Hosting a party? No matter what the event is, be sure to have plenty of great food. It is by far the most important element of your event, the one thing people will continue to talk about long after it is over. And yes usually the largest part of your budget.
So what are some general rules when it comes to knowing if you have enough food and drink? If hosting an appetizer only event and you are planning it to be a meal – then order a dozen pieces per person. Your caterer should be an expert on judging quantities for your event and take into consideration such things as: where the event is held, how many hours will guests be there, time of year, time of day, age of guests, men vs. women in the group, is Uncle Ed coming? We all have that one family member that puts everyone to shame with their big appetites….
Be sure to include a variety of items, some with protein and fibre to make people feel full, and of course sweet and savoury, as well as light and refreshing! Your guests will feel that they had a meal experience!
Consider having some of these items passed, while others stationary for guests to help themselves. Does your budget allow for a staff person to assemble and serve some of your small plates to each guest? It can be a great way for people to interact and complete the entire experience.
If the appetizers are before or after a meal – just 4 to 6 pieces per person is sufficient. Before a meal, do light items, including fruit and put out only napkins, no plates! So people don’t “load” up and ruin their meal appetites.
Late night items can be heavier and simple, to appease the drinkers. Remember to consider numbers fluctuating…example if most of the senior crowd leave at 10:30 pm, and you have food coming out at 11:00 pm, adjust the number people you are ordering for. Also remember that it is Ontario Liquor law to provide food during alcohol service, so even if your guests ate a large meal at 6pm, you need to make sure there is food out for them all evening if there is continued bar service.
Your caterer must also adhere to health regulations regarding the amount of time items can be left out at room temperature, stored hot or on ice before it needs to be thrown out, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. So consider having items come out in stages over the course of a few hours, yes you may pay more for this service, but as an event host the safety of your guests is important.
Stay tuned for the next item in our series: How much alcohol to order?
Rebecca, one of our newest team members has provided us with 2 of her favorite appetizer recipes for you to enjoy this summer.
Please allow me a moment to introduce myself. My name is Julia O'Grady and I am the heart and soul behind ITM. I started this company in October 2010 to help fulfill my dream of making people's lives just a little better, one special moment at a time. I am passionate about special moments and thrive on planning events. I love everything about it. I love the organizing, the problem solving, coming up with original ideas and adding a little bit of the unexpected into everything I do.