Catering for a special event can stretch your budget to breaking point. Here are our 3 secret tips to help you meet, and not exceed, your budget.
Whether you are planning a wedding, corporate event, or any other type of special celebration, the bulk of your budget will most likely be spent on food. So, what do you do if you have a tight budget, but lofty dreams or very specific requirements?
You use our 3 secret tips to help you save money and still have the type of event that you dreamt of!
No 1: Make use of the odd hours in the day
If you hold your planned event in the evening, your guests will expect, and be ready for, a fully catered meal. By scheduling the event at an odd hour, you won’t have that pressure, and hopefully, your guests won’t be as hungry.
What does an odd hour mean? Late afternoon or early evening, so between 16h00 and 18h00 for example, or just after lunch, so 14h00 to 16h00. During these hours most people are not traditionally hungry or expecting to be fed a full meal. You can then provide a light menu of canapes or finger foods with “cheaper” grazing stations with popcorn, fruits, and other nibbles, giving your guests something to snack on while not breaking the bank. This allows you to spend a little more money on creative appetizers, giving your guests a nicer experience. The less expensive grazing options will fill the gap for those guests who are still in need of something more.
If you need to have your event at a more “normal” time, going for a breakfast event can help save money. Breakfast fare is less expensive than dinner, and you cut out the need for serving alcohol. If none of these suggestions can work for you, holding a cocktail hour event with passed canapes is the next best solution.
No 2: Rethink your menu
When planning your menu, consider moving away from the traditional chicken or beef options. Instead, consider incorporating a theme that will not only save you money but give your guests a more entertaining experience.
As an example, going for a European theme with lots of veggies, breads, and salads. Most guests won’t mind that meat isn’t the star of the show, especially if it is part of the fun.
If you are having a cake as part of the celebration, serve that instead of dessert. This avoids the cake being wasted while saving money on extra desserts.
No 3: Opt for plated instead of buffet
There is a general misconception that buffets are cheaper than plated food, while in actual fact buffets work out much more expensive.
Guests are notoriously bad at portion control, and gauging how hungry they really are, especially when presented with a table full of “free food”. Some may skip a dish and help themselves to a double portion of another dish or take extra of all the dishes. To avoid running out of any of the food, the caterer must then prepare more of each dish than what is needed. And this is factored in when the price per person is worked out.
So, although it may feel like you are paying a little extra for plated food, your caterer won’t have to allot for these extra portions. This means wasting less food while giving your guests a more stylish experience.
Laughing Chefs have been doing this for a long time, and we love sharing our tips and tricks. If you are in need of a caterer to help make your next event extra special, while keeping in mind you worked hard for the money needed to pay for the event, then contact us for a transparent, reasonable, and flexible quotation.