Expert Advice
March 14, 2019

Picking the Perfect Appetizers for Your Next Event

Picking the Perfect Appetizers for Your Next Event

Whether it’s a wedding, birthday party, graduation celebration, or corporate party, you want your upcoming event to be perfect from start to finish. You’ve booked a venue, planned your decor, and sent out the guest list, but what remains is making sure your food is on par with what is close to being the best party ever planned. You want your food and appetizers to match the vibe of your event, but aren’t sure where to start. Rest assured, however, that Smokehouse Grill is here to help you make sure the menu is the star of the show. From upscale dishes to BBQ appetizers to everything in between, we’re here to help you find the perfect appetizers for your event.

My Event is… Sophisticated

passed appetizer lobster roll

Your event is designed to make guests feel as though they’re in the lap of luxury: elegant decor in a swanky hotel, black-tie or dressy apparel, servers, valet, the whole nine yards. You want your guests to feel important and have a wonderful time socializing and celebrating while providing the luxury of being served. Your sophisticated event needs passed appetizers -- carried by servers on a platter or passed between guests at a table, your appetizers are delivered with pizazz and bursting with flavor.

For an event this upscale, you have a few considerations to make. Given that passed appetizers are typically on the smaller side, you want to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Quantity: Depending on the nature of your event, the number of passed appetizers each guest will consume may vary. At the minimum, expect to serve 2-4 passed appetizers per guest during a casual cocktail hour. If your event is all appetizers and has no main course, expect to serve up to 15 passed appetizers per guest.
  • Variety: Take the time to make sure your passed appetizers have some variety. Consider not only flavor palettes, but also allergies and dietary restrictions. For medium events, we recommend having a minimum of 6-10 different appetizer options.
  • Size: The idea of passed appetizers is that they can be consumers in only a couple bites at the very most and do not require utensils or plates. Make sure to keep these small & entirely edible.
  • Price: Having this upscale type of service does come at a price. Not only are you serving fancier food, but you will need to account for both paying and tipping the wait staff, so plan accordingly.

My Event is… Laid Back

Charcuterie Board

The beauty of hosting a laid back event is that you have so much freedom to make the event yours. Think outdoor parties, graduation parties, showers, and more -- all where celebration and fun takes center stage. Venues for laid back events are typically more affordable and leave room for DIYs that make the event customizable and sentimental. You’ve invited loved ones, close friends and family, and are here to show everyone a great time. If this sounds like your event, we recommend a basic appetizer setup.

We don’t mean basic in a condescending way, either. When we say basic, we mean approachable, inviting, and delicious: the way appetizers are supposed to be served -- easy to grab when you need them in order to get the party started. There are a few ways to approach the basic appetizer structure:

  • Charcuterie Boards & Trays: As a stunning trend that is an absolute crowd pleaser, try out charcuterie boards. Designed to provide variety and eye-catching snack foods to guests, charcuterie boards include everything from meats and cheeses, to dips, to olives and fruits, and anything your heart can dream up.
  • BBQ Appetizers: Great for backyard celebrations and for pleasing guests of all ages, BBQ appetizers are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Bringing comfort food and smokey, delicious flavor to your starters, Smokehouse Grill is the master of BBQ Appetizers, upscale catering, and everything in between.

My Event is… Trendy

gallery party
Image source: c61

If you’re planning a birthday party, engagement party, or work event that’s a little out of the ordinary, you may have trouble honing in on what appetizers are right for your event. You’re planning your event in a venue that’s a little unorthodox - like a gallery or urban patio - that brings the style and glitz of the venue forward. You want your appetizers to be the perfect blend of classic and unique, and definitely won’t mind if your appetizers become a conversation piece in and of themselves. You need creative plated appetizers at your event.

This type of event often calls for one central location to grab appetizers or servers. To save money, we recommend setting up an appetizer station and creating platters of individual, creatively-plated appetizers. Some of our favorite ways to get creative with plating include:

  • Shot Glass Appetizers: As a perfect way to mix contemporary and classic, utilize shot glasses to contain both a liquid and a solid food combination. For instance, try out grilled cheese shooters: a shot glass with rich tomato soup for dipping, and a gooey grilled cheese stick inside.
  • Spooned Appetizers: Make the food and utensils the stars of the show by serving your appetizers in spoons. Both creative and efficient, spooned appetizers are sure to be a conversation piece.

Planning the perfect appetizers for your event isn’t always easy, but you have plenty of options for making your appetizers a portion of the party your guests will never forget. To help plan the most delicious food for your event - from BBQ Appetizers to upscale fare - get in touch with Smokehouse Grill. We look forward to helping you make your dreams for your event a reality.

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