Posts Tagged ‘Family Style Service’

Tips & Trends: Dining Options

When deciding on what type of service style you would like for your reception, consider budget, time and formality of your event.

Sit-down dinner:

If you want a formal atmosphere and have the budget for a multiple course dinner, a seated meal is your best option. Seated meals typically require more time for service, so if you are limited with time or really want to get out on the dance floor right away, this may not be the best route to go. Fun ways to incorporate your couple personality into your seated meal would be with personalized names for each course or doing fare from your first date—like Italian if you went to Maggiano’s on your first date).

Also remember when doing a seated meal you will want your food to be served on china, which typically runs $4-$10 more per person depending on the stemware, flatware and plates that you choose. One of our caterer’s, Columbia Culinary Team makes sure that all of their food is served on china and is included in your package price. Brides always ask about the price difference between seated and buffet meals and seated meals only cost more than buffets because of the amount of staff needed to serve all of your guests. Approximate one server per every two tables so that your guests are not waiting for too long to get their next course.

Buffet or food stations:

Buffets are the most popular style of food service at Plaza Lecea. Many brides and corporate clients like the variety offered with food and the lower cost of service. Lots of guests enjoy buffets because they can pick and choose what they want to eat and the amount. Don’t worry too much about running out because every caterer brings a little extra to make sure that everyone will get a plate! Don’t forget to ask your caterer about added décor for the buffet as well. We always love the trendy stuff that An Event to Remember and True Flavors bring over when they do buffet services at our facility. Also remember when choosing a buffet, you have the option of serving your food on nice acrylic plates (standard) or you can upgrade to china.

Worried about guests standing in line for too long? We love having our overhead screen and projector in the Boardroom because guests are able to watch slideshows of the couples while they wait. They never complain while oohing and ahhing over the couple’s childhood pictures!

We have had a lot of fun food stations at Plaza Lecea. One of our favorites was Hill Country Catering’s pizza station for a recent Quinceanera. The teens (and adults!) got to choose what toppings they wanted and in less than five minutes they had their own personal pizza ready to enjoy. We have also had stations based on ethnicity and locale:

Mexican Comida: Quesadillas, nachos, fajitas, tacos

Asian Cuisine: Sushi, pot stickers, and different types of rice

Classic American: Mashed potato bar, pizzas, mac-n-cheese (w/yummy bacon, mushrooms and chicken toppings!)

Italian Fare: Pasta bar with different veggies and proteins (sausage, chicken)

Family style:

Family style service has really caught on in the past couple of years. What is family style, you ask? Our best way of explaining it is kind of like a buffet at your table. Servers bring out large platters of food and you get to share those platters amongst the table. So if you don’t really dig asparagus, or want an extra helping of scalloped potatoes, you can help yourself! It also gives your guests an opportunity to get to know each other because people really bond over food and those extra helpings.

Family style does require more staff to ensure that your guests are served in a timely fashion, but it’s worth it in the end. Absolutely Delicious Catering and Columbia Culinary Team specialize in family-style service. Remember that like a sit-down dinner, family style service takes time! Generally speaking, make sure you have at least an hour to an hour and a half for service.

Cocktail reception:

If you don’t wanna spring for an elaborate meal, or if you and your soon-to-be hubby want to have a casual reception, hors’ duerves are an awesome way to serve food and show off your personalities. All of our caterers have appetizer options to choose from (some of our fav’s include Absolutely Delicious Catering’s Chicken Diablo and Spice of Life’s Meatballs) but they also can create a completely custom and unique menu for your reception.  

Just remember to start your reception a little later if you are planning to have a cocktail reception because if guests arrive at 5:00 p.m. for the event, they are most likely expecting a full meal.

Bon appetit!

Vendor Spotlight: Columbia Culinary Team

A rising star in the catering community here in San Antonio is Columbia Culinary Team (CCT), one of our latest additions to our approved caterers list. Their incredibly creative menu is what sets them apart from any other cater that we’ve worked with yet! They are definetely not serving the bland and dry “catered chicken” at your event. This caterer’s menu is flooded with gourmet renditions of classic and contemporary foods. With items such as the Tandoori Style Quail, Veal Osso Buco or Scampi Modo Mio, your guests will be amazed at restaurant-quality style of food served at your next event.

Prior to opening their doors over 2 1/2 years ago, the CCT catered private events and gained a rather large following here in the Alamo City. Handling crowds of up to 1000 guests (w/events for up to 2000 guests in 2010)  is the same as catering a small dinner party for their team, as they strive to pay attention to the customers needs completely. CCT prides themselves on provided a dining experience that is at least equal to, if not better than that of the city’s best restaurants and we have to agree! Plaza Lecea has had CCT cater numerous in-house events and we have all experienced the first class service and savory dishes. They always have plenty of staff on-site for the events to ensure that every guest has a pleasurable experience.

Some of CCT’s most popular dishes include: Seared pepper crusted tuna on a chipolte cream cheese crisp with chili escabeche, smoked marinated pork loin with a peach jalapeno glaze, and bleu cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates in a maple sabayon (is your mouth watering yet?!). Executive Chef, Jeff White, has a great ability to create tantilizing dishes for the masses, which is not an easy feat when you have cook the meals in their kitchen and then transport it to an event.

One of our favorite things about CCT is their affordability. Brides on a budget can still serve an amazing meal with quality service to their guests with CCT. Prices start out at $12.50 a person and go to around $50 for the works (majority of the dishes are under $25), but this pricing is also inclusive of porcelain plates and glassware. They also have a unique spin on service style. While most caterers only offer seated or buffet meals, CCT also has an option for family style service in addition to a seated or buffet meal. This is their most requested option, where they deliver large platters of food to each table–kind of like a buffet at your table. Your guests can choose the amount of food and the specific items that they want, fostering a family dinner-like atmosphere.

In addition to catering, CCT also provides bar services, linen, decor and event management services for your event. We are very proud to have such an innovative catering service on our list of approved vendors and we hope that you will check them out as well: http://www.thecct.net