Throwing a big bash, planning a wedding reception, or getting several branches of the company together typically revolve around one common theme: food. Sure, many will say it’s about the birthday boy or girl, the happy couple, or the big departmental win. But let’s be honest: food is the unifying factor and for good reason. Coming together for a communal meal is a part of the celebration and is a tradition that has been ingrained into each and every one of us. If you’ve had enough of baked chicken and green bean almondine, and want to add something new to the buffet line at your next event, keep reading for top alternative catering options.
Although barbeque is a staple in American cuisine and culture, having it at a wedding or office party wasn’t a popular menu item until recently. There’s no doubt that barbeque can be messy, but, boy, is it delicious. Just picture eating a pulled pork sandwich doused in tangy BBQ sauce while eyeing that side of mac and cheese and big piece cornbread after you say “I do” or nailing that company presentation. If you’re not too concerned about a sauce stain or two, having an event catered with BBQ favorites is a no-brainer.
If you’re thinking of the typical fast-food burgers as a catering option, think again. Burgers are no longer a simple assembly of a bun, ketchup, mustard, pickles, patty, and cheese. New and established gourmet burger restaurants are popping up all over. Not only can you order an Angus beef burger with gruyere cheese, field greens, and aioli at a restaurant, but you can also have it at your next event. Many burger-focused restaurants offer catering packages, like Burgatory. You choose a package that fits your budget and guest list. Perhaps you’ve received a Burgatory e-gift for the holidays. Consider treating friends or family to a burger buffet filled with tasty toppings, sauces and more when watching the big game, or for that upcoming baby shower.
Casual Tex-Mex restaurants have become a popular dining option. Many people visit restaurants like Chipotle or throw a Taco Tuesday night weekly at their house. Tacos make a fantastic menu for an event as there are so many ways to serve it. Choose from a hard shell or soft-shell base, then fill it up with a variety of meat and non-meat options and toppings. From al pastor to tacos de pescado, you and your guests can enjoy flavors ranging from mild to wild when you have your next event catered with this Tex-Mex favorite.
4. Food Trucks
If you’re hosting an outside event, whether it’s a large birthday celebration or family reunion, renting a food truck or two is a creative way to feed attendees. Food trucks offer flexibility and convenience. You can find pretty much any type of food you want and there’s a food truck that will have it. From specialty grilled cheese to lobster rolls, to organic and vegan dishes, you’re sure to find a truck that will make everyone happy. The cost of renting a truck depends on what type of food you want to serve and how many guests will be at your shindig. Prices vary from $10 to $30 per person. But seriously, how fun would it be to be a guest at a party with a food truck on hand?
5. Fair Food
If you’re not counting calories at the moment and want to offer a fun alternative food menu, think fair foods. Mainly fried or on a stick, there is a feeling of nostalgia and whimsy connected with eating corn dogs, snow cones, funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn, and fresh-cut French fries. What a perfect way to celebrate high school graduation or a poolside party than with these summertime foods.