Everybody likes food, right? At least, most of us do. So much so that we have at least three meals a day.

Even more so, we enjoy eating with others. Oxford University conducted a study in 2017 in which 76% of those questioned believed sharing a meal was a good way to bring people closer together.

Therefore, why not include food at your parties and soirees? We can all agree that the closer everyone is, the easier it is for your partygoers to be themselves. Once they’ve enjoyed their favourite meal, snack or canape, they’ll be more than happy to opt into your event’s itinerary.

The problem is that there is so much to food. What choices you should make when it comes to content, delivery and presentation can give even the most experienced organiser anxiety. Luckily, this blog will assist you in asking the right questions about food and how it affects your event.

Provide your delegates with choices

People come in different shapes and sizes with interests that vary, so should your food. Too much of the same food can be overwhelming and risks the chance that someone might not like what has been chosen.

By offering different types of cuisine, you can guarantee that everyone is catered for, especially those with dietary requirements.

Dietary Requirements

The more delegates you have at your function, the more likely you will have someone in attendance who has a food allergy or intolerance. Therefore, you need to always have an alternative available. As there are many kinds of intolerances, you may need to supply several alternatives.

A great way to account for people with dietary requirements that you will need to cater for is to keep a record of the delegates who are registering or RSVPing for your event. By keeping a record of these, you will know how to tailor your meal perfectly to your invitees.

Ensure no one goes hungry

A hungry person is not a happy person. So do your best to make sure that everyone in attendance gets the opportunity to eat.

This relies on your communication and knowledge of those you’ve invited. Simply identifying anyone that does not have anything on their plate is not enough, as it may be that the person is just not hungry. Which is why it is so important to record your delegate’s dietary requirements and understand their feelings towards different foods. You don’t have to risk being rude or putting your delegates on the spot if you can predetermine why they may be unsettled.

Understand the type of event you’re holding

Is the event appropriate for a three course meal or would appetisers do? Understanding how food fits within the schedule of your event is key to organising any event. For example, if you’re planning an event where your delegates will be moving around a lot then providing them a three-course meal may not be the best idea.

For something such as a workshop or taster event, it would be better to serve appetisers instead of a full meal. This could also help your budget as you will need less food for the event.

Time of Day

Time of day is an important factor in many different aspects of event organisation. Especially when it comes to food. Holding an event later in the evening might dictate that you have small tasters available rather than a sit down meal.

Alternatively, a meal might be required if you hold a gathering around a typical mealtime (12PM – 3PM, 6PM – 7PM) as you don’t want your party going hungry.  

Canapes vs Hor d’oeuvres

Many organisers understand what appetisers are, but did you know about the different types? Canapes and hor d’oeuvres differ slightly but can emphasise the effect food has on your function.

Hor d’oeuvres are small and tasty finger food such as antipasto, crudites and mini quiches. These work best with more leisurely events, that includes beverages such as cocktails.

Canapes are in fact hor d’oeuvres but usually include a small piece of bread or pastry with a variety of toppings, therefore they are more filling than their counterparts. These appetisers tend to be great for business and networking occasions.

Have beverages that match

If your delegates are going to have food, then they’ll also need drinks. Like with food, drinks need to match with the event’s overall theme and function.

You wouldn’t spend your budget on alcoholic drinks if you’re holding a business function and you’ll need a large supply of water if the event is forecasted to be a hot day.

As mentioned above, appetisers such as canapes work best with cocktails and could be used to accentuate the overall theme of the function.   

For more information regarding food ideas for events, explore the Edgeley Park website for upcoming events, recommendations and blog posts.