Thinking of ideas to adopt for your catering menus? Then, you should read this article.
Having an authentic and unique catering menu is one of those things that will set you apart from competitors and sell you fast. Moreover, there are several factors that come into play when organizing your catering menu.
So, in this article, you’ll get ideas for catering menus that you can follow or model for your catering startup. And even if you’re been in business for long, the information contained in this article can help you better your menu options and delight guests more.
Traditional Catering Menu Ideas
First and foremost, as with restaurant services, there are menu categories that you should include on your catering menu list. However, the recipe will always make a difference.
So, it’s best that you continue to experiment with different ideas, ingredients, and modes of cooking till you hit a jackpot. This way you can line up dishes that taste unique from every other traditional menu served by other catering services.
Here are some ideas for catering menus that you can delight guests with:
1. Entrées Menu Ideas
Entrées are the main meal course. They include vegetarian entrees, meat entrées, and seafood entrées, among others.
A. Vegetarian Entrees
Vegetables come with so many health and wellness benefits. Also, they are much less costly than meat options. Hence, you want to include vegans’ dishes in your catering menu. And not just anything, something delicious and irresistible for any vegan eaters and everyone alike. Examples are:
Vegetarian chimichangas: Vegetarian chimichangas are loved by both kids and adults. They are made with flour tortillas and stuffed with beans, rice, vegetables and so much more. Also, you can top them with avocado, salsa, and guacamole — the list is endless.
Also, instead of using just flour tortillas, you can mix them with whole wheat and corn or spelled tortillas to give yours a unique taste.
Spaghetti pie: Pie and spaghetti are notably one of America’s favorite dishes. What’s better is having spaghetti and pie in one dish. It contains tiny vegetables, ricotta cheese, eggs, red sauce, and spaghetti – it’s the perfect combo and entrees for any event. Interestingly, it’s self-preservative so you can cook it a day ahead of your party.
B. Meat Entrées
Most entrées contain a form of meat such as beef, turkey, chicken, or pork. So, this is naturally an essential menu option. So, because of the wide variations of meat entrées, you’d need to come up with a unique recipe, that would make your food taste like no other.
Some meat ideas for catering menus include:
Baked souvlaki chicken breast: This baked souvlaki chicken breast is juicy, tender, moist, and mouth-watering. To make it even better and more classic, serve it on its own Greek lemon roasted baby potatoes or with a Greek chicken salad.
Garlic butter chicken: This dish is sure to capture the hearts of guests in any event. Bathed with a splash of wine and marinated in garlic butter sauce, Garlic butter chicken is full of flavor, tasty, and tender. It’s so easy and fast to cook, so including this in your menu options would be such an excellent idea.
C. Seafood entrées
Seafood is not only beautiful to behold, but they are also one of the crowd’s favorite. Offering delectable seafood entrées on your menu list is sure to boost people’s impression of your catering service. Some excellent examples include:
Creamy sauce seafood: The delicious menu takes only 15 minutes to prep. Simply get frozen seafood, defrost for some mutees, then sauce in butter, drain liquid. After that, make a quick cream-parmesan sauce and add the seafood to the creamy sauce. Its divine taste will delight every guest.
Creamy seafood risotto: This classic Italian dish is a great addition to your menu. You can use a mix of shrimp, clams, mussels, and scallops instead of shrimp and crab only. Using mascarpone also makes the dish very creamy.
Additionally, you can add a couple of teaspoons of tomato paste at the end to give it some color and tomato flavor. Furthermore, you can continue to salt and pepper with every clam addition for better taste.
SEE: Bag o’ Crab Mouthwatering Seafood Menu
Well-packaged and sumptuous sides are capable of stealing the show in any event. Moreso, entrées are only as delicious as the sides you serve alongside.
