Tips for Sampling Catering Menus

| August 28, 2012

sample menu tipsSatisfying food is one of the most important elements of a successful event or gathering. These tips for sampling menus help you choose the tastiest food possible when planning an event.

Ensure that sampling is offered

A reputable venue or caterer will have no problem letting you taste the menu items. You’ll probably need to make an appointment, but you should be able to take your time sampling potential food items. If they tell you sampling isn’t a possibility, find another venue or caterer, because it’s important that you know what the food served to your guests tastes like prior to the event.

Go with an appetite

While you don’t want to be ravenous when you sample your potential menu items, which may cause you to eat too quickly, you also don’t want to be so stuffed from lunch that you have a hard time eating. Having a light snack an hour or two before your appointment will give you plenty of room to sample the entire menu.

Clear your palette in between menu items

Take a trick from wine tasters and make sure to clear your palette in between each menu item by taking a drink of water and, if possible, a bite from a saltine cracker. This way you won’t mix flavors while tasting, which could negatively affect your menu choices.

Take notes

It’s easy to get confused about what you liked the best when you have several items to taste. Create a food sampling menu checklist along with a 1 to 5 rating and a place to note your thoughts on each dish. This is especially helpful if you’re sampling menus with someone else, as it allows you to effectively compare notes and make a final decision.

Taste like a vegetarian

Chances are you’ll have individuals on your guest list who are vegetarian or vegan. When sampling menu items, do your best to choose the tastiest options for those guests with special dietary restrictions. The same goes for individuals with medical restrictions, such as diabetics.

Be open-minded

You may love anchovies, but not everyone does. When tasting, try to choose foods that appeal to a broad spectrum of individuals. If possible, bring along two other individuals to help you sample, which gives you a good chance of hitting many potential taste preferences. Choose a varied menu when making your final choices so that all of your guests have something they can enjoy.

Tasting potential menu items for your event is a fun and tasty experience, and the reward of satisfied guests is well worth the effort.

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Category: Event Rentals, Events, Evergreen, Venues

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.