Good catering companies specialize in offering the best food money can buy. However, the best catering companies personalize their services, no matter if it takes adapting catering for smaller groups.
As they’re experts in providing a satisfying gastronomic experience for all types of events and gatherings, a small group should not be an important issue. If you’re responsible for organizing an event, the first contractor you lean on is a professional catering service.
These companies afford an extensive array of food choices catered to customers’ desires and preferences. Weighing essential factors such as the type and size of the event, group preferences, and the number of guests helps you come up with a failproof catered event.
The quality of catering can make or break an event. There’s added pressure when you’re catering to a small group – you must guarantee a diverse menu that suits every individual on the guestlist.
Unlike large events where you can get away with standard catering platters, a gathering of a limited number of people means you must personalize the service based on the group’s preferences.
Catering for smaller groups: Consider the Event Type
Have a clear understanding of the event you’re catering for. Each event type has a unique requirement for food and related service. For example, a small gathering of fewer than 20 people can have a customized menu made up of special requests.
On the other hand, a corporate event usually requires a luncheon or buffet. Even a small event has different needs – you don’t expect to provide the same menu for a birthday party and a religious gathering.
Determining the type of event that you’re catering for is crucial when it comes down to food preparation. The idea is to match the menu and the presentation with the theme or vibe. For example, a kid’s birthday party is entirely different from a corporate event.
You’ll have a much better room to work with once you identify the type of event.
Time of the Day
The time of the day dictates the type of meal and presentation style. If you’re catering to a smaller group and want it to be personalized, you must first decide if it includes breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For the most part, breakfast catering must incorporate hot and cold buffets.
No matter how customized you want the menu, don’t skip breakfast necessities, i.e., waffles, fruits, and even eggs. You may find a breakfast-themed party to be awkward, but it’s a thing.
If the event is intended for lunch, you should consider the guest’s food preferences. It won’t be as challenging to come up with a diverse menu since you only have to ask a small number of guests.
Regardless of how personalized the menu is, always include meat and vegetable choices.
For lunch, decide if the small group event is a casual or formal one. That’ll help you plan for the presentation with the catering company’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, a small group’s dinner party is the perfect time for a creative or even an exotic setup. If the host approves of it, you can add multiple stations with seafood, barbecue, and even a live carving setup.
Since you have the whole night to spend, take full advantage of it by inventing something that’s out of the ordinary.
Grazing Tables and Finger Food
Nothing is more ideal than a grazing table with finger food when catering to a smaller group. Talk to your caterer about adding light dishes presented in small plates. The best thing about this setup is that you can customize all you want.
Since you’re serving food to a limited number of guests, you’ve got enough room to be creative since the budget isn’t an issue. Grazing tables are the epitome of food extravagance, and they’ll impress your guests.
Get as much versatility as possible with finger food. Offering artisan bread, fruits, and cured meats wouldn’t cost you a lot, but it’ll improve your guests’ culinary experience, unlike any other. Don’t forget to add healthy options and dessert treats, too.
Know Your Guests
It wouldn’t be that difficult to know your guests’ preference for food if you’re catering for a smaller group. Even with a guest list of only 20 people, you still must come up with a diverse menu. One or a couple of guests likely have an allergy or food intolerance.
Some of them may be vegans or only eat gluten-free food. Diet restriction is the top consideration when it comes to food preference. If you’re looking at personalizing your catering, be sure that you address everyone’s preferences.
The Guest Layout
You now have confirmed the menu and the number of guests at this point, but you’re not done. Don’t just settle for a traditional layout; if you want your event to be as personalized as possible, be creative with the seating. If there’s an option to host the event outside, then grab it. You’ll have a wider space to work within an outdoor setting.
Nonetheless, an indoor setup will suffice since it’s a small group event. When planning the layout, don’t forget the venue’s size and the areas needed for the facilities. So, you’ll set up space for the actual event while allotting a separate area for the cooking or heating equipment, fridge, and storage.
Personalizing your catering to fit any event with a small guest list is no cakewalk, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task either. Embrace our tips, and we’re pretty sure you’ll ace it.