How to Choose a Catering Style
Whether it’s your first time planning a catered event, or you need a refresher on the current catering styles offered by San Diego catering companies, explore the pros and cons of the four main catering styles and find out which types of events should be catered in that style:
Buffet catering involves one or more buffet stations where guests take turns serving themselves. In some cases, wait staff may be necessary to serve guests at the buffet station. This type of catering is a great option for hosts who want to offer a variety of food, limit wait staff, and shorten serving time. Hosts will need to ensure they order enough food for all guests because some individuals may come back for seconds. Buffet catering is a casual option, compared to plated service, and is a great option for corporate picnics. One of our companies, Picnic People, offers buffet style catering for casual outdoor picnics.
- Plated service
Another type of catering service offered by caterers in San Diego is plated service. This style is much more formal and classy, making it a great option for semi-formal and formal events. Plated service doesn’t require waiting in line and caterers know exactly how much food to make in advance, reducing the risk of running out of food. Hosts who choose plated service will need to hire wait staff and guests will have less time to mingle. Urban Solace Catering has a team of experienced wait staff equipped to serve events ranging from 50 to over 3,000 guests.
- Cocktail reception
Cocktail style catering involves finger foods and bite-sized appetizers presented at food stations located throughout the venue. This catering approach is best for events less than two hours long and is easily adaptable to a wide range of event themes. The amount of food served at a cocktail reception is significantly less than plated service or buffet style catering.
- Tray-passed hors d’oeuvres
Wait staff walk through crowds of guests and offer finger foods in this catering style. Tray-passed hors d’oeuvres allow hosts to control the amount of food in circulation at a particular time and give guests the opportunity to mingle. This catering style is similar to cocktail reception in the amount of food that is served to guests. If you’re considering tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, explore the options offered by Urban Solace Catering, such as BBQ Shrimp Skewer, Smoked Root Vegetable Crostini, and Caviar.