If it’s not in your everyday realm, it’s hard to know what menu works best with a time of day.
You’re thinking, “I can eat anything, any time of day.” Well, it isn’t always that way.
And this is when things get tricky! The appealing and appropriate foods at breakfast or brunch may appear too heavy for an evening cocktail reception. Likewise, dinner menus often need heartier fare than a corporate lunch crowd may desire.
From my 30 years of food service experience, here are my thoughts that may help you out this hot summery Christmas to get the most out of your catering experience.
Sunny Service – Menu Tips for Your Summery Christmas/End-of-Year Event
Give your Christmas/end-of-year event menu a makeover with these tips.
Early Dinners Don’t Work
Early dinners don’t work in the summer. It just becomes a waste of food.
We are creatures of habit; lunch is from 12 to 2 pm, and Dinner is from 6 to 7.30 pm. I know this sounds rigid, but I have had clients try for the 3.30 Canape and 4.30 main, and I am sorry to say the food just gets wasted.
If your timing does have to be at the 2.30 to 6.30 time-frame, choose something that is more canape/afternoon tea in theme.
Simultaneous Serving of Sweet, Savoury, and Unique Dishes
Try simultaneously serving sweet, savoury, small and unique dishes that aren’t big portions of proteins and carbs. Imagine, for your event, a beautiful Christmas table;
- Smooth goat cheese crostini, fresh strawberries, basil & honey
- Grilled spiced beef kofte with garlic yoghurt, parsley & pickled chilli
- Watermelon, fetta & mint stick with roasted dukkah
- Marsala chicken salad on mini papadum
- Baby orange & almond cakes
- Black sesame, dill & halloumi pastries
- Baked brie with drunken fruits & torn baguette
- Gingerbread men!
Hydrating and Refreshing Drinks
Have interesting, cool and refreshing drinks like a homemade iced tea bar that guests can top up their glasses. Here are some tips for including hydrating and refreshing drinks on your menu:
- Offer chilled waters with citrus slices or herbs for flavour. Provide plenty of bottled water too.
- Homemade lemonades, fruit punch, and iced teas are great hydrating options.
- Set up a DIY-infused water station so guests can customise their own drinks.
- Offer coconut water, electrolyte-enhanced waters, and rehydrating sports drinks.
With hydrating and electrolyte-replenishing beverages on the menu, guests can stay refreshed and energetic even during the hottest summer events.
Char Baby’s Free Standard Catering Schedule
Below is a standard catering turnaround schedule to help you out. Happy planning!
Lunch 4hrs Turnaround
- 11.30 am: Caterer’s Arrival
- 12:00 pm: Guests’ Arrival – Drinks Service
- 12:15 pm: Light Canape/Starter Platters
- 1:00-1:15 pm: Main Feasting Table or Main Food Circulation
- 2:00-2:30 pm: Sweets Out
- 3:30 pm: Caterers Exit (Wait staff remain if requested by client)
- 4:00 pm: Guests Exit
Dinner 4hrs Turnaround
- 4.30 pm: Caterer’s Arrival
- 5:00 pm: Guests’ Arrival – Drinks Service
- 5:15 pm: Light Canape / Starter Platters
- 6:00-6:15 pm: Main Feasting Table or Main Food Circulation
- 7:30 – 7:45 pm: Sweets Out
- 8:00 – 8.30 pm: Caterers Exit (Wait staff remain if requested by client)
- 9:00 pm: Guests Exit
Take out the guesswork! Book Char Baby for your Christmas/End-of-Year event catering. We’ll take note of your preferences, work within your budget, and help you create memories that will last a lifetime.