Hot or Cold? Choosing Your Catering Menu Wisely

by on May 5, 2011 Filed under On the Menu

Choosing Your Catering Menu

You’ve got the location, you’ve got the decorations and you’ve got the entertainment. Planning a big event is no easy feat, and you still have one of the hardest parts of piecing your event together ahead of you: the menu. When you choose the food for your event, it’s important to consider the specific challenges that could come with preserving a certain temperature for your meal. Whether you decide to incorporate hot or cold food – or a mixture of both – into your event, it’s important to think about all the implications that has for your catered event.

Choosing Hot Meal Catering

If you choose to have hot meals catered to your event, you’ll need to set aside ample time and space for the set up of all the chafing dishes, lights and other food warmers that may need to be in place to keep your food nice and hot. Hot buffet lines are often easier to keep warm than sit-down meals. For example, if you have the meal served to each guest at their seat, that means you need to have all your meals hot at the same time. When you’re serving 50 or 100 people, that can be an exceptionally difficult task. The same can go for carving stations, where meat is being handled by the carver but still needs to be warm for each guests going through the buffet line.

Choosing Cold Meal Catering

Cold meals being catered to your event can also have several challenges for the caterers. Drinks are usually easier to handle since they can be kept in coolers and refrigerators or put on ice. Food, on the other hand, requires plenty of space and energy to keep cold. If you’re serving a cold dessert, for example, it can pose a challenge for the caterers. A lovely gelato can be the highlight of your meal, but that means servers have to scoop that gelato all at once to have it cold for every guest at the same time.

Trust Your Catering Company

While these factors can certainly pose certain challenges to your catering crew, that isn’t to say that hot or cold meals should not be involved with your event. Many catering companies are experts when it comes to preserving food temperature. Make sure you thoroughly discuss the catering company’s plans for keeping food hot or cold well before the event. This can be key to ensuring that each of your guests has an excellent experience and really gets to enjoy their food to the fullest. Furthermore, it ensures that you are getting your money’s worth when it comes to your catering budget.

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