When it comes to catering for lunch events, there are a variety of options to choose from. Whether you are planning a corporate event, a family gathering, or a birthday party, choosing the right lunch catering ideas can make all the difference.
From sandwiches to salads to hot meals, there are plenty of delicious and creative options that can please any crowd. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best lunch catering ideas that can help make your next event a success.
Best Lunch Catering ideas
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One of the most popular lunch catering ideas is sandwich platters. Sandwiches are easy to prepare, and they can be customized to suit a variety of tastes and dietary restrictions. Some popular sandwich options include chicken salad, turkey and avocado, roast beef, and vegetarian options such as hummus and roasted vegetable sandwiches.
Sandwich platters can also include a variety of bread, such as whole wheat, sourdough, and ciabatta, as well as toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. For a healthier option, consider offering wraps instead of traditional sandwiches.
Another great lunch catering idea is a salad bar. Salads are a healthy and refreshing option that can be tailored to suit a variety of dietary needs. A salad bar can include a variety of greens such as spinach, kale, and romaine, as well as toppings like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and croutons.
To add some protein to the salad bar, consider offering options such as grilled chicken, tofu, or hard-boiled eggs. A variety of dressings can also be included, such as ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, and honey mustard.
If you are looking for a heartier lunch option, a pasta bar may be the way to go. A pasta bar can include a variety of pasta options, such as penne, spaghetti, and fettuccine, as well as sauces like marinara, alfredo, and pesto. To add some variety to the pasta bar, consider offering different toppings such as grilled chicken, sautéed vegetables, and shrimp. Garlic bread and a variety of cheeses can also be included to round out the meal.
Another fun and delicious lunch catering idea is a taco bar. Tacos are a crowd-pleasing option that can be customized to suit a variety of dietary needs. A taco bar can include a variety of fillings such as seasoned ground beef, grilled chicken, black beans, and sautéed vegetables.
Toppings can include lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Hard and soft shells can also be included to accommodate different preferences.
Soup and Sandwich Combos
For a classic lunch option, consider offering soup and sandwich combos. This is a great option for cooler weather or when you want to offer a comforting meal. A variety of soup options can be included, such as tomato, chicken noodles, and vegetables.
Sandwich options can include traditional options such as turkey and ham, or more creative options such as grilled cheese and tomato soup. To make the meal more interesting, consider offering different loaves of bread and toppings to customize the sandwich.
Fruit and Vegetable Platters
For a healthy and refreshing option, consider offering fruit and vegetable platters. These can include a variety of fresh fruits such as strawberries, grapes, and pineapple, as well as vegetables such as carrots, celery, and cucumbers. To make the platters more interesting, consider offering dips such as hummus or ranch dressing. Cheese and crackers can also be included for a more substantial option.
For a more unique lunch option, consider offering sushi platters. Sushi can be a great option for those who enjoy seafood or are looking for a lighter lunch option. Sushi platters can include a variety of rolls such as California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, and salmon rolls.
To accommodate different dietary needs, vegetarian sushi rolls can also be included. Wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger can also be included for those who enjoy more traditional sushi accompaniments.
Charcuterie boards have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They are not only visually appealing but also offer a variety of delicious options for guests to enjoy. Charcuterie boards can include a variety of cured meats such as salami and prosciutto, as well as cheeses such as brie and cheddar.
To add some variety, crackers, bread, nuts, and fruits can also be included. Charcuterie boards can also be customized to accommodate different dietary needs, such as offering gluten-free crackers or vegan cheese options.
For a more casual lunch option, consider offering a BBQ buffet. This can include a variety of grilled options such as burgers, hot dogs, and chicken. Sides can include coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob.
To make the meal more interesting, consider offering different types of BBQ sauce or seasoning options. A vegetarian or vegan option, such as grilled vegetables or veggie burgers, can also be included to accommodate different dietary needs.
Finally, for a classic lunch option that is sure to please, consider offering a pizza party. This can include a variety of pizza options such as pepperoni, margherita, and vegetarian options such as mushroom and spinach. To make the meal more interesting, consider offering different types of crusts such as thin crust or deep dish. Garlic knots, breadsticks, and salads can also be included to round out the meal.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lunch Catering Food
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best lunch catering ideas to ensure that the event is a success.
The Type of Event
The type of event you are planning will determine the catering ideas that are most appropriate. If you are planning a business luncheon, the catering ideas may need to be more formal, while a casual lunch with friends may require more relaxed catering options.
The Number of Guests
The number of guests attending the event will determine the amount of food that needs to be prepared. It is important to ensure that there is enough food for everyone and that there are a variety of options available.
The budget allocated for the event will determine the catering options that are available. It is important to work within the budget while still providing quality catering options for the guests.
It is important to consider any dietary restrictions that the guests may have. This includes allergies, vegetarian or vegan preferences, and religious dietary restrictions. It is important to ensure that there are catering options available that accommodate all dietary restrictions.
Time of Day
The time of day the event is being held will also impact the catering options. For example, if the event is being held in the morning, breakfast catering ideas may be more appropriate. For lunch events, options such as salads, sandwiches, and hot meals may be more appropriate.
The location of the event will also impact the catering options. If the event is being held in an outdoor location, options such as BBQ or picnic-style catering may be appropriate. For indoor events, options such as hot meals and buffets may be more appropriate.
If the event has a specific theme, it is important to choose catering ideas that complement the theme. For example, if the event is a Hawaiian-themed luau, catering options such as tropical fruits and grilled meats may be appropriate.
Seasonal availability of ingredients should be taken into consideration when choosing catering options. This ensures that the food is fresh and in season, and also helps to keep costs down.
The presentation of the food is also important when choosing catering options. The food should be presented in an appetizing and visually appealing manner to entice guests to try the different options.
By considering the type of event, the number of guests, budget, dietary restrictions, time of day, location, theme, seasonal availability, and presentation, you can choose catering options that are sure to be a hit with your guests.
When it comes to lunch catering ideas, there are plenty of options to choose from. From sandwiches to salads to hot meals, there is something for everyone. Consider the dietary needs and preferences of your guests when planning the menu, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your offerings. With the right lunch catering ideas, your next event is sure to be a success.