There are plenty of reasons why you might need to serve lunch for a large group. Maybe you are hosting an afternoon wedding. Or you might be serving grub at a family reunion. Perhaps you