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To Plate...Or NOT To Plate

Are you unsure of how to present the all-important meal at your upcoming event?  We here at Clarke Allen know that food presentation can be one of the most difficult choices, especially when trying to please guests.  In order to make it easier for you (aren't we nice?), we teamed up with Liz Vetter of Queen City Catering Company to give you some food for thought – pun intended.

Your meal presentation generally comes three ways:  a plated meal, buffet, or stations.  In order to pick the best option for your event, you must think about your venue and desired guest experience.  Are you looking for your guests to be relaxed and able to engage in conversations at their table?  A plated meal is your best bet.  Would you like guests to be able to arrange their meal as they choose?  Buffet style is the way to go.  How about an interactive mix of both?  Food stations offer fun and convenient ways to present your options.  According to Liz, “Each has its own merits, and picking the best one for your celebration depends on your preference for the benefits of that service.  In addition, sometimes the floor plan of the venue will make a buffet or plated service the better choice.”

But wait, what about the alcohol?  This too depends on your venue and desired guest experience.  If you're looking to keep it simple, go for a beer and wine bar.  If you want to up the ante, offer a full liquor bar.  See what your caterer can offer for both of these options, or if you should supply the spirits yourself.  Keep in mind that most caterers will charge a corkage fee if you decide to supply your own.  There are tons of different options, and your caterer is your best bet to choosing the right one.

We know that you aren't made of money.  That being said, going for the cheapest option isn't always the best decision for your guests either.  Remember that saying from your parents, quality over quantity?  It applies here too.  Liz says it perfectly with, “Agreeing to a healthy budget with a quality caterer will allow you peace of mind during the most important day in your life.  Be prepared to spend accordingly.”  Food is a major part of a guests' experience.  Work with your caterer to find a balanced budget that will also leave your guests feeling happy (and full).

Whether its plate or no plate, go with what works best for you and your guests.  After all, it's your event! 

Written By,

Caitlin Carroll | Creative Writter | Clarke Allen Events
http://clarkeallen.com/event-design-experience-feature/edef-04/plate-not-plate/