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Category Archive: Catering

Need-to-Know Catering Terms

You’re not a chef, and you know that — it’s why you’ve hired a caterer to handle the food at your next event. However, because you’re not a chef, there are some catering terms that you might not understand, which could inhibit your ability to properly coordinate food and beverage. Take a minute to get to know the lingo!

A la Minute: Rather than ordering food that’s pre-assembled or pre-cooked, this food is prepared to order. It will come out fresh rather than stored in hot boxes! Some hotels offer this option for smaller VIP groups.

Dueling Menus: This is just a fancy way of saying that you’re serving multiple entrees. It’s a mixed-entree option! Rather than serving one 8 oz. steak, your guests could have 4 oz. of steak and 4 oz. of fish (AKA, surf and turf.) If your theme requires a more “exotic” menu, a dueling menu is a great option to introduce your guests to an item they’re unfamiliar with, or maybe would like to swap.

Dry Hire: If you rent a venue that offers nothing outside of the space itself, that would be called a “dry hire.” Make sure that your caterer can provide waiters for the evening; the venue will not have any labor available.

Ganging Menus: When two or more groups in-house receive the same menu, this is referred to as “ganging menus.” This can be great news because it means that chefs get quantity discounts when purchasing larger amounts of specific items, and there’s less labor required to have everyone preparing the same menu. Since the kitchen will be saving money, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to save money as well! Feel free to ask the venue’s caterer if they’ll already be serving a menu that you can serve as well.

Intermezzo: Meaning “between movements,” this is a palate cleanser that’s served just before the main course. Some popular palate cleansers include bread, sorbet, apple slices, or a sparkling wine like Prosecco.

Market Price: More often than not, you’ll see this listed next to seasonal items, such as strawberries or raspberries, or on imported items, like caviar. Indicated by supply and demand, this price will likely fluctuate, as opposed to AQ or “as quoted” prices.

Snake Service: Also referred to as “Ballet Service,” this serving style is as beautifully coordinated as a ballet. Waiters line up with plated food then walk together — like a snake — to the table, circling it, and laying the food down in front of guests simultaneously. Everything is in sync.

Silencer: This is a sneaky, brilliant way to prevent annoying clatter from dishes, cups, and flatware; a simple padding under the tablecloth will muffle extraneous noise.

Whisper Call: Rather than yelling “Ladies and gentleman! Take your seats,” at your guests, the Maître De will indicate that dinner is beginning by walking amongst guests and asking them to relocate to their seat.

If you’re looking for catering services for your next event, make sure you give us a call at 407-955-4949! And if you’re interested in more Orlando event planning tips on choosing a venue or a caterer — or if you just enjoy event planning personality quizzes — then keep an eye on our blog.

Tips to Choose a Caterer

Delectable dishes, outstanding service, and an awesome cancellation plan are only a few components of an ideal caterer. But there’s more than that when it comes to choosing the perfect company! Take a look at what you should know before signing the dotted line.

Event Experience and Specialities: Different companies are built to serve different markets. Some caterers specialize in large events, while others are “boutique” and designed to only handle small parties. Make sure you’ve chosen a caterer who can work with your event’s size.

Menu Flexibility: If you will be serving a group with a particular dietary need, such as a gluten allergy or lactose intolerance — or even if the majority of your guests are vegan or vegetarian — make sure the caterer is equipped to meet those needs while still serving delicious food. It’s also important to verify that they have menu options that fit into the theme of your event.

Compare and Contrast: Talk to the caterer about your event’s specific needs, and compare proposals from multiple companies before selecting one.

Ask For References: Online reviews are not always reliable, so ask the caterer to provide references, reviews, and testimonials. Feel free to contact previous clients to ask them about their experience.

Verify License: Check with your local health department to verify your caterer’s license. Ask to confirm that the company has no bad records, violations, or complaints.

Taste Test: It’s not a hassle to ask for a taste test! Attend at least three testings with separate caterers, and make sure that you can taste what you ask for, not a generic sampling — and be prepared to pay for the testing is necessary.

Venue Familiarity: While this isn’t make-or-break, there are benefits to working with a caterer who is familiar with your venue; they know the rules and the available equipment and space. If you’re leaning toward a caterer who hasn’t worked at the venue before, ask them to come for a walk-through. 

