If you’re planning an event of any kind, the event menu is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Getting the menu right is one of the most critical elements of making your event successful. 

Make the right choices with the event menu and your guests will be raving about it well into the future. Make the wrong choices and your event goes down in those proverbial flames.  

Luckily, Waterside Event’s Executive Chef, Gus Shizas, has 5 tips for planning an event menu. Let’s take a look. 

  1. Who’s Coming?

Your guest profile will make a big difference in your event menu. It’s important to know the frequency with which they attend events like yours, the location(s) they are coming from, and their ethnic backgrounds. 

All of those demographic factors can make a difference in the menu. As an example, many business people attend several events a year. They often refer to them with the unflattering phrase as, “the rubber chicken circuit.” If you serve something wonderful that’s not chicken, you’ll make a favorable impression. 

Another consideration with regard to your guest profile is their age. If the average is older, they may prefer milder food while younger people might like more spice or more interesting meals. Those concerned about fitness may want vegetarian and seafood over other kinds of meat. 

  1. Anticipate Food Allergies and Other Issues

You also need to be concerned about certain dietary preferences or needs. Food allergies, such as nut allergies, and intolerances, such as lactose intolerance or Celiac’s disease, require special consideration. 

You can provide guests with a link to indicate any special needs they have or a physical form to fill out so you can plan for those issues. That’s not all you have to consider, however. 

Some people may have religious requirements, such as for Kosher food, or they may have made voluntary choices like veganism or vegetarianism. Again, having a form where they can indicate their needs will help you plan a spectacular, inclusive event menu. 

  1. Don’t Forget About Seasonal Freshness

Taking advantage of items that are in season in the region where the event will be held will not only make your guests happy, it will help you out too. Seasonal items are readily available and often less costly. 

Your guests will love it too since they will not only enjoy the event, but will also enjoy getting a taste of the locale as well. It’s a great way to celebrate the region and make sure everyone enjoys the menu too. 

  1. Make Sure the Event Menu Fits the Schedule

It’s also important to consider the event schedule when planning the menu. In fact, that can be the most important guide for determining what you want to serve. 

You want to make sure you choose both the meal-type and menu choices that are best for the time the meal will be served. For example, if your guests only have 30 minutes for lunch, you might choose box lunches instead of a plated meal. If you’re serving a working meal, make sure the options you provide can stand the test of time.

Plated meals typically require a minimum of 1.5 hours to prepare, serve, and consume. If you’ve only got an hour, consider a buffet as those can usually be completed in that time. Also, if you’re planning for cocktail receptions, those usually require at least an hour before dinner. 

  1. Presentation Counts

Finally, you want to think about the presentation of the food. Gus Shizas notes that we eat with our noses and eyes before we taste anything. That means your event menu should have foods that are colorful, fragrant, and appetizing. 

When your guests see the food, they should start salivating, but the food is not the only thing that counts. You also want the linens and decorations to complement the meal. 

If the food doesn’t look and smell good, your guests will be disappointed no matter how the food tastes. That’s why you want an expert chef, like Gus Shizas, help you prepare your event menu. 

Final Thoughts

At Waterside Events, our professional chef and his expert staff can help you design an event menu that will have your guests praising your event well into the future. Chef Shizas is an expert at designing and preparing colorful, tasty meals that are professionally served so your guests won’t have to wait when they’re on a tight schedule. 

Additionally, Chef Shizas and his staff can help you think about all the little things you might not otherwise think about. They’ll help you with special needs, make sure your meals are suitable for your guest profile and are full of fresh ingredients, and the taste will have your guests clamoring for more! 

In short, Waterside Events will help make your event the talk of the town for a long time to come. There won’t be a rubber chicken in sight!