No matter what kind of function you're planning, some things stay the same. Whether you're having a birthday party, a product launch, a wedding or an anniversary celebration, you're still going to need to think about the venue. You're still going to need to think about the music and the lights, and you're definitely going to have to think about the catering. Especially with larger parties, catering can be a serious concern to be reckoned with. One way to offset that stress is to contact a catering company and have it all handled for you. Still, you're going to need to know what kind of thing to order. Your catering company will be able to help you with that—but here are some ideas to get you started.
Dishes People Can Build on Their Own
This concept can work with all kinds of things—burgers, tacos and pizzas are a couple of popular examples. This may not be the most luxurious option, but for a more casual or low-key feel, it's perfect. This is also great for events with lots of young kids, who are likely to be picky eaters; everybody can just build whatever they want to eat, and there are no complicated orders to handle. Just be prepared for the idea that there may be some waste in order to ensure there's enough for everyone.
Of course, the most popular example of this is to have a barbeque running, but you can make a live grill more upmarket than that, too—especially if you pick a particular cuisine to focus on. A Japanese or Mexican grill, for example, would give your guests a great variety to choose from. Another benefit from this is that having the food cooked right in front of your guests can also be a form of entertainment and adds an air of freshness and luxury to the catering.
Liaise with your catering manager to design a cool, quirky menu that's set around a specific theme. For example, your wedding meal could be built around a "heart" theme, and each dish could be shaped into a heart shape. You might choose a "beach" theme for your birthday party and use fresh ingredients from the local shore. Full menus can be very expensive to cater for, especially if you want to offer your guests several options to choose from, but they certainly add a glamourous and rich feel to a function that your guests won't forget in a hurry.
Whatever you choose to do, ensuring that your catering is in the hands of professionals is the best way to guarantee a good night. Catering may be an extra expense, but it'll save you from running around trying to buy ingredients and serve them out last-minute, and your guests will surely thank you for the restaurant-standard quality too.