So, you want to take time to consider and select the sides you’ll include in your menu list. Additionally, you can experiment with different ingredients to make your sides taste better than several others out there. Some side dish ideas for catering menus include:
Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Salad: You can be sure that there’ll be no leftovers when you serve your sweet pumpkin and cream cheese roasted in garlic with bacon, nuts, and juicy greens at your events.
Roasted Brussel sprout: Instead of frying your brussels sprouts, roasting them with a sprinkling of salty parmesan cheese takes it from good to over-the-top-great. All guests will want to have a taste because this roasted brussel sprout is different from all others.
SEE: KFC Catering And Their Side Dishes
Desserts include biscuits, cakes, cookies, ice creams, pies, macaroons, custards, pastries, sweet soups, tarts, fruit salad, etc. Some dessert ideas for your catering menu include:
Chocolate chip cookie: Chocolate chips are crispy, doughy, sweet, and chewy. They are straightforward and easy to cook. Instead of using regular flour, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour as a way of setting yours apart.
Apple pie: Everyone loves delicious tasty pies. So, you can decide to make apple pie as a side of your menu list. Moreover, you can go for strawberry pie, cream pie, chiffon pie, etc. What matters most is creativity.
Appetizers could be tasty finger foods, snacks, salad, chips, soup, dips, etc. Some excellent ideas for the appetizer menu include:
Traditional Mexican guacamole: Guacamole dip goes really well with tortilla chips. No need for mayo or sour cream or all the other additives. Be sure that guests will crave more if yours is authentic.
SEE: Albert’s Mexican Food Menu
Buffalo chicken wings in a jar: This appetizer offers everything guests love about Buffalo wings. Also, instead of wings, you can use chicken thighs. Simply simmer directly in butter and hot sauce, shred, and mix with celery. After that, toast and spread with butter and blue cheese to make it crispy and unpredictably delicious.
SEE: The New Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers Menu
Strawberry bruschetta: This is a delicious variation of the popular tomato-based appetizer. The strawberries are warm and sweet and the sugar is caramelized and crunchy. Certainly, guests will love it.
Greek salad with lettuce: Everyone is obviously tired of having the same mixed greens salad. The perfect Greek salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, romaine lettuce, olives, and feta cheese tossed in a lemon vinaigrette is so fresh and refreshing. It’s a solid addition to your appetizers.
Different Catering Packages And Styles To Present Your Menu
1. Buffet options
This is a common style of catering food to guests at parties. It involves displaying ready-made food on the table for guests to serve themselves.
You may further separate these foods by categories, temperature, or cuisine.
A platter or tray is a large flat dish or plate used to serve the main course and one or more side dishes. You can have a fixed menu platter or allow guests to choose between available options for a price.
3. Boxed lunches
Boxed lunches generally represent foods you take to work, on a trip, to school, or on holiday. This is also a good idea to adopt in your catering menu. You can offer family boxed lunches, kids boxed lunches, boxed lunches for a group of 8 to 10 persons, and so on.
4. Customized orders
Also, you could allow customers to customize their orders to suit their needs and have them prepared and delivered to them or picked up by them.
5. Corporate catering order
This is a special form of catering offered to organizations only.
SEE: All You Need To Know About Corporate Catering
Why is a menu list important in catering?
A menu list helps to highlight what you offer as a catering business. It also makes the ordering process easy.
What are the types of menus?
Generally, the types of menus include a la carte, du jour, static, fixed, and cycle menus.
What ideas can you bring to your catering menu?
Firstly, try experimenting with different recipes. Also, you can present your menu in different sizes, shapes, etc.
As aforementioned, getting unique menu ideas for your catering business is integral to your success and fast growth. If you’re able to develop recipes that are peculiar to your menu, guests will appreciate your work more.
So, it is better that you keep testing out new combinations of ingredients, and cooking styles until you find a unique recipe that works. Also, it is best that you get great feedback consistently from people even before launching your own catering business.
However, if you’re already in business, you should keep improving your catering menu as you go along.
Finally, you should check the article on how you can launch your own catering business successfully.
I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.