You want to plan your event, but don't even know how to begin. Even the most skilled event planners can forget to include crucial information for caterers to put together the best menus and quotes for each and every event. Here are the most crucial questions to get you started:


1. Number of guests

    A final headcount should be obtained at least 3-5 days before the event to make sure there is enough or, on the flip side, not too much leftover.



2. Duration of the event

    If the event is a one or two hour cocktail party, versus a 4 hour event, the amount of food absolutely varies. Especially if your guests are consuming alcohol.¬†We estimate anywhere from 3 to 8 individual pieces per person for each hour of the party, depending on how heavy or simple the hors d'oeuvres are.



3. What (or who) you are celebrating

     Are you organizing a wedding reception or is this a corporate gathering for guests? Are we serving breakfast before a meeting or a plated high tea for 180 at a mid afternoon awards reception? Knowing what and for whom this event is for helps your caterer to gauge whether or not guests will need to eat more, how much of each item they may want, and exactly what kind of menu would be best. As much as every single event we cater is different, human eating patterns are always the same. If you host a cocktail meet & greet from 5 to 7, your guests won't be eating much since they are likely going to have dinner afterwards.



4. Type of food

     If you choose the sliders, duck ravioli, and hummus cup for your cocktail party, you can bet your guests will have 1 or 2 pieces of each, max. The heavier the appetizer, the less your guests will eat. Consider what you are doing after, such as serving a buffet dinner or offering a boxed lunch for the afternoon meeting, or even letting the alcohol flow! The heavier the food, the safer your drinking guests will be.



5. Time of day for the event 

     Afternoon bridal showers tend to mess up eating schedules, so planning a lighter fare menu is key. Unless you are hoping for a super casual evening, sandwiches may not be your best option for a nice dinner. Time of day is crucial when planning a menu, not just for the obvious reasons, but also to consider what your guests might be doing after they leave your party.




Get started planning your event with Olivia's Catering Shop by emailing us the answers to the questions above!