Hiring a caterer to provide specialty foods is a great way to spice up your event. If you're looking to stay within your budget while providing a high quality catering experience, follow these tips to reduce your catering bill.
Have a Soft Bar
Alcohol is one area where you can get tripped up in your meal expenses. Instead of having a full bar for your catered event, consider serving only beer, wine and champagne. You might also go with a simple, themed cocktail for a special treat.
Have a Self-Serve Hors d'Oeuvre Table
The cost for appetizers can add up quickly. If you try to have one of every appetizer for every person, you may end up with a lot of food waste and an overpriced menu. Instead, choose items that are self-serve and sharable, such as cheeses and fruits. You'll save on staffing costs and preparation, while having more flexibility with portions.
Limit Your Specialty Ingredients
You may think of catered food as containing only gourmet, high-dollar ingredients. However, you can save money by placing specialty ingredients in a strategic way. Consider having your top dollar ingredients as a garnish to a side dish or appetizer rather than a main dish.
Keep the Menu Simple
It also pays to keep your menu simple, with a straightforward three course meal. Your guests can fill up on bread and hors d'oeuvres if they're still hungry. Another option is to have supplementary stations with more filling sides in case their plates are looking a little empty.
Vary the Price Points of Entrees
Another way to create an impressive menu without breaking the bank is to choose entrees that vary in price. You can choose one big ticket meat option to catch your guests' eyes, with a few other lower-priced options to offset the cost.
Prepare Your Own Dessert
When you're planning catered event, it can be fun and fulfilling to prepare part of the meal yourself, not to mention cost-saving. Desserts are a great area where you can prepare something delicious without a lot of cooking skills. For instance, with some high quality ice cream, chocolate, and fresh fruits, you can set up a decadent sundae bar for your guests.
A caterer like Kickapoo Creek Catering can go a long way in creating the atmosphere of your event, but it doesn't have to take up your whole budget. The items above are often sure-fire ways to save money on your catering experience.