Building Your Event Menu

My boss knows her food and has provided me a number of tips that have helped me as I’ve developed menus for my events. Here is a checklist I go through when ordering food. This has helped keep the food at our events diverse and relevant to a large group of people.

  • Have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
  • Chicken is a great option, but make sure every dish is not chicken.
  • Don’t let all your vegetarian options be only cheese options. Often the standard vegetarian dish is a meat dish with cheese replacing the meat.
  • The standard vegan dish is often grilled vegetables.
  • Make sure to have something for your vegan guests. Grilled vegetables are a great fallback if you cannot come up with other options.
  • Try and have both healthy and unhealthy options. For example, don’t only have greasy fried foods, but also have some fruit and other options. Also, try to make your healthy options more exciting than just fruit or vegetables a la carte.
  • Think about the colors and textures of all of your dishes. Are you going to have 3 dips that are all the same color? Do you have all red food? Try to mix it up.
  • Serving something on a cracker can make a great appetizer, but don’t let all your appetizers be different things on crackers or bread. Add some satays or dips.

3 Responses to Building Your Event Menu

  1. Heather says:

    There are tons of options out there for vegans:

    Please take the time to consider them, as well as us veggies. We really do appreciate it. We’re rather sick of just the boring vegetable plate. We do eat other things besides just veggies!

  2. Jos Myers says:

    Such great advice. We once ordered all food that we liked without realizing that it was 90% starches. We became known as the event with “too much pasta.” Not good!

    Side note- would love to have you join up at my site and bring some blog posts over to link back to your site!

  3. Joe Garecht says:

    Jason, I’ll add one more: consider the guests! I learned this one the hard way.

    In preparing for one of my first events, I decided that the make your own taco bar sounded good. Bad choice. The guests were coming straight from work, wearing business attire. That meant…. ties!

    Well sure enough, everyone, including the guest speaker that night, got taco meat, sauce, and cheese on their ties. I was awful red-faced as the guest of honor gave his talk with a taco stain on his tie :)


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