How To Select The Perfect Food Options For Your Event

Before you choose your event venue, pick out the invites, and compile the guest list, you’re going to need to consider who will be doing your catering in richmond va. The food you serve is among the most critical components of any type of shindig, big or small.

Therefore it’s important that you put plenty of consideration into offering a well-rounded menu that all of your guests can enjoy. Building the right menu takes time and you will need to work with your caterer to develop a bill of fare that includes a wide variety of items that look, smell, and taste delicious.

Menu Planning

It all starts here, discussing what you plan to serve based on the event and the number of people who you expect to attend. Consider when the event will be held, is it a morning get-together, does it begin some time in the afternoon, or is this an evening affair? Perhaps this is an event that will be going on all day long, in which case, you will need to plan out multiple meals for guests to consume throughout the course of the day.

Once you’ve decided on the timing of the event, that can make it easier to decide on which food items will be served to guests based on when you anticipate their arrival and attendance at the event. Another thing you must also take into account is the amount of time your guests will have to actually eat these meals. You don’t want to offer meals to your guests that they won’t have time to consume.


Events that take place in the morning, particularly the early morning hours, are going to require a breakfast menu for guests to enjoy. This can be accomplished through a number of convenient options, but if you’re trying to stay cost-effective in all things related to food served at your event, you can’t go wrong with a packaged menu.

This means putting out a continental spread or you can set up specific breakfast stations throughout the venue. A hot buffet is also a great choice and it gives your guests the opportunity to try a few different items at once.


This meal has a lot of flexibility. Discuss the event with your caterer and he or she will likely have several choices for you to consider. Boxed lunches are great for those guests who are on the go and need to move from one seminar or event to another with little time in between for breaks.

A buffet or à la carte sandwiches and side dishes might be more appropriate for events where guests will have a formal lunch break in which to dine.


When you’re serving dinner at an event many caterers will tend to offer plated dinners with a set menu of courses that generally include an appetizer, a main entree, and a dessert. There may even be more than three courses in which a soup or a salad is also included in the evening’s fare.

But not all events have the luxury of a sit-down meal and if your guests are moving from one thing to another with short periods of down time in between, then a buffet may be more appropriate or even slightly more upscale dinner boxes that can be handed out to patrons. They can then eat their meals wherever and whenever they have the time to do so.

Buffet vs. Plated Meals

This will be one of the things you need to discuss with your caterer. Depending on the event, you can decide on having a buffet or going with a plated meal. The choice you make with your catering supervisor will largely rely on the amount of time you have to conduct the meal.

By comparison, the latter is typically going to require more time to set up and break down. Plated meals will need a minimum of two to two and a half hours to serve the meals and then break everything down and clean up. That’s why plated meals are usually reserved for certain types of events that are more formal in nature.

While it’s not uncommon to serve plated meals for breakfast and lunch, dinner is when you most often find plated meals being offered to guests.

A buffet is usually a quicker set-up and turn-around of roughly one hour to ninety minutes to serve and clean up. But, of course, the size and scale of your event can help you decide which of these two options is really best to accommodate all of your guests.

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