Easy Food and Drinks Ideas for Memorable Events

Food and drinks presentation at an event matters—a lot.

First, it’s a massive compliment to the chef and attests to the creativity and thought that has gone into the sourcing and preparation process.

Second, it’s bound to whet your guests’ appetites and is a pleasant surprise that makes them feel special. Because it’s evident you’ve put some effort towards their enjoyment and comfort.

So, how can you always ensure that your food and drinks presentation at every event is excellent? Check out the tips below.

Design and layout

Even without factoring in lessons from the pandemic, dining table settings should provide for ample spacing.

For 100 guests dining, you’ll need 25 round tables seating 4 guests or 17 rectangle tables seating 6 guests.

Table layout and spacing by Lucidity
Set up (table layout, spacing and decor) by Lucidity Africa

The tables should be about 1.5 to 2 metres apart.

Spacing and stable furniture ensure your guests are comfortable to enjoy the experience.

With this sorted, how can you deliver a memorable food and drinks experience?

1. The look and feel

Besides superbly clean table linens, seek to include freshly scented florals and herbs.

Tease your guests sense of smell with fresh, clean scents that add to a delicious, homely aroma.

The service team should also don clean, starched uniforms to enhance the experience and assure guests of high standards.

2. Menus

Instead of individualized menus, why not have chalkboard runners on the tables with descriptions of the food and drinks? 

Food and drinks presentation
Fancy chalkboard table runner

Or use labeling on the serving trays as the servers walk around to deliver the plated food.

3. Centrepieces

Be creative with the table décor/centerpiece using it as a menu (tent card design).

Food and drinks presentation
Edible cup cake centrepiece

Also, instead of a florals or candles only centrepiece, have a central edible centrepiece with fruits, cup cakes and assorted wrapped mini chocolates or packed nuts that the guests can pick and nibble on as they chat. 

4. Serving presentation

Besides creativity in the look and feel, the emphasis here should also be on how to avoid cross-contamination.

This you can achieve by completely eliminating sharing. So no shared crockery, utensils, condiments, chocolate, or sauce dips.

Also, how about serving food, dessert, and drinks in an unusual way to heighten excitement?

Food and drinks presentation
Forked bitings on table trays

Serve fruit salads in martini glasses, bitings on forks, and have dramatic entrances by the service team signaled by a type of sound or music.

Be unconventional as you think up ways to serve your guests at their tables and have them anticipate what’s next on the menu.

5. Mingle or cocoon section

Set a waiting or mingle section somewhere away from the main event area with mixed high and low seating styles.

This section can be the designated bar area, where guests can have their alcohol unhindered.

Food and drinks presentation
Mobile bar unit

However, if you don’t want your guests sitting and staying rooted in this section, have only a scattering of cocktail tables for drinks placement and easy movement.

Lounge cocoon by Lucidity
Rustic lounge cocoon by Lucidity Africa

For a 100 guest event, you can set up four to six lounge cocoons for groups of four spread out evenly with the appropriate spacing in place.

Cocktail tables and chairs cocoon by Lucidity
Cocktail tables and chairs by Lucidity Africa

Another thing: Ensure there are sufficient hand wipes and garbage disposal points.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is presenting in food and beverage?

This is the style or format in which you lay, arrange or garnish food in an aesthetically appealing way.

The idea being to excite the taste buds and deliver an exciting experience for anyone indulging with it.

Hotels and restaurants have elaborate food and drinks presentation that include elegant linens, pots, vases and fancy cutlery.

2. Why is presentation important in food?

Food enhances an experience. Be it a meeting, cocktail or wedding.

First impressions matter and that’s why almost everyone remembers how the buffet was laid or what cocktail they enjoyed.

It also shows how seriously you consider quality as evident from the thought put into the presentation.

Thus if you want to deliver a memorable experience, consider and invest in the food presentation.

Final word

Food and drinks are at the heart of any party.

Always create new exciting ways to enhance your guests’ experiences and make your event memorable.

Remember: Observing high levels of hygiene, appropriate distancing and creative application of table layouts and decor will be vital to the delivery of successful events.

September begins our brides and groom series, so look out for what we have in store for you.

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