or outdoor events. Give your attendees a unique experience by giving them their food wrapped in cute picnic baskets or offering them a full meal served on a cart (like this oyster bar).

Create an all-inclusive beverage station with catering supplies to make it easy for guests to serve themselves. Refrigerated drink dispensers are essential catering supplies that keep ice cold and allow for self-serve. For coffee, iced tea, and hot chocolate, airpot brewers, decanter coffee makers, or caf au lait urns can be used to heat up drinks on-site.

For catering professionals, insulated food pan carriers and glass racks are ideal for transporting food to event locations. Totes and crates are the perfect storage solution for dry ingredients, while ice chests keep frozen foods safe in cooler temperatures. For outdoor events, don’t forget liners for trash cans and portable handwashing stations like the Cambro one available here at Rapids Wholesale that is great for concession stands or parks. Also stock up on paper towel dispensers and aprons for your staff. A catering business is only as good as its staff, so it’s important to provide them with all the tools they need to be successful.

Portable Buffets

Whether you run a cafeteria, dining hall, catering business or buffet-style restaurant, portable buffets are the ideal way to provide your customers with hot food options at a moment’s notice. These versatile units allow you to set out foods and let your customers serve themselves, freeing up tons of staff time that can be spent on other tasks.

Choose from different models of portable buffets depending on your needs. You can choose from open base versus enclosed storage buffets and find sizes that fit in any space. Additionally, some mobile buffets are equipped with a 3 pan cold well that can be iced down for beverage bar use. Some mobile buffets are also equipped with a sneeze guard.

Aside from having the right buffet equipment for your menu, you will need to have a solid business plan that clearly outlines all of the necessary steps for your business to open successfully. This document will help you garner interest from potential investors and can be used to get a business loan if needed.

Once you have your business plan in hand, it’s time to start searching for a location for your new restaurant. You will want to find a location that matches your target demographic and is in a busy area. Identifying the location early on will help you avoid any potential roadblocks that can slow down your opening day. Once you’ve found a suitable spot, you will need to begin hiring employees. The first person you should hire is an executive chef to manage your cook staff and create recipes for your menu. After that, you will need to hire line cooks, wait staff and dishwashers.

Dessert Bars

Dessert bars are a great way to offer a variety of sweet treats that are both portable and easy to eat. These desserts are baked in a single pan, then cut into squares and rectangles to be served at parties or gatherings. Cookie and cake bars, blondies, Rice Krispie treats, and fruity desserts all fall into this category.

These cherry crumb bars are a delicious seasonal treat that is perfect for summer. Made from a store-bought cake mix and canned cherry pie filling, they are quick and easy to make. The crust is crunchy on the outside and buttery on the inside with the goodness of oats, chia seeds, and cacao nibs for an extra boost of nutrition.

For a chocolatey no-bake dessert, this recipe is easy and impressive. Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, creamy vanilla pudding, and melted chocolate are layered together, then chilled before serving. A touch of Irish cream liqueur adds another layer of decadence.

Satisfy apple pie cravings without the fuss of rolling out a crust with these irresistible bars. The base is a combination of sugar, flour, and almonds for a rich flavor. Diced apples, vanilla pudding, and a scrumptious crumble topping are a delightful combination of sweet and tart flavors.

A fresh take on a Midwestern favorite, these no-bake dessert bars are a fun twist on the classic candy bar. Gooey caramel, chewy coconut, and a buttery scotcheroo topping make these oh-so-delicious bars.

This simple dessert bar is packed with sweet fruits and a tasty graham cracker crust. The scrumptious strawberries and cream cheese pairing is sure to please guests, and it’s an ideal choice for parties or holidays.