10 Tips for hosting a flawless catered event
When it comes to catered events, there are a lot of ways you can make them special. You can choose the venue carefully and ask your guests to dress in formal attire if that’s what you want. You can also put together an incredible menu with delicious food that everyone will remember for years afterward. But here’s the thing: none of these things matter if you don’t plan ahead.
1. Plan ahead
Planning ahead is important for a catered event to be memorable. If you wait until the last minute, there’s a good chance that you’ll forget about some of the details that are most important to your guests. It also means that you won’t have enough time to save money or think about how many people will actually come. If you’re going to plan an event, it’s important to start early and make sure everything is in order before your guests arrive at their destination location.
2. Have a theme
- A theme can help you to create a cohesive feel, from the food to the music, and more.
- It’s also a great way to get creative with your event! You can find inspiration all over social media—from Pinterest boards, Instagram feeds, and even YouTube videos.
- Think about what kind of mood or atmosphere you want guests to experience at your event: Is it formal? Fun? Does everyone know each other already? If they don’t know one another but are going through training together (for example), then perhaps a fun theme would be best. If attendees have just come from work, however, maybe something more relaxed would work better.
3. Perfect the guest list
One of the most important aspects of planning your catered event is making sure that you have the right guest list. While it can be tempting to invite everyone in your address book, it’s important to consider which people would actually enjoy attending your party.
Consider these questions when deciding who will be on your guest list:
- Who are my closest friends? These are the people who will help me celebrate my big day and celebrate with me. They should also know about any dietary restrictions that could prevent them from eating everything being served.
- Who are my closest family members? These are the people I want by my side during this special time in my life, so they should definitely be invited to attend.
- How many guests should I invite? This depends on how much space you have available for seating and whether or not there will be other activities at the event (like live music or games). It’s always better too many than too few!
4. Get creative with the menu
Like a good party, the best catered events have a theme. If you’re having a buffet-style luncheon, think about what your guests will enjoy eating and try to include as many options that fit the theme as possible. If your event is being held on a farm or at an outdoor venue, consider having some produce available for guests to pick up and take home with them—and if you have access to fresh herbs like mint or thyme, use those in your dishes for extra flair.
If you’re going with hors d’oeuvres or passed appetizers instead of plated meals, be sure that there’s plenty of variety so everyone can find something they like (even vegans). And make sure all these tasty treats are hot enough; even though cold food can be refreshing on hot days, nobody wants undercooked chicken at their catered event! You’ll also want enough food for every guest who shows up; if someone has allergies or other dietary restrictions (like vegetarianism), it makes sense not only from a practical standpoint but also because it’s just plain rude not to take care of them by providing appropriate substitutes.
5. Set the mood with music and lighting
Music and lighting can set the tone for your catered event. The music should be appropriate for the occasion, whether it’s upbeat or more quiet and relaxed. Lighting should be appropriate for your needs as well—you might need bright lights if you’re having a party in an outdoor garden, but you may want to dim things down at dinner so that guests can enjoy good conversation over candles. Music can help make an event memorable; if there’s live music, even better! The right lighting can also enhance memories of a particular evening by making people feel comfortable or adding another element to their experience.
6. Incorporate fun activities
- Have a photo booth. There are several options for this, but whichever you choose, it will make your event memorable and fun.
- Hire a magician. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one; even kids can enjoy the magic of balloons and hats!
- Have dessert bar with specialty desserts from local bakeries in town that use fresh ingredients like fruit or nuts (think chocolate covered strawberries!). You can also try gelato bars where guests can pick their own flavor of ice cream or sorbet – it’s definitely a crowd pleaser! Or consider making your own dessert table by baking some cupcakes yourself before serving them at the party instead of buying them pre-made at the store–you’ll save money without sacrificing time! The only thing missing here would be whipped cream topping but I’m sure you could work around that using other toppings such as chocolate syrup instead 🙂
7. Make it personal
- Make it personal:
- Get your guests involved in the planning process. This can make them feel special, and they will be more likely to be enthusiastic about attending. For example, ask your guests for suggestions for food or drinks that they would like at the event (or even an entire menu).
- Add personalized touches to the event such as photos of you and your guests, or include personalized items on the menu (e.g., “The Mike”).
- Include a personal message on your invitation so that attendees know how much effort you put into planning this event specifically for them! Make sure to include details such as your address and phone number in case anyone needs more information before coming—and don’t forget to RSVP so that you know who’s coming!
8. Send guests home with a favor
A favor is something you give to guests as a token of appreciation for attending your event. It can be a memento of the occasion, a gift, a coupon or discount, and/or an offer of special treatment in the future. Favors will vary depending on what type of event you’re hosting. For example:
- For a baby shower or bridal shower (a “shower” is any party where gifts are given), favors can include candles, candies or cookies; baby-related items like pacifiers and blankets; or flowers (if the party takes place outdoors).
- For an anniversary party or wedding reception (a “reception” is any formal gathering), favors might be chocolates, mints or flowers that match your theme colors. Favors that also serve as place cards are especially nice if there are multiple tables involved as they will help guests remember where they should sit during dinner service when everyone begins mingling throughout cocktail hour before it begins at 7 pm sharp!
9. Document the event
If you want to keep your special day in mind, make sure you document it! Take photos and videos of all the fun. And don’t forget to share them with your guests on social media so they can relive the magic too. If you want to be extra fancy, post them on a blog post or create an anniversary card for your guests. You can also use these photos as part of an invitation for your next catered event!
10. Follow up with guests:
While you’re busy planning your next event, it’s easy to forget about the existing one and how much time, effort, and money went into making it a success. But you can ensure that your catering company will be on your radar for future events by following up with guests after they leave.
Let them know what a great job they did by sending an email or hand-written note thanking them for attending. Ask for feedback on how the event went as well as what could have been done differently (if anything). Ask if they would recommend this caterer to their friends or family members who might need catering services in the future; this will provide valuable insights into areas where you may want to improve upon in order to increase customer satisfaction next time around!
Additionally, follow up with vendors such as florists and rental companies so that everyone involved knows how much people enjoyed themselves at your event!
Having a catered event planned out well ahead of time can make it much more enjoyable and memorable when the time comes to host it.
- Planning ahead can help you save money.
- Planning ahead can help you get more value for your money.
- Planning ahead can help make the most of your time and avoid stress.
We know that planning a catered event can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but by following our tips, you can make it as fun and memorable as possible. Here’s to making your next event one they won’t forget!