Whether hosting a rehearsal dinner or catering an extravagant wedding, many restaurants find their way into the wedding business in one form or another. So, what is the difference between serving a wedding crowd and the Friday night regulars and how can you be prepared for whatever comes your way? Grab your chef coat and get down to business by planning ahead and thinking like the happy couple.
A rehearsal dinner is typically held the night before the wedding and immediately follow the wedding rehearsal. This is a chance for the bride and groom’s families to meet and chat. Although this event is just a precursor to the wedding, it should still feel special because it is a kind gesture for those closest to the engaged couple.
Hosting or catering a wedding will usually mean more guests and a longer service timeframe. These days weddings run the gamut from traditional to wacky. The traditional couple will be looking for typical hors d’oeuvres, a salad course, the entree, and wedding cake for dessert. Modern couples may be looking for a more relaxed atmosphere with unique culinary concoctions including specialty drinks and out-of-the-box service ideas. No matter the actual event or type of couple, there are several things to keep in mind when planning wedding food.
- General public appeal will keep guests happy.
- Play to the wedding theme as much as possible.
- Create dishes that can be served quickly and easily with little messiness factor.
- Be creative and amp up ordinary to impress wedding guests.
- Presentation is just as important as taste.
Wowing wedding crowds can seem intimidating and downright time consuming. Set yourself up for success by ensuring you have a private area in house to meet with guests and to serve them. Creating customizable packages can also be helpful in cutting down on stress and planning time. Aim to create three packages, one at a low price point, one at a moderate price level, and one at a higher price point. Within each option offer a few choices of ingredients or dishes to help couples feel some level of input.
Wedding-related meals can bring in a lot of extra income while also advertising your business to potentially new guests. Set clear goals and expectations, be prepared, and you will surely find success in this coveted arena.