Planning an Event Menu: 4 Catering Options to Consider

Working with a caterer lets you relax and let someone else handle the cooking, serving and even food clean up before, during and after your event. Caterers can handle smaller events with just a handful of guests to larger parties with a guest list in the hundreds. Check out some of the hottest trends and options you can now choose when working with a caterer.

Comfort Food with a Twist

Kristi Casey Sanders calls upscale comfort foods one of the hottest catering trends of 2015. While homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes might make your family swoon, those dishes aren’t appropriate for an upscale event. Sanders points out that caterers now incorporate more upscale ingredients and presentations when serving comfort food. You might dine on macaroni and cheese topped with juicy chunks of lobster or individual meatloaves made from buffalo or another exotic meat.

Gluten Free Menus

Gluten free dishes are so hot right now that some major manufacturers started producing cereals, breads and main dishes that are free of gluten. Those who have an intolerance to gluten often find themselves dealing with stomach cramps and other problems after eating even the smallest amount of gluten. Caters often offer specialty menus for vegetarians and those with other dietary concerns. You can now find caterers that offer gluten free menus as well. These menus feature amazing dishes that will wow your taste buds but keep gluten free diners from dealing with stomach discomfort later.

Food Stations

One fun option for your next event is the addition of one or more food stations. Instead of forcing your guests to all eat the same meal or similar meals, you can let them customize their meals based on the foods they like to eat. Most caterers set up the food station and have a chef on hand who can customize the dishes. You might opt for an omelet bar or egg station for brunch or breakfast, and you’ll find taco and even pasta stations for using later at night. Many caterers even offer dessert stations for special events.`

International Choices

After looking at menus from across the country, industry publication Catersource found that many caters now offer international menus that appeal to world travelers and those who prefer more exotic menus. Instead of sticking with a classic cuisine like Mexican or Chinese, you can go all out with a Mediterranean buffet that incorporates couscous, quinoa and meats like lamb and goat. Other caterers bring in the rich and sometimes spicy flavors found in Asian cuisines.

Though you can select more traditional menus for your next event, you can also choose some unexpected ingredients or flavors that will delight your guests and make your party a hit.