As we look around, we see all the signs of spring popping up: the weather is warmer, patios are starting to open, and flowers are beginning to peek through the ground. Spring breaks are all but over, and every teacher and student, from elementary school to college, is getting ready for that push to the end of the year. Some are just trying to make it to summer break and three months of vacations, longer days, and no homework. There are a few lucky individuals, however, that are in their last days of school. It is time for seniors, from high school to Ph.D candidates, to step into the world. That calls for a party! A day to celebrate successfully getting through their final year of school. Big events like graduation parties deserve more than pizzas, burgers, and a bowl of chips. It deserves unforgettable food.
Planning something of this magnitude takes a little bit of time. Scratch Event Catering has over 15 years of experience at this, so we have some tips on how to make sure your graduation party is the one everyone will be discussing until your next life event.
Laying it Out
The first thing you need to do is establish the budget. This is going to go a long way to helping you plan out the rest of the event. It will inform how many guests you will be having and what you will be serving them, so plan well. Plan on spending 75-80% of that budget on food, plates, glasses, cutlery, and other dining supplies. For a more upscale event, there are places like Prime Time Party Rental that will rent you everything you need. Otherwise, paper and plastic can be the order of the day for something a little more casual. Now you can make adjustments on the food or the guest list and have something to work off of. This is the time you want to develop your theme as well. It can be extremely simple, with a few signs and decorations in the space, or as elaborate as a full scale ball.
Timing is Everything
When do you want your party? There is no rule that inviting people over for some lunch is out of the realm of possibility. Or that having people come by late as something of a final stop on a long day of party going. Choosing a unique time for your party can offer some unique options for décor and what kind of food you are going to serve. Omelets and French toast sticks for a brunch affair? S’mores and desserts for something later in the day to keep the party going? A late night party can cut down on the overall food expenses, stretching your dollar a little further.
Another note on timing: This is a time where many other events are being planned, from weddings to corporate summer parties. If you are going with outside sources for any part, from catering to decorations to entertainment, start looking now to book them. We know this is a time when requests for our services start to ramp up, and you don’t want to start planning at the last minute!
A Unique Meal
This is their big day. Find out from them what kind of food and atmosphere they want to create. Considering that many guests will be attending multiple parties in a day, the food and drink options will want to be set up for heavy hors d’oeuvres or simple, small meals. Starting from there, the options are limitless! If they are off to college or a new job in another part of the world, create food options based on where they will end up. Are they a macaroni and cheese fan? Create a macaroni and cheese bar, with a wide variety of toppings to enhance their cheesy treats. Fan of Mexican, hows about an elaborate nacho bar or fajita station. Slider stations could also be set up, where the filling can be anything from lobster salad to sumptuous braised beef sliders.
Put a Signature On It
What is the item that is going to stand out? Food has a way of leaving an impact on people’s memories long after the event passes, and there is always an opportunity to add a little something to the experience. Like a wedding cake, you want something that will stand out as something flavorful and decorative. Why just have an ice chest with bottles of soda when you can host a vintage soda fountain, complete with a signature syrup flavors? Heard of Molecular Gastronomy ? How cool would it be to have ice cream made on the spot with a dramatic show with Liquid Nitrogen. There are tons of ways to customize desserts, from dozens and dozens of cupcakes, multicolored macaroons or shabby chic dessert stations complete with pies, bars and cookies. They can be all in one well defined place, or spread like party favors through the whole area. And of course, a bottle of pop or a little bag of custom treats is a great party favor to leave with!
We are happy to cater this big event for you, so you can focus on guests and the graduate while we make sure none of the food at the Southern Food Stations runs out, or that all of the sliders stay hot and fresh for all of your guests. Contact us for more information on what Scratch Event Catering can do to make this graduation party one you will enjoy right along with your guests. No matter how you handle it, it should be an unforgettable day full of unforgettable food. Congratulations graduates!
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