Caterers earn a living helping their customers plan and execute the perfect holiday parties, that must look and feel as elegant as they do effortlessly.
We know, caterers can make it look so easy because they have lots of practice. Professional caterers have also developed and honed strategic shortcuts to perfect their craft. Today, Laughing Chefs is going to share some of those insider tips to help you host the perfect, budget-friendly holiday celebration.
1. Serve only single-bite or finger foods
Not only will this save you time, it will also save you money – and cut back on cleaning – if you avoid any food offerings that require the use of plates or cutlery.
As caterers, we know that you can do an impressive spread of finger foods and one or two-bite items. Think mini sliders, cigars, kebabs and other canapes.
These bites can be packed out harvest table style, or served on platters. By decorating each item you will also reduce the need for extra décor and flowers. For a more formal feel, go for waiter-served or passed appetisers.
Another bonus? You can get away with 8 to 10 items per person, cutting back on the amount of food needed to satisfy your guests.
2. Design your menu around foods that you can make ahead
There is almost nothing worse than spending your entire party in the kitchen. To stop this from happening, choose menu items that you can make ahead of time and simply take out or reheat at party time.
Caterers make use of this trick to enable them to serve more than one event on any given day. We also know that there are certain dishes that just taste better once they have had time to stand. Things like stews, roasts, lasagne, and even cakes!
Of course this doesn’t mean your entire menu should be served at room temperature. If you want to serve hot dishes, go for those that can slowly be reheated in the oven, or served directly from the crockpot. For hot items, make use of hot trays to ensure everything is served warm.
3. Think about the cleanup ahead of time!
If there is one thing that we are really good at, it is quick and easy cleanup. Caterers have mastered the quick and easy cleanup.
Place trashcans strategically around the area your guests will be occupying. Outside, have a large municipal rubbish bin ready so that you can simply dump the smaller trashcans and put them back to be refilled.
Every half an hour or so, circulate the area. Pick up any empty bottles, papers or other rubbish and throw in the bins. Once almost full, dump into the large bin and repeat.
For plates and cutlery, have a sink of hot soapy water ready to place these items in. they can then simply be wipes and left to dry. Or have your dishwasher empty and ready to be packed as you gather the dirty plates and more.
Remember tip number one? Serve single servings to remove the need for plates, or use disposables that can go directly into your trash system.
Still sound too daunting? Then get Laughing Chefs in to do it for you! Contact us today for a detailed quote.