Yes, we have helped our clients save money on the catering component of many events. We have jotted down a few simple ways to help you save your all important budget also!
Lets talk about my favorite, food first. There are plenty of creative menus out there but if you are looking to save some dollars here are some insider tips.
1. Cheaper Menu Items
Ask your venue if there any menu items for entree, main and dessert are cheaper and easier for the kitchen to create? There will probably be at least two items on any menu that do not take as much time to prepare, which also means less staff. There will also be items that include ingredients that are readily available or cheaper, depending on the season.
If so are you able to select from the cheaper and easier items? Ask the venue if this can help reduce the menu cost.
2. Alternate Serves
Are you looking to have alternate serves eg. two options for each course? How about having on option for entrée, two for main meal and a shared dessert platter?
This way your guests get variety and you are not paying an extra $ 5 per person per course for an alternate serve.
As mentioned above a shared dessert platter is a great way to provide variety on a budget. Guests get to select their favorite petite dessert items from platters placed on their table. Just make sure there are at least three mini dessert items per guest.
Or why not get your guests up on the balcony or deck and have a roving dessert. This saves on dessert cutlery and extra staff to help serve and clear each table.
4. Other Menu Options
Instead of a 3 course sit down meal how about a basic canapé menu? There are really cute mini noodles boxes and bow items that ensure your guests leave full and do not drive past McDonalds on the way home!
Stand up or cocktail menus are a great money saver as they cut down the amount of staff required for a plated sit down meal, as well as chef's in the kitchen. This also reduces the amount of crockery and cutlery required.
Another great idea is to have food stations, let your guests choose what they want to eat while saving on staff and equipment.
I know this may be an obvious one but have you considered paying for beverages on consumption rather than a package? Eg. Only pay for the drinks that are consumed, you pay a set price per glass or bottle.
If you are holding an event on a week night where most guests will be driving and only having one or two beverages then consumption is the way to go. Do not be persuaded here as a venue will want to lock you into a package as they are then guaranteed a certain amount of revenue.
This also comes down to knowing your guests, who is in the room? Are they big drinkers?
Good Luck and Happy Eventing.