Review the Contract: Every detail should be included in the contract, even small no-brainers, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about what will be provided. Consider having an attorney look it over before you sign.

More Than Food: While a caterer is obviously supplying food and beverage, it’s important to remember that they’re supplying service as well. Inquire as to the number of servers, their experience, and the number of staff in supervisory roles.

If you’re looking for a caterer for your next event, make sure you check out services here at Fun Planners. For more Orlando event planning tips and information on how we can make your next event great, call us at 407-955-4949.

Plan in Advance to Enjoy Your Own Event

We’ve all been guilty of waiting until the last minute to plan an event, and the stress of scrambling in a time crunch can cause unnecessary panic. When you organize your event in advance and get help from a skilled team, last-minute planning disasters will be a thing of the past.

If You Need A Venue, Caterer and Entertainment
Finding the right venue, cuisine, and entertainment can be overwhelming as the date of your event draws closer. The sooner you find a venue, the better! If your event is six months out, start venue hunting right away. Remember that October, November, and March are peak wedding months in Florida, so for those events in particular, availability can be limited if you don’t plan ahead.  

You’ll be ready to move on to catering within two to three weeks. Take someone with you when choosing a venue to make the decision easier and faster, and delegate that responsibility to them while you move on to researching entertainment. Your goal should be to have booked your entertainment and catering four or five months before the event. Then, you can use the remaining months to focus on details like decorations and party favors.

If You Need A Venue and Catering
If you’re planning a conference or similar event and won’t be needing a band or performers, give yourself five months to get fully organized. You’ll need to decide on the venue by the three month mark, and then you have a week or so to choose the caterer. All-inclusive venues that provide food for guests in-house can be an efficient, one-stop-shop approach to event planning that help to lighten your team’s workload.

If You Only Need Catering
Backyard bashes and family reunions make location a non-issue, but booking the caterer far in advance will allow you more time to complete all your other checklist items. Feedback on cuisine from your team takes some of the responsibility off your back. Your planning process may be short, but to avoid the chaos of finding a caterer just weeks before your event, be sure to choose one three months ahead of time.

Looking to make your Orlando event planning strategy quick and painless? We can help you make your event a success and avoid last-minute stress before the big day. Contact us today at 407-955-4949 to find out how!

Impress Your Guests With Unique Dining

It’s no secret that people are easily motivated by food. Promising that your next event will be an exciting night filled with delicious food is an easy way to attract plenty of guests! Instead of sticking with the traditional plated dinner, here are a few fun ways to switch up the food at your next event.

Interactive Displays: The “create-your-own” route is simple but offers unlimited combinations for guests to customize their food. Options are endless: rice bowls, sandwiches, pasta dishes, macaroni and cheese bowls, potatoes, french fries, Philly cheesesteaks, tacos, nachos, snow cones, S’mores, popcorn, and more. For an event where you hope to offer healthy options, guests can create their own salad, avocado toast, or even smoothie. All you need is to make sure you set out a wide variety of sauces, spices, and toppings!

Depending on how sophisticated your event will be, you could plan to have a hibachi grill at every table so your guests can enjoy dinner and a show. Another great option is to set up fondue pots and hot stones for each table! Guests can grill their meats to their preferred “doneness” level and enjoy the savoriness of meat and cheese, as well as the sweetness of fruit and chocolate.

Don’t forget to include “create your own drinks” as well! Set up an Italian soda bar, hot chocolate bar, or mimosa bar.

Stick With a Theme: This works especially well if you can pair your food with the theme of your event. For example, a summer luau pairs well with fresh fruit or barbecued kabobs and pineapple; a black tie event might be the perfect place to offer hibachi or fondue. The food is also a great way to pay tribute to the delicious food from other cultures by theming your night around the food of another country!

Breakfast Food: It’s hard to go wrong when choosing to offer breakfast for dinner! Many breakfast food options work perfectly into an interactive display; you could offer a biscuit bar, crepe and waffle station, or a “pour your own” pancake griddle set up on each table. For fancier events, aim to create more of a brunch atmosphere with beautiful pastries, an omelette bar, and mimosas.

Family Style Dinner: Serving meals family style, or from large serving platters laid out on each table, is an excellent conversation starter!

Our catering services can work with you to truly meet the needs of your event. Contact the Orlando event planning pros at Fun Planners to get started today!

