Party Packaging

When throwing a party one of the most important things to consider is how to keep everybody fed and watered. Hiring in outside caterers, or arranging the party somewhere with its own catering can often remove this hurdle, however it may result in compromises on quality or variety. Anyway, part of the fun of throwing a party is planning everything, and the food should be no different.

Of course another big advantage of having DIY catering is the cost. With advance budgeting and a disciplined approach 5* food can be created on a 1* shoestring budget. The easiest way to start to think about a menu is by tailoring it to the party’s theme. For formal events it’s best to stick to the classic three course, with additional amuse-bouches and appetisers if it’s really a special occasion worth splashing out on.

For family occasions, with many different generations all under one roof, classic dishes will be best received: prawn cocktails, roast beef and black forest gateau rarely fail to please, and leave older guests reminiscing about the great dinner parties they went to in the 1970s. With friends or informal gatherings the catering can be more of a buffet style. Investing in professional quality food packaging means that a buffet can prepared and safely stored in advance – nobody wants food poisoning to be the reason their party is remembered for years to come.

Similarly, with daytime parties save washing up piles of hired glasses and offer guests barista made speciality hot beverages in disposable coffee cups. By choosing catering disposables the work after the party is minimised as everything can be chucked into a big bin bag ready for recycling. Which leads into the idea of making sure that volunteers for setting up, serving and tidying have been designated well in advance.

If the food is being cooked and prepared in a home environment it’s worth establishing roles for people and making sure one person has an overseeing role as head chef. Unless there’s clearly one point of contact between everyone involved, work risks being duplicated or overlooked – a classic error.

Avoid amateur mistakes though by creating an achievable timetable and making sure it gets thoroughly stuck to. Make sure that the food is included in the timetable so that if food needs defrosting at a certain time or bread needs baking it gets sorted when it’s supposed to. Then sit back and watch the guests be suitably impressed when they ask who your caterers were and you can reply ‘me’.