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Catering a Themed Party

Catering is a full-time job that involves much more than just cooking excellent food. Many people start a catering business because of a love for cooking, but they quickly realize that the business requires creative planning, excellent communication skills, organization, and effective budgeting.  As a caterer, you may be expected to cater a themed event which is much different than catering a traditional speical event. Customers may want an event with a tropical, European, historical, regional, or cultural theme. As a caterer, it's your responsibility to make this theme evident to guests on the day of the event. Here are some ways to make theme planning a simpler process.

Create Themed Floral Arrangements

The floral arrangements and table centerpieces at your themed event are the simplest ways to tie any theme together. Because guests will likely be spending a great deal of time seated at their tables, the centerpiece is crucial for the theme as a whole. If the catered event theme is a tropical or Hawaiian, you can choose flowers and fruit that complement this theme. In addition flowers, you can use trinkets, decorative items, novelty items, and even antiques in your centerpieces to correspond with any theme. Presenting these items on a lovely mirrored centerpiece can enhance any themed event. 

Theme Menu Items

It's also a great idea to make the menu reflect the theme of the event. For example, if the party theme is Hawaiian, you can create huge platters of fresh, tropical fruit. Glazed pork studded with pineapple could be another excellent element of this themed party. Spend some time brainstorming a menu that fits with your theme. If you can't come up with specific themed menu items, at least give each dish a special name that fits with the overall theme.

Themed Dining Utensils and Dishes

Sometimes, the dishes, dining utensils, glassware, and table linens need to fit with the theme of a catered event as well. If the event has a casual backyard barbecue theme, you will not want to serve the food on fine china and silver flatware. Similarly, if the event is themed around old-fashioned Hollywood, inexpensive linens and dishes may not be appropriate. Be sure that all of the elements, from start to finish, reflect the desired theme of your customer.

Keep a Theme Portfolio

A great idea for a caterer who creates several different themed events for customers is to maintain a theme portfolio to provide to your customers. Many clients may know they want a fun theme for their special event, but they may not have the experience or the creative energy to come up with something interesting. If you keep a theme portfolio with photos, sample menus, and price lists, your customers can peruse different themes you offer and select the theme that suits them best. This will also help you to reuse some of the decorations and accessories that you've invested in for your past themed events. Each time you reuse a décor element, you will increase the profits that your catering business earns.