Need advice on what to serve for boutique event

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by travisty, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    hey guys,

    I’ve never done any type of local vendor type event yet (just catering so far), and just trying to mainly get advice on what food offerings I should consider doing.

    I recently started catering, and got invited to a Chamber of Commerce hosted “Holiday Boutique” event. There will be 40 business type vendors and I’m one of just 4 food vendors.

    I’d prefer to keep it real simple, like 2 meats 2 sides total. What are the real crowd pleasers? Should I just be doing like a pulled pork or brisket sandwich option, or should I do meat plates???

    I do want to say that this is sort of the “introduction” of my business to the local community, so I do want to impress, even if it means I don’t make as much profit as usual. I don’t love the idea of sandwiches, cause I’m sort of a meat alone purist, but I don’t have the experience to be able to say if I’ll just be shooting myself in the foot.

    Bonus question:
    This is a city hosted event. There are 70 people marked as “going” on the FB page and another 450 marked as “interested”, it is and will be pretty widely advertised in the local community. Any ideas on what I should pannfor quantity wise?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    You may be able to do some smoked salmon on Crostini. little olive oil brushed on baguette slices toasted. thin sliced smoked salmon and cream cheese you mix in a touch of Greek yogurt and chives .. lemon juice . Easy to make appetizers.
  3. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Burnt ends ? little cup with 4 or 5 chunks each. plastic fork. You could do those in advance and finish later.
  4. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Cooler full of pork butts hot and ready to pull right there. condiments pure done. heat tortillas to serve in and have slider buns extra. Homemade pickled onions.
    You may want to limit items that need to be on ice. just a Cole slaw perhaps.
  5. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Since this is more of a "loss leader" event rather than a money maker on your part, I'd cut expenses and use tooth pics rather than plastic forks.
    You said it would be an introduction of your business to the community, so figure out what your advertising budget is and spend accordingly for food. It should work out well for you.
  6. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I was thinking of the little 2 prong plastic things .. Lol their cheap too.. not sure what you call them..
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For the quantity needed that's always a tough one if there isn't a set RSVP. Since this is you intro plan on double the number people that say they are going. It sucks to have leftovers but it would suck more to run out on your introduction run. The leftovers can be packed and frozen for your own use if needed. Figure 1/3 pound meat per customer.

    You can wait up to 2 days before the event if you have the proper equipment to cook. So wait as long as you can to see how many are actually coming. Keep in mind that they may bring more people with them ad other may just come and not RSVP.

    Do all your cooking and pulling of the meat ahead of time and reheat the day of.

    If you don't already have them you will need chaffing set ups (disposable is fine and economical). They come in sets of three. They have foil half pan trays with lids, tray holders, gel fuel, and serving utensils.

    You will also need a cambro to lug the trays in and to keep the meat at safe temps.

    Two of the easiest items to prepare for large groups are pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches. Both use the same buns, can use the same sauces and slaw. I usually do the pork plain with sauces on the side. The chicken I do as "roadside chicken". Once again sauce on the side. Coleslaw goes good with both these sandwiches either as a topper or a side. I'd even opt to serve the sandwiches as sliders for this type of even. Serve 2-3 per serving and allow the customer to pick if they want a mix of meats or all of one or the other.

    I like to make Potato-Mac as the other side. Why, because everyone does beans or tater salad or mac salsd, but no one does potato-mac.

    Roadside chicken (use boneless skinless thighs if making for pulled. You'll have almost no loss).

    Potato Mac
  8. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thank you guys for the very helpful responses!

    I should have all the equipment I need. I have catered quite a few private events so far, but this will by my first booth vending type. The other vendors are actually food trucks, and ill be camped out right in the middle of them, and like I said there are only a few of them.

    Right now, I think I'm planning to do a 1 or 2 meat plate option, with 1 or 2 sides, but I'm still taking advice and other options. I may consider the sliders idea you brought up, cause I think you can actually get away with less meat per person (and therefore more money), but like I said, I actually am willing to not take a huge profit here in exchange for getting my name out there.

    Still haven't got the sides down, but I did want to stick with some of the stuff on my menu. That Potato mac does look mighty tasty though, so I might have to give that a trial run.

    I actually will be doing a sort of small bites/tastes event next spring, so I may consider some of those other options, but this is more of a food truck, buying there lunch type of deal rather than a finger bites deal.
    Rings Я Us likes this.
  9. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Good luck.
  10. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Travisty, Do you know what the food trucks are preparing? If it's Mexican, or the hamburger type then I would go with pulled pork, chicken or chuckies(all fairly inexpensive and easy to do in larger quantities). You need to stand out. Smoked baked beans are also very good as a side.

  11. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yeah one is a gourmet hot dog stand, one is a truck that just sells like ballpark snacks, and one is a Polynesian place with like terri chicken and mac salad, and the other is Mexican.

    I was wanting to do my baked beans, because they are not a typical run of the mill baked mean. I make them with black beans, and lots of peppers and things, so I was thinking it would help project that even the basic items I make are more gourmet than standard BBQ.

    So yeah, the pricing was one of my concerns, because I don't want to be hocking $10 items when everyone else is selling stuff for $5.

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