Food is an amazing way to bring people together, and corporate events are no exception to this rule. Whether it’s trying a new food together, or a unique form of catering presentation like an action station, meals serve as an amazing bonding experience for attendees. Catering displays can serve to keep guests engaged throughout the event, bringing entertainment, action, and excitement or aesthetic, visually pleasing focal points depending on the display used. In this article, we’d like to delve into the importance of catering displays at parties and event, as well as types of displays that can excite and engage your guests.
The saying is true, we do eat with our eyes. Our senses are a valuable part in enjoying food, whether it’s taste, sight, or smell. A visually appealing catering display, one which engages all senses, takes any meal to the next level. Catering displays, in this regard, are important in event design. The action of preparing cuts of meat in front of the guests, the smell of a flambé station, or the beautiful sight of a well-designed dessert table serve as delights to multiple senses. Engaging multiple senses in food presentation aids in furthering the enjoyment of the event. So, too, does turning a meal into an experience make your event all the more successful. Whether you’re looking to up the visual appeal of your catering (as shown in our gallery) or give your guests a truly unforgettable dining experience, there’s no shortage of unique forms catering displays can take. We’d like to present some types of catering displays that are sure to take your event to the next level.
Action stations are food and entertainment mixed into one unforgettable experience. These are catering displays in which the chef prepares the food in front of the guests eyes, or otherwise takes an action while presenting it. This can take the form of preparing ice cream in front of you, flambé chefs, teppanyaki stations, or really anything your heart desires, depending on your food of choice. These action stations are engaging, exciting, and make the action of serving food into an experience. They engage every sense and serve as an entertaining, active food display. This type of catering display is an amazing way to elevate your food serving to the next level, by bringing your guests into the action of preparation and serving and engaging multiple senses.
- Hibachi Grill
- Flambé Station
- Teppanyaki Stations
- Build-Your-Own Stations
- Pasta Wheel
- Nitro Ice Cream Station
- Carving Stations
Chef centered action stations,like Hibachi grills or carving stations, are an amazing way to engage and excite your guests. They serve as a focal point for your catering, by drawing guests together over the experience of watching their food be prepared and served before them. Displays like this spark appetite for your guests by engaging every sense, and the immediate preparation and presentation ensures your food is as warm and fresh as it can be.
Guest centered action stations enable your guests to be a part of the action. By preparing their own fishes and serving themselves, these catering displays can immerse your guests fully in their dining experience by allowing them a big role. These stations also enable your guests to personalize their meals however they please, amplifying the experience by giving them the option to prepare their meal precisely how they desire. These, too, engage both your guests’ minds and their senses and serve for an exciting focal point at your event.
Buffet & Bars
Buffets and food bars are two equally engaging catering displays due to the fact that guests serve themselves at both. Buffets are known for being a long line of various prepared dishes, which guests can pick and choose from. Food bars are tables laid out with ingredients for guests to make their own dish (which can be combine with an action station). Buffets are the best choice if you’re looking to offer a wide array of dishes, and food bars are the best for creating a customized, personalized dining experience. Both can be self serve or staff served, depending on your wishes.
Benefits of a Buffet
- Allows for guest interaction when guests are getting their food
- Can be adapted to be either formal or casual
- Allows for plenty of variety in dishes
- Guests select what they want from prepared dishes
Benefits of a Food Bar
- Allows for customization of ingredients in guests’ meals
- Can aid in allowing for dietary restrictions by making ingredients optional
- Can be combine with an action station for guests to watch food being prepared
- Food is prepared as-needed, limiting excess waste
Tips for Making Your Buffet or Bar Shine
Lighting is exceptionally important in displaying foods, but especially those at buffets or food bars. Spotlighting your dishes will make a great impact on your guests and engage their sense of sight, boosting their appetite all the more.
Dessert tables are a great way to excite and engage your guests for a corporate meal. These catering displays accentuate the beauty of gorgeous confections and are a great way to showcase aesthetically pleasing dessert options. Whether you’re looking to display luxurious cakes, bite-sized tartlets, or branded cupcakes, giving them their own display table is sure to spark your guests’ interest as well as their appetite.
We’d recommend making your dessert table tiered. Elevating pastries and confections makes them more pleasing to the eye and lends an air of sophistication. This is a common way to display pastries and confections due to allowing the caterer to showcase desserts of various sizes and bringing them closer to the eye so guests can see the fine and delectable details.
There are a number of other methods to spice up your catering displays. One way is pretty well known, hand passed serving trays. Hand passed appetizers lend a personal touch to your event. They offer a connection between guests as well as food service staff, allowing for guests to be entirely immersed in the catering experience. A more unique way to distribute food is strolling tables. Strolling tables are table displays worn by the server (often in the form of a skirt) that spark conversation as they move through the room. All the benefits of a tray passed appetizer, but with the ability to carry far more (including plated dishes) through the room.
Benefits of Hand Passed Serving
- Gives a personal touch by offering bite-sized or small portions directly to guests
- Presents an air of sophistication in serving
- Allows for timing in giving guests fresh, hot food as soon as it’s ready
- Is perfect for menus with plenty of hors-d’oeuvres and appetizers
Benefits of Strolling Tables
- Allows for a decorative element and striking presentation
- Enables guests to get food as they please and at their own pace
- Allows for a wide variety of foods due to its size
- Is efficient for serving large groups
Tip: include branding into your napkins, trays, the food itself, and/or on the aprons of the serving staff.
Food is truly the greatest way to connect people across all walks of life, and its display is important in setting the scene of camaraderie and networking at corporate events. Well executed catering displays can leave a lasting impression on guests and give them something unique to reminisce about. Creativity and innovation are a must in catering displays and food service, and these factors combined with service quality and delicious food has a strong impact on guest experience as well as event success. If you’re looking for a food and beverage team who know how to utilize catering displays to elevate your event, our team is at the ready. With over 35 years of experience in cutting-edge catering displays and crafting amazing dining experiences, we’re experts in the way of food and beverage services. To get in touch with our team, simply fill out the form below. We can give your guests an amazing dining experience with a catering display they will never forget.
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