As an event planner, I’ve read many a catering proposal as well as attended many receptions and if you’ve been reading this blog, you know I enjoy the food. However, there are times when I DON’T enjoy the food, which makes me sad, because that’s usually one of the main reasons I’m there. Thus, I’ve put together this list of MISTAKES to avoid when picking your reception menu.
- Bites That Leave Trash. Everyone loves serving food on a stick, from beef skewers and chicken satay to cake pops. But what your guests don’t love is having to hold on to the stick (or the shrimp shell, or the spoon, or anything else) while conversing with their friend because they don’t want to hunt down a trash can. If you must serve this type of food, make sure the server stays with the guest and carries a second tray (or napkin or bowl or something!) where they can deposit their waste quickly and elegantly.
- Bites That Make the Guest Gnaw on a Bone. Unless you’re at a casual backyard barbecue, it’s not elegant for your guests to gnaw on a chicken / lamb / or any kind of meat on a bone. No matter how delicious it is, it’s awkward. Don’t ask your guests to do it.
- Bites That Aren’t Bites at All. Similar to gnawing on a bone, food that is too big for one bite is difficult for guests to enjoy when they’re talking to other guests. They’ll be tempted (or is it just me?) to eat it in one bite and then their mouth is too full, they can’t keep talking, and then it gets messy. Which leads to Mistake #4.
- Bites That Are Messy or Fall Apart. All too often a guest picks up a pretty, stacked canapé, takes a bite, and then it falls apart, requiring them to step back, search for a napkin, and potentially embarrass themselves. Don’t do this to them.
- Bites That Leave Food in Guests’ Teeth. Speaking of embarrassing, have you ever been to the bathroom and while washing your hands you notice food stuck between your teeth? “Why didn’t anyone tell me??” You scream in your head. Avoid doing this to your guests by nixing menu items that are “encrusted” (think: peppercorn crusted steak) or have a lot of separate herbs floating around (“Is that cilantro in my teeth again?”)
So the next time you’re at a tasting or putting together your menu, think about these five points and don’t make these mistakes. Do you have any food pet peeves when attending an event? Share them in the comments.