Coming up with unique and creative catering menu ideas for your next big event is no easy feat. You want to serve dishes everyone will love—and everyone can eat—that taste delicious yet aren’t part of the same old catering menu.
Whether you’re planning a corporate event or intimate gathering, the menu ideas below disregard the typical catering rules and will truly wow your guests.
Bring in a Live Chef
Not only is a chef in action a unique idea, it’s entertaining. A live chef cooking dinner for guests to watch, whether it’s grilling meat and vegetables or making fresh pizza, provides an interactive experience when people usually just expect the food to be brought ready to eat.
It helps break up the monotony of long lines and provides a spectacle for hungry guests waiting for their food. Guests have the opportunity to learn how their food is prepared, and the chef can easily adjust for allergies or certain dietary restrictions.
Unexpected live action is one of many catering menu ideas that goes against the status quo and brings a personal touch to your menu.
Stylize the Bar Cart
Fun catering menu ideas extends beyond food. Mix up the drinks with creative bar carts to give guests more options for libations. This DIY approach can include a variety of liquors and spirits in addition to the standard beer, wine, and bar rail choices.
Opt for a bubbly bar hosting an assortment of champagne and rose varieties, accompanied with fruit garnishes and cute glasses. Highlight a fiesta theme with an interactive margarita bar that allows guests to choose the type and flavour of tequila, combined with a variety of salts.
Freshly squeezed lemonade and juice stands are fun mocktail alternatives sure to please every guest. This little extra offers a change in flavour from the same bar service your guests expect anywhere.
The traditional plated dinner is quickly becoming dated. As people want to spend more time mingling, family dinner nostalgia is making a wave in the catering world.
Sharing and tapa platters for family-style dining is a refreshing change that has everyone chatting and eliminates the standard one protein-veggie-carb plate most people are used to. This alternative serving style presents a relaxed and informal dining style where guests can choose how much to take from the options at the table.
Antipasto dishes, charcuterie boards, grilled veggie plates, and seafood platters are all flavourful foods that can be passed around the table, reminiscent of Sunday night at home.
Combine Delicious and Nutritious
Don’t shudder at the thought of serving healthy food. With health-conscious eaters on the rise, even caterers have begun adapting their menus to include healthy and yummy options that taste great and can please any guest—even the diehard carnivores.
From buffalo cauliflower wings and tofu burgers to lettuce wraps and gluten-free cupcakes, there are many ideas combining flavour and health for an experience like no other. Consider organic options to limit the number of processed and frozen foods, and make veggies the star by substituting the usual starchy carbs for beets and sweet potatoes. These filling alternatives taste delicious and add colour to the table.
Rearrange the Classics
Whether you add your own twist to a classic cocktail or go gourmet with the finger food, serving standard items in an inventive way breaks boundaries. Catering menu ideas that aren’t the same classic hors d’oeuvres will shock guests in a fun way.
Reassemble the classics and serve the same food in a new aesthetic for guests to enjoy. Update the crostini with fennel slaw, serve soup in shot glasses, and offer mini grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with mushrooms and red pepper. Alternatives that incorporate traditional catering menu ideas in a new way go against your guest’s expectations, leaving the pleasantly surprised and sharing stories of your wedding for months to come. Your guests will love the twist on classics.