If you are looking for some cool catering ideas for your next shindig, consider setting up some self-serve stations. This also frees up serving staff while your guests help themselves to some popular refreshments and snacks at your affair. The key difference between a self-serve station and a buffet is that the station focuses on one particular food or beverage, allowing guests options to customize their servings.
Some popular self-serve stations that are fit for a party are:
Hot-chocolate. The perfect cup of cocoa is an excellent refreshment for an outdoor or nighttime event, to keep the chill off. Have caterers set up carafes of hot chocolate, and offer guests lots of options that they can add in to customize their cup. This might include things like marshmallows, candies, sprinkles, and spirits to doctor-up their cocoa.
Cocktails and spirits. Another way to utilize a self-serve station is with the cocktails that you offer at your party. You could, for example, use a Bloody Mary station with a simple spiked and un-spiked mix in pitchers, and let guests add things like peppers, horseradish, fresh veggies, salty olives, and even bacon! Make sure to offer a virgin-version for your guests that don't imbibe in alcohol.
Chili. Chili makes for a wonderful self-serve option, as caterers can leave pots of meat and veggie chili out for guests to add toppings for a tasty party treat. Consider a selection of shredded cheeses, chopped veggies, hot peppers, sour cream, and even pasta noodles or rice, that guests can use for their concoction.
Sushi. Set up a self-serve sushi station and let guests create their own rolls! Offer up all of the necessary sushi components- including sticky rice and a variety of dipping sauce- and let guests nosh while your catering team works on the main course.
Sundae bar. You are probably familiar with an ice cream sundae bar; why not turn it into a self-serve station? This would be a big hit at a birthday party or children's event, where you know ice cream will be a popular food option.
Fondue. Let guests serve themselves from fondue serving stations. Ask your caterer for cheese fondues with a variety of dippers, like bread cubes, meats, and blanched veggies, or go for the decadent chocolate fondue, served with cake, fruit, and fresh berries.
Try one of these popular self-serve stations at your next party or gathering. These will give you an idea of how a self-serve station works and what types of offerings seem to go over best with your guests. Talk with your party caterer or Marians Island Wide Catering for other unique and alluring ideas for self-serve stations at your next party!