The Simple Guide to Catering for School Events

The Simple Guide to Catering for School Events

Few things are more important to the health, well-being, and even academic success of students than the right nutrition. Studies even show that a well-balanced diet helps students to consistently achieve their development goals, avoid stress, and preserve focus. 

That’s why it’s so important for school administrators and event organizers to make sure students continue to have access to the right meals, whether they’re enjoying a school lunch or attending a special event. As experts in event catering for companies, individuals, schools, and production crews, we know how complex it can be to plan the perfect school catering experience. 

Here’s our step-by-step guide to help you plan and access the best catering for school events, and celebrations. 

What Types of Events Benefit from Professional Catering?

School events can take many forms, from graduation ceremonies that celebrate your students’ achievements to parent-teacher conferences and meetings. Here are just some of the types of events that could be enhanced by the support of a professional school catering team

  • Sports days: Healthy and energizing snacks and drinks for athletes, teams, faculty, and parents cheering on their youngsters. 
  • Science fairs: Snack booths and food stations that keep students and visitors nourished as they explore exhibits and projects.
  • Holiday celebrations: Delicious food for balls and celebrations in winter, summer, spring, and fall festive events, from Halloween, to Christmas. 
  • Fundraising events: Delicious food produced for galas, themed dinners, and other fundraising events designed to engage stakeholders. 
  • Plays and concerts: Snacks and drinks for art shows, plays, concerts, and dramatic performances conducted by students.

Before the Event: Planning an Incredible Function 

Hosting a fantastic school event starts with careful planning. Assess everything from the theme and purpose of the event to the number of attendees you’ll be catering for. This will help you select the ideal menu and identify any additional needs you might have related to staffing and logistics. 

When planning your school function, think about the following:

  • The number and type of guests: How many people will be attending your event? Will you be catering exclusively to students with smaller appetites, or faculty and parents too?
  • Dietary restrictions: Do your guests have any specific dietary requirements or preferences, do you need to explore vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian cuisine?
  • Catering type: What kind of catering options are you interested in? Do you want a buffet-style lunch experience or a caterer that can offer a formal sit-down dining experience?
  • The event theme: What’s the reason behind the special event? Are there any themes you want to infuse with your catering menu, such as an Autumn theme for a fall ball?
  • Food type: Are you serving a private lunch dining experience, a comprehensive dinner, snacks and finger foods, or a breakfast buffet?

The ideal caterer should be able to provide catering options that adhere to all of your specific needs, and your unique guest list. 

Calculating Your Catering Budget

Another point to keep in mind during the event planning phase is your budget. Marbled LA is a catering company that offers budget-friendly options to suit all kinds of school functions. However, it’s important to have a basic idea of how much you can afford to allocate to the event.

Think about the overall budget for this upcoming function and how much of it should be dedicated to dining and cuisine. Consider the costs associated with requesting a customized menu or additional options, like buffet stations and a range of beverages. 

It’s also worth exploring any additional costs you might incur, like staffing a private event, renting tables, linens, and silverware, and gratuities for the catering staff members. 

Selecting a Reputable School Event Caterer

Arguably, the most important step in ensuring the success of your school event catering experience is choosing the right caterer. Finding a catering expert who can adhere to your specific menu requirements, deliver great food at affordable prices, and provide amazing service is a must. 

Here are some quick but effective ways to start narrowing down your options:

  • Research local catering services: Find out about the catering companies in your region. What kind of menu options do they offer? Do they have experience working with schools and academic facilities, and do they have any case studies or reviews they can share?
  • Communicate with caterers: Reach out to potential catering services and ask them about their menu options, where they source fresh ingredients, and the additional services they can offer, such as help with staffing and logistics. 
  • Schedule a tasting: Consider asking your caterer whether they can provide samples of their food, so you can be sure it aligns with your theme and goals. 

Additionally, make sure your caterer of choice offers the flexibility you need when it comes to things like managing specific requests and altering menus. 

At Marbled LA, we pride ourselves on being the ideal event catering partner for school functions and events. We prioritize delivering a variety of delectable menu options and can customize your experience to your specific needs and requirements. Plus, we’re committed to finding a catering solution that matches your budget. 

Contact Marbled LA today to learn more about our exceptional school catering services. 

Menu Selection for School Events

Once you’ve found the ideal team delivering catering for school events, the next step is designing the perfect menu. The food you choose for your event will depend on a range of factors, from the theme of the occasion to the preferences of each guest and attendee. We recommend prioritizing:

  • Variety: Diversity in a school event menu is crucial to accommodate the wide range of preferences and dietary requirements your guests might have. Explore a range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, as well as different flavor palettes. 
  • Fresh, seasonal ingredients: Using fresh and seasonal ingredients ensures a nutritious and flavorful experience at your next event and helps meet your sustainability goals. 
  • Consider the theme: The ideal menu should reflect the tone and theme of the event. For instance, a light and summery menu is ideal for a summer celebration or science fair. Alternatively, a more formal event, like a graduation party, might call for more luxury.

The right caterer will work with you to create the perfect custom menu tailored to your guests’ requirements and the nature of your school function.

Planning and Logistics for School Events 

The right catering team for your school event can do a lot more than simply provide delicious food. They can also provide support to handle logistics tasks. To help you get the best results, start by creating a timeline for your day.

Determine when you’ll need catering teams to arrive to set up tables and dish out the food, and when meals should be served. Think about how much support you’ll need to distribute food among guests, handle the clean-up process, and create the perfect atmosphere. 

Confirm that your catering team can coordinate with you on the delivery and setup process, adapting to your specific needs. Additionally, remember to ask your caterer in advance if you need extra support. For instance, if your venue doesn’t have its own kitchen, you may need a drop-off catering service. If you’re limited in space or equipment, you might need to rent additional tables or other items.

Top Tips for the Day of Your School Event

By the day of your school event, your catering company should have worked with you to ensure everything is planned to perfection. However, it’s still worth using a quick checklist to review that everything is prepared. Your checklist should cover:

  • Confirming details with the caterer: Make sure your caterer is fully aware of your requirements, and the plan in place for the day. 
  • Providing access to the venue: Confirm your caterer has access to the venue, and knows exactly where they can access any necessary facilities. 
  • Coordinating last-minute requests: If you have any last-minute changes or requests you need to implement into your menu, reach out to your catering team as quickly as possible, so they can prepare accordingly.

When the food arrives, do a quick inventory check to verify everything you ordered is there, and run through the plan for distributing food with any staff members you might be hiring temporarily. 

Be ready to answer any last-minute questions your catering staff might have, and check in regularly throughout the course of the event.

Handling the Post-Event Experience

Finally, the conclusion of your school event doesn’t mark the end of the entire experience. This is your chance to follow up with the caterer for insights into how you might be able to prepare more effectively for your next occasion. 

It’s also a chance for you to share your thoughts and feedback with your catering team, so they can actively work on improving their services, and help future clients get the best experience. 

At the end of the event, it’s also worth taking a closer look at the amount you paid for the catering experience and the value you got in return. Ask yourself whether the level of service and quality of the food matched the price paid. Consider whether any costs exceeded your expectations, and make a note of this for future functions. 

Planning the Perfect Catering Experience for Your Students

A school event is an excellent opportunity to bring faculty, students, and parents together to celebrate academic success or a meaningful occasion. Working with the right catering provider will add something extra special to the event, making the function a delightful and memorable occasion for all of your guests. 

Here at Marbled LA, we excel at going above and beyond to deliver highly bespoke and impressive catering experiences to all of our clients. Contact us today for insights into how we can help transform your upcoming school function. 

Request a quote from Marbled LA today

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