06 Dec 10 Creative Catering Ideas to Make Your Event Stand Out
Outstanding food is often the thing many attendees will remember from an event. Knowing what will appeal to a large and diverse group might seem impossible, but as a general rule, you want catering options that are delicious and definitely not ordinary.
Food trends change constantly, so we’ve searched for unique and contemporary catering ideas to help you out for your next event.
1. Coffee Bar
Think outside the box-ed lunch a little. Forget the lukewarm coffee on a table in the corner with tiny creamers and packets of sugar. Dress it up. Offer a variety of options like cold brew, nitro, and/or multiple non-dairy milks. If the idea of putting this together seems overwhelming, reach out to a small local coffee shop or cafe. They may be more than willing to travel to your venue and not only help you set up but help you serve. It is a partnership that can serve both parties well.
At most events, attendees prefer small bites of food to large, sit-down entrees. Tapas are a fun mix-and-match alternative to sandwiches and can serve both lunch and dinner functions. What’s more, you can cater your tapas choice to match seasonal ingredients and wine pairings.
3. Smoothie Bowl Bar
Smoothie bowls are another way to keep catering prices down. If you are hosting early morning sessions, a smoothie bowl can power your attendees through the morning better than a coffee ever could!
Smoothie bowls typically consist of fresh fruit, seeds, oats, yogurt, chia, hemp, and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. These ingredients are easy to pull together on your own if need be. All you need is a blender and you’re ready to go.
4. Taco Station
Tacos are a delicious way to allow your guests to express their own creativity. All you have to do is provide the shells and the fillings and the rest is up to them. Tacos are an easy way to accommodate a range of dietary needs and cover lunch or dinner meal times.
5. Craft Beer Slushies
All you need is a margarita or slushie machine and a local craft brewer to partner with you. These frosty concoctions are perfect for summer events and provide a fun and interesting twist on the same old adult beverage.
For best results, start planning early. Work with the brewer to find the best mix of flavours and even come up with a unique name for your brew to contribute to your branding efforts!
6. Rolled ice cream
The rolled ice cream craze sprung out of Southeast Asia, where street vendors discovered an entertaining way to make ice cream before their customer’s eyes in seconds, using a minus 30-degree cold plate and whatever toppings you can think of. Bring that novelty to your summer events and experiment with flavours.
Grilled meat or vegetables on skewers have a lot going for them. Their bite-sized portions are great for when you want guests to be able to do more than just eat. Adapt them to cater to diverse food preferences. Potential skewer ingredients include:
- Spicy Chicken
- Grilled vegetables
- Bacon-wrapped asparagus
- Chilli prawns
8. Miniature foods
Miniature food is the art of reducing traditional meals down to snackable portions. This way, you can deliver guest favourites while keeping your offering light. One option is the mini-burger, shrinking down your standard burger into something you can eat with two fingers. Other options can be mini pies – savoury or sweet, mini frittatas, mini pizzas, mini tacos, and mini pancakes.
9. Bento boxes
The bento box is a traditional Japanese meal that packs a variety of tasty bites into a convenient, compartmentalised package. They offer a variety of flavours, and attendees will appreciate the novel touch.
10. Artisan Donut Wall
Artisan donuts are everywhere these days and people can’t get enough of them. Instead of trying to find specific breakfast catering, create a donut wall. Decorate a peg board and hang the donuts from it. Not only will people get a great breakfast that is far more creative than the traditional continental breakfast, they’ll be treated to an incredible statement piece.
A donut wall makes a visual statement that is likely to prompt many Instagram posts. It also provides a great branding opportunity for your event. Partner with a local bakery to design donuts that are on-brand and suitable to your event’s theme.
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