4 Tips for Your Fall Corporate Events

Wondering how the end of 2017 got here so fast? November is in full swing and it’s finally beginning to cool off. If your fall event has snuck up on you, don’t worry! Here are 4 tips for planning the perfect Florida corporate event.

 

Spice Up the Menu

Odds are, your guests have been to a few company events in their time. They know the usual event menu, so it’s time to spice things up. Pumpkin spice, that is! Foods like pie, pumpkin dishes, apple cider, sweet potato casserole, honey ham, etc. can breathe comfort into your guests and maybe even ease awkward office tension. Seasonal catering is a great way to set your event apart.


A Comfortable, Balanced Venue
Florida weather is virtually unpredictable. To combat rain, heat, or an unexpected cold front, try a venue with indoor and outdoor seating options! You’ll get the safety of the indoors, but also allow your guests to venture outside to a porch or garden and enjoy the cooler weather. By renting a dual venue, you’ll also double your decorating options! With an outdoor area, you can include hay, a scarecrow, some lanterns, and less formal seating around a fire. These options are great for making your event feel festive and homey.


Plan Around Holiday Travel

The countdown to the holidays has begun! When choosing a date for your business event, it’s best to stray away from busy holiday travel times. By choosing a less busy weekend, not only will you increase your event attendance, but your vendor rates will most likely be cheaper. We recommend choosing one of the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving, possibly on a weeknight, to ensure the best attendance for your fall event.

 

Toss the Stress

After a long day at the office, don’t spend extra hours sifting through caterers, entertainment, and endless event details. We know you’re busy as the holidays are approaching, so bring your essentials and fall ideas to an event planner and let them handle the rest! By hiring a professional, you’ll ensure that your event runs smoothly no matter what. Your boss will be impressed and your coworkers will rave about your event for weeks to come.

We know you need the perfect event for your team. Fun Planners is your one-stop shop for planning and hosting the best event at any time of the year. Contact us for a free quote today! With festive catering, a comfortable environment and our team at your aid, your Florida corporate event is sure to be a success.

 

It’s Time for a Company Picnic!

As the weather cools off here in Orlando, it is the perfect time to have a company picnic. A company picnic is a fun way to raise company morale, relieve stress, encourage employees to build relationships with co-workers, and keep the employees motivated as they transition into the holiday season.

There are many different aspects that can be incorporated into making a company picnic successful. Fun games, activities, entertainment, decorations, location, and tasty food are all key elements in having a successful company picnic and Fun Planners can provide it all! Fun Planners seamlessly brings all of these aspects together!

GAMES & ACTIVITIES
It is essential to select games and activities that your attendees will enjoy. Depending on the age group and personalities of the people attending the company picnic, Fun Planners can help you select the right games and activities for your group. Fun Planners has everything from candy art, inflatable rides, carnival games, and interactive rentals, to dunk tanks and rock walls.

ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment enhances the mood of a company picnic by providing something special to the event. However, it is important to pick entertainment that is consistent with the theme and overall mood of the picnic so that nothing seems out of place. Fun Planner offers face painters, stilt walkers, balloon artists, Disc Jockeys with picnic games, bands, magicians, and more!

CATERING
Tasty food and drink are essential to any company picnic! After all, it is a picnic! Fun Planners, Inc. has partnerships with multiple caterers, all of which are licensed and insured. Fun Planners can customize a menu that will cater to your budget, theme, and taste!

If you need assistance in planning your next company picnic, give us a call at 407-880-3521!

One-Stop for Food & Fun

Planning events can be stressful, let Fun Planners take another one of those more difficult steps out of your hands – catering. Fun Planners has many partners within the catering industry that are both licensed and insured for all types of events, casual or elegant.

Your catering options can include the following:

• Hors D’oeurves (Heavy, Light, Hot or Cold)]
• Buffet
• Butler Passed
• Plated Dinners
• Bagged Lunch
• Beer, Wine, Specialty Drinks
• Barbeque
• Carving Stations
• Holiday Feasts
• Festival Foods
• Gourmet Desserts

So take the frustrations away from your event planning process and give the reigns to Fun Planners. We’d love to assist you in as many ways possible.

For more information on how Fun Planners can help in catering or other areas of your event planning, call 866-511-4FUN!