Catering for your Bristol event on a budget

Whether youíre organising a wedding, charity dinner, corporate event or birthday party, it is inevitable that a large portion of your Bristol event budget will be spent on catering.

Anyone would agree that organising such an event will entail the pressures of ensuring perfect execution. The good news is that there are ways to efficiently plan an enviable event and curb the expenses involved:

1.            Pre-planning your event budget
Consideration of your budget is the key ingredient to a successful event. To avoid a recipe for disaster, make a note of the number of guests you intend to invite, the arrangement of tables, the decoration and the entertainment you wish to arrange, if any. Do not forget the food - if you are planning the event for a client, find out what their food preferences are and if you are planning the event for yourself it would be a nice touch to ask a selection of guests for their food preferences. Please note that escargot or liver may not be every guestís idea of culinary delight!

2.            Choose the right company for the occasion
Using the internet to source a list of catering providers in your area is a good start. Pay attention to word of mouth publicity as it is likely that a company has a good reputation if people are talking about them. The venue you are working with may also have preferred caterers which they are happy to recommend. Most caterers will agree to attend a consultation with you which will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and sample their cuisine.
 
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Remember that the caterers should have the capacity to handle the number of guests you plan on inviting and present several alternative menu options. It is also essential to bear in mind that many guests have vegetarian or vegan diets and wheat or gluten intolerances. Therefore, the company you choose will need to be able to cater for this.

3.            Choose the right food and beverages
Your choice of food will certainly reflect on the costs of your event. For example, certain meats are far more expensive than others and the same goes for the alcohol.

 A buffet could be the best option for you if you require a variety of different foods for a large number of guests.  But do not fret because the buffet does not have to be basic - a good catering company can provide highly sumptuous and creative food menus.  A good tip is to ensure that all of the dishes are named and that any speciality foods i.e. vegetarian dishes are labelled accordingly. Buffets are really on trend at the moment for their quality and inexpensiveness. To add a nice touch, serve the buffet up on glass or a mirror so as to create a modern style and enhance the foods presentation.

4.            Remain aware of your event budget
It is vital that you keep your budget in mind when making arrangements with the caterers and bear in mind that the caterers are usually willing to negotiate price with you.  Keeping appetisers to a minimum is also a good idea as usually these are the things that are left over. Lastly, clarify whether there are any other additional costs that you have not been made aware of.

If you are organising a catered event, you may wish to use one of Brunelís Old Stationís approved and reputable caterers.

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