Catering Services Share Tips for Choosing the Right Food
for Outdoor Events
There is nothing quite as nice as an outdoor event. Whether it be a formal occasion or a casual get together, being able to host an event outdoors adds a special element that only nature can give. As most catering services know, however, outdoor events are always a challenge!
The challenges that come with hosting outdoors usually fall on the decorator and the catering company. Being able to provide excellent quality food without sacrificing flavour and keeping in mind all the possibilities of what might happen at outdoor events (rain, too much wind, etc.) is a challenge to even the most seasoned catering services, but the challenges can be reduced early on simply by knowing what type of food to choose (on the client’s side) or what type of food to offer (on the caterer’s side).
The first consideration should always be beverages. People tend to drink more than they eat so easy access to beverages is important! If it is a warm day, being able to provide icy drinks is a must! A cooler day, and having options for warmer drinks is appreciated! Depending on the number of people, having more than one drinks station or bar is usually the most ideal setting for an outdoor event. This not just frees up traffic or having people in line constantly, but it also forces them to mingle.
If the event isn’t formal, both the client and the catering company should focus on finger foods. Little canapes are usually the way to go, especially if they are bread or potato based because these will fill up the guests faster, which again allows for better people flow at the event. It also allows people to use their hands, which means they don’t need to fumble with cutlery; something that is particularly important in cocktail settings.
Cocktails and picnics are two outdoor events that can benefit from the use of small bowls and cups that can be filled with refreshing and easy to eat dishes like pasta salads or greek salads. These can be pre-filled and placed decoratively around buffet tables or passed around by waiters, and in both cases with small forks or spoons next to them. Cold salads are also one of the best things to serve on a warm day because they don’t add any heat to the body. Plus they don’t need to be heated or kept, which is a bonus to the catering company in terms of bringing equipment for heating food!
Whenever planning an outdoor event, consider the full setting. Will there be cocktail tables or picnic tables? Is there a buffet table or is it pass around? Is it formal dining, but the event just happens to be outdoors? Knowing the style of the event as well as the profile of the guests can really help both a client and catering services decide on the right kind of food.