Sometimes, the right catering order means sumptuous buffets of multiple entrees, rich sides, and lavish desserts—but that’s not always the case. For certain occasions, smaller bites are just the thing. When meetings or get-togethers happen at odd times—but you still want something to nibble—it can be tricky to know what to put on the menu. Whether you’re hosting a quick mid-afternoon meeting, a light breakfast, or a consultation pre-dinner-hour, our CaterSquad reps are always available to help you make the perfect catering choice.
Here are our top tips for striking the right balance of just enough and not too much when
the occasion calls for a lighter spread.
It may be the most important meal of the day, but many people aren’t big breakfasters. (In fact, about a quarter of Americans skip breakfast daily!) If you know your colleagues, customers, or officemates aren’t likely to dig into hearty fare like pancakes and eggs in the morning, it’s smart to scale back a bit. Consider offering a DIY approach with a buffet of lighter breakfast options like granola, yogurt, protein bars, individual hardboiled eggs, and fruit. Allowing folks to create their own first meal of the day–or opt out entirely—will help everyone get the breakfast they want.
Don’t spoil your dinner! (Or anyone else’s.) For early evening meetings, a light spread of apps is often best. Hors d’oeuvres that feature fruits, vegetables, or whole grains offer flavor and nutrition without filling you up. Lowest-calorie fruits include watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries, while cucumbers, lettuce, and celery are some of the lowest-cal veggies. When placing a catering order, be sure to inquire about appetizer portions as well. The smaller the portions, the less filling they’ll be—and the more of them everyone will get to try.
Got a meeting at 10:30 AM or 3:00 PM? Awkward times for eating can sometimes lead to awkward catering orders. Avoid mishaps like mid-afternoon overeating or excess leftovers by selecting snacks instead of a full meal. In a pinch, you can opt for an easy spread of purchased packaged snacks, but think outside the box for something a bit more interesting. Soft pretzels, a trail mix bar, and choose-your-own espresso drinks are are all crowd-pleasers that can be catered.
If you’re the point person for catering, those with smaller appetites in your group (or those who may be trying to lose weight) will appreciate your efforts to keep a catered meal on the lighter side. When the situation calls for something simple, choose lower-calorie main dishes like lettuce or grain salads, broth-based (not cream-based) soups, and unembellished proteins like grilled chicken or fish. Buffets and “bars” like taco bars, Mediterranean bars, and salad bars are also a friend to those who are keeping track of calories. Even the plates and serving dishes provided with a catering can set the tone for more moderate eating. For mini-meals, consider using salad plates instead of dinner plates and cups, not bowls, for soup.
Don’t forget, you can always speak to a caterer or restaurant manager about their low-calorie or smaller portioned options. And to make things even easier, just ask your CaterSquad rep for assistance! We’re here to connect you with your right-sized catering order, whether small, large, or anywhere in between.