Parties are incomplete without food, and when you are organizing one, you want your guests to have the time of their life. Unfortunately, catering isn’t cheap. You have to hire catering companies, catering tents, or even catering equipment from caterers’ equipment rentals.
Luckily, even if you are on a shoestring budget, there are several things you can do to ensure your guests don’t go hungry. Wondering how do you cater a party cheaply? Here are tips to use to your advantage:
Have a simple event format
Since you don’t have a large budget, it doesn’t make sense to have a formal three-course meal. Instead, have a casual drink reception with bowl food, canapés, or food stations.
You can also place pedestal tables so guests can network and nibble.
Make the party self-service
When you have a self-service, you not only give the guests control of the food they place on their plates, it also saves you money as you don’t hire serving staff.
As you are planning for the food, choose finger food or food that you can cut into portions and lay it out or plate it and it’s ready to serve.
Avoid anything messy such as spaghetti Bolognese that the guests are likely to drop on the table and floor giving your party a messy look.
Use smaller plates
Did you know food served in smaller portions appears more appetizing? You only need to find attractive small plates.
To save money and limit the amount of food your guests take and that comes out of the kitchen, serve the food on small plates.
You can serve any food in small portions, but the small sizes are more useful for the high-value food on your menu such as sashimi.
You should note it’s easy to come across as mean when you offer the food in ultra-small portions. Luckily, you can get around this by presenting the food professionally.
Go with simple dishes
Who said you have to spend a fortune to fill your guests’ tummies? To save money, stick with braised meats, rice dishes, pasta, stews, and curries that provide your guests with a homely taste without emptying your pockets.
For a memorable appeal and to bring all the foods together, have a theme.
To save even more money, stick with foods that are in season. You only need to ensure they are professionally prepared so they are delicious and full of flavor.
Swap meat for vegetables
Meat is expensive and to save money you should swap the expensive cuts for cheaper ones such as beef brisket or chicken thighs. If these are still out of your budget, go vegetarian.
Many people have the notion that vegetables are boring, but this doesn’t have to be the case. You only need to ensure they are prepared by a professional chef and presented expertly.
Minimize your food choices
Having plenty of foods is good, as you ensure every guest is catered for, but when you are on a shoestring budget, having dozens of foods isn’t a wise thing to do.
A good way out is to limit your food choices. Only have the popular ones such as tempura prawns, goat cheese, bruschetta, and others. If not sure about the ones to offer, ask your caterer to help you out.
Minimize the amount you spend on tableware
You can put a limit on the food you serve, but if you aren’t keen, you can easily blow your budget on tableware.
To save money, hire a professional with their own crockery, table linens, and glasses. Most of the caterers will use these items at little or no extra cost to you.
If you have to hire the equipment from event rentals Rockland NY, keep things simple. For example, rent glasses you can use for soft drinks, water, and wine.
You can even opt to serve finger food only so you don’t use cutlery.
Serve your own wine
Some caterers and party venues will insist on serving their own wine, which is too expensive. To save money, use a caterer or venue that allows you to supply your own wine. Even if you will have to hire corkage, it will still be much cheaper.