How to Design a Menu for Your Summer Party

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Ask anybody who has been there before: Organizing a summer party or event is both challenging and rewarding. On the one hand, you get to make creative decisions that set the tone of the gathering. You get to shape the experience people are going to have. On the other hand, there are plenty of pitfalls to worry about. If something goes wrong (e.g. a serious problem with the quality or quantity of food and drink), it looks very bad indeed — especially if there are a lot of people at your event.

Throwing your lot in with a highly reputable caterer is, of course, one of the most important ways to mitigate risk and increase your odds of a flawless catering performance. But even if you understand the importance of hiring a really good caterer, you still have some important decisions to make — not the least of which is the menu itself.

So how do you go about designing a menu for your summer gathering? What are the main considerations to keep in mind, and how can you be sure that you’re making the very best menu choices for this unique event? Here are a few tips from catering professionals:

Consider the heat

The local seasons and temperatures can play a big role in determining what’s a ‘hit’ with party guests and what’s a ‘miss’. Fresh salads, light and cold dishes, and fresh fruits are classic choices for a summer event. Of course you’ll need some hearty main dishes, but it’s better to stay in season as much as possible, especially if your event is taking place outdoors.

Know your guest list

Are there a lot of vegetarians or vegans on your list? Do you know for a fact that most of your guests are enthusiastic meat eaters? Would about fish and seafood, or even a whole pig roast? Determining the perfect menu for your event will depend on knowing your guest list and settling on options that will leave everybody at the table with attractive options.

Focus on quality

When people organize a catered event for the first time, they often focus on quantity. The fear of running out of food (one of the most common fears of event organizers) is prominent, and they want to make sure there’s enough to go around. This is a totally rational thought, but a professional caterer should know how to prevent this from happening. When you’re able to relax more and trust your caterer, the focus can turn from quantity to quality — that’s something your guests are really going to remember.

Know what you’re trying to achieve

Do you know what kind of ‘vibe’ you’re going for from the beginning? If so, the caterer you choose should have problem helping you develop it. And if not, an experienced professional will work with you to refine the menu until it’s exactly where it needs to be for your unique event.

Getting real results for your catered event

When it comes to catered events during the warm summer months, anticipation is half the fun. But when the day arrives, you want to make sure you’ve put the proper thought and planning into your menu (and into the entire event). You want to make sure the company you’ve hired is going to bring their A-game and do everything in their power to make your gathering a memorable and enjoyable success. Enjoy the summer!