Twelve Catering Inspirations To Impress At Your Event

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Whether it’s for a small celebration, or a huge corporate event, one of the most important elements of your event is the food. Guests will remember a bad meal just as vividly as a good speech.

To turn your occasion into a memorable event, you need to create the right impression with your menu – so why not get creative with the following ideas and inspirations?

Catering 101

Before we go into our list of catering ideas, here’s some things you should consider before planning your menus.


Give yourself a realistic budget. Balancing the books can be tricky, but calculating the maximum amount you can spend (and sticking to it!) makes for a stress-free event.


How many guests will be at your event? Collect RSVPs and always plan for unexpected extras.

Dietary Requirements

From vegan to lactose-free, catering for everyone will ensure that everyone leaves with a full stomach and a smile on their face.


Will your event be in summer or winter? No-one wants a hot and filling meal in a heatwave! Plan your menu accordingly.

Weather Forecast

If your event will be predominantly outside, have you considered the weather? Try not to plan a BBQ in a thunderstorm (although it will make your event one to remember!)

Venue Location

Is your venue indoors or outdoors? Does it have seating available, or will it be standing room only? Are there staff available for your event?

12 Catering Ideas And Inspirations

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, the next thing is to find the right fit for your event. Here are some ideas for any time of the day:


There are 2 types of sit-down meal.

The Formal – Where food is served in courses by trained staff

The Informal – Where food is brought to the table and guests help themselves.

Guests can look at a menu beforehand and make a selection or have waiting staff to take their orders on the day. Venues which offer this service will have a range of options to cater for all budgets and dietary requirements.


A popular option since the 70’s but still the most accessible. You can offer a variety of options, from hot, cold, finger foods or multicultural samples. Buffets can be served formally or informally, as your budget and tastes allow.


Hog Roasts have grown in popularity over the last decade and can turn your party into an event. It can become a focal point for your guests and give your event a relaxed and informal atmosphere. In these days of rising costs, a Hog Roast could be a cost-effective solution for your event.


Who doesn’t love a good BBQ! From traditional burgers and sausages to more daring delights such as sea bass and steaks. A BBQ is the ultimate informal menu option for outdoor, summer events.


There are literally thousands of Food Truck companies available to hire, offering a staggering range of food. From gourmet burgers and Asian cuisine, to the sweeter options like crepes and ice cream.


Facciamo la pizza italiana! Hiring a Pizza Oven will certainly excite your guests. A simple and cost-effective way of providing a substantial meal, which offers a range of toppings that your guests can choose themselves!

The only question would be pineapple or no pineapple as a pizza topping?


Don’t underestimate this great alternative to a sit-down meal, as the simple picnic can offer a wide variety of options to cater for every taste! And it doesn’t have to be the sandwich and crisps you remember from childhood – think outside the box (or basket) and get creative!


Smoothie Bowls are on trend right now. If you’re hosting an early morning meeting, or have planned an early bird wedding, smoothie bowls are a fun, healthy, and creative way to energise your guests ready for the day ahead.


If you’re offering a sweet option instead of a savoury one, or including it as part of a food feast, here are some options that are sure to be popular with anyone at your event who has a sweet tooth.


Release the inner child of your guests and provide a range of ‘pick and mix’ sweets; it’s a sure-fire way to put a smile on anyone’s face, whatever their age. There are many options available to hire which will suit any theme and become a focal point of any event.


From a late-night board meeting to a midnight snack at a wedding, a popcorn bar will be a firm favourite. People love to customise their food, so be sure to provide a variety of toppings and let the fun begin! Think caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, chilli flakes – anything which will excite your guests and get them talking.


Donut walls are everywhere at the minute. Hire a professional, or decorate your own peg board to hang the donuts on. Not only will your guests get a sugary treat, they will be treated to a visual statement. A donut wall is likely to prompt Instagram opportunities for your business, or great guest selfies for your birthday bash!


Who doesn’t love a good cupcake? The flavour combinations are endless, and the toppings can be as classic or creative as you like. You could even have them decorated to promote your business.

Any one of these ideas can make your event memorable, or inspire you to create your own amazing options.

While food may not seem like the biggest part of your event, it’s something that your guests will remember, and nothing brings people together like good food!

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