There are plenty of options on the table (pun intended), so you have to be creative if you want to get noticed.
Food and drinks events take many forms. You could organise an intimate wine tasting event or a big international food festival.
What matters is that you leave your guests with a lasting impression. Something they can talk to their friends about (and post to Instagram, of course).
So how do you make your food and drinks event unforgettable?
Read this article to find out how to:
- Present your food and drinks
- Take dietary restrictions into account
- Consider the environment
- Balance flavours
- Cater to your audience
- Go local with your food choices
- Hire a good caterer
- Find the right venue
- Make it exclusive
That should set you off to a good start. Let’s look at how to plan a food and drinks event.
1. Cater to your audience
The first step to pulling off a successful food and drinks event is to consider the audience.
- How many people will attend?
- Is the event formal or informal?
- Are the guests from a particular background or industry?
People who attend a lot of business meetings, for example, will be sick of eating the same food all the time. Health professionals will appreciate a menu consisting of healthy options.
Find out how you can wow your guests by being different. That will make sure that your event is memorable.
2. Make it exclusive
Everyone loves to feel special. A secret dinner party in a small venue will immediately give your event an air of exclusivity.
Limited seating also creates a sense of urgency, which means your event will sell out (or the guests will RSVP) faster.
3. Find a great venue
The venue for your food and drinks event will play a crucial role in the presentation of the food. It’s a good idea to hire a venue that reflects the theme of your event.
If you’re more daring, it can also be interesting to do the opposite. A gourmet dinner at a rustic warehouse? Why not?
Just make sure it looks intentional so you’re not mistaken for being unprofessional.
4. Hire a good caterer
This is an important point, seeing as the caterer is responsible for the food and drinks. Consider the following points when you shortlist potential caterers:
- Have they been in business for long?
- Do they have good reviews online?
- Are they insured?
- Do they have the right licenses?
- What facilities are they using?
- Are they part of the relevant organisations?
There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to communication with your caterer. If you don’t have a vision of what you want the food to be like, ask them for their advice.
They likely have more experience and will be more than happy to show their expertise. The worst thing you can do is to be vague and hope for the best.
Apart from the food itself, you should also be thorough when you discuss logistics. Talk through delivery, parking, unloading, and inventory.
5. Presentation is key
Food and drinks are an added bonus at most events. But when they are the centre of attention, the attendees expect something extra.
The presentation is almost as important as the food and drinks themselves. There are several ways you can go about making a great impression.
Use the colour of different goods to your advantage. If anything looks boring (such as roast chicken and potatoes) then you should add pops of colour. Anything red or green will do the trick.
It’s also important to decorate the table and platters. Not only is table decoration easy points, but it’ll also add to the overall theme of the event.
6. Balance the five flavours
Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. Every Michelin star chef will attest to the fact that including them all is ideal.
If that’s too much, however, then a neat balance between sweet and savoury will do.
7. Diversify your menu
Once you’ve considered the background and dietary restrictions of your guests, it’s time to think about the menu.
Although you may like your choice of food, it’s not certain that your guests will be as enthusiastic.
That’s why it’s useful to give them the option of two different starters, mains, and desserts. More, if you can manage it.
It’s also a good idea to have condiments separately so your guests can add what they want to their meal.
8. Source your food locally
Everyone loves locally sourced food. Globalisation is great, but too many places end up serving the same dishes. See if you can find some local specialities that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
If you think locally, you will also be forced to consider the food that’s available during the season. Local cuisine might not be an option if your event theme is tropical but it’s a cold February evening in London.
9. Be environmentally conscious
You may have noticed the sudden disappearance of plastic straws from dining establishments around the UK. Although they haven’t been outlawed officially, many eateries are already taking proactive steps.
You can score points with your attendees by doing the same. Switch out the plastic straws with cardboard ones. Try to reduce your carbon footprint where possible.
Eco-friendliness could even become part of your event theme.
10. Consider dietary restrictions
It’s important to keep any dietary restrictions in mind when you plan the menu.
Certain religions place restrictions on beef, pork, and shellfish. Vegetarians and vegans will not be pleased with an all-meat buffet. And allergic reactions to nuts will definitely kill the vibe of the party.
That doesn’t mean you should only cater to the minority of guests with dietary restrictions. But it’s always nice to be considerate and include options, so that everyone’s included.
That was a lot to consider.
The good news is that people will always need good food and drinks. So there will always be demand for great events like yours.
But you want your food and drinks event to be memorable, so try to use all of the tips in this article.
Remember that you can use Billetto to both promote the event and sell tickets for it.
Good luck on your next foodie adventure. Remember to post it to Instagram!