Things to Know about Catering and Planning an Event

Putting on a great event takes a lot of planning and organizing. You will need to decide when, where, and what the food and program will be. Whether you are planning a wedding reception, corporate meeting, fundraising gala, or any other kind of big event, you will want to be sure that the venue and catering in St. Louis are appropriate for your kind of event and for the guests who will be attending.

Know Your Guests

Knowing your guests is an important part of event planning. If your event is corporate related, be aware that professionals attend many of these events during the year and you want your event to be memorable, particularly if you are planning the event as a fundraiser. You need to stand out. In order to do that you need to consider several different things. Be sure that you know the professional level of your guests. Are these top executives or more entry-level workers? How often do your guests attend similar events throughout the year? Where do most of your guests live? Will they be traveling in from out of town or do they live locally? You might also want to consider the ethnic and cultural background of your guests in order to plan entertainment and programs as well as the food that you will be providing.

Choosing the Menu

Catering is a huge part of event planning. It can be daunting to decide what you will be serving. Knowing your guests will help. It is wise to offer your guests some choices; that way you are more likely to please everyone. Try to offer at least two entree choices, but three is better if that is a possibility. Be sure there are options for the salad dressing, and serve the condiments on the side. When choosing desserts, try to have more than one option. It is a good idea to have a rich indulgent dessert and one that is lighter and healthier. Think about the time of year for your event as well. Choose menu items that are in season as they will taste fresher and be seasonally appropriate. You might also want to consider if there are vegans or vegetarians attending the event and how many there might be. If there will be many, consider having a vegetarian entree. Another possible option for catering is to choose a buffet option, giving your guests an even larger variety of choices.

Room Setup

Be sure that you are aware of the purpose for the event. The number of guests and the purpose of the event will change where you want to hold the event and how you want the room set up. If this is a small meeting with no more than 15 guests, you might want a boardroom setup. If there is going to be discussion during the meeting, consider having a u-shaped or rectangular setup with large tables. If the event focuses around a presentation, a classroom style setup is often the best way to go. You want everyone to be facing the presenter. Also be sure that there is room enough for food if you are serving it, and any other materials that guests might need. For smaller group discussions, a banquet style setup might be best. For large receptions and fundraisers, banquet style is usually used. It works particularly well for receptions where guests will come and go during the course of the night.

Presentation

Lastly, you want to consider the overall presentation of your event. Food that looks appetizing is more likely to taste appetizing as well. Think about the purpose of the event. Do you need to have centerpieces for the tables? Is there a theme that you will be focusing on? If guests are serving themselves, are the food and drinks easily accessible? Take the time to look for catering in St. Louis that will fit your needs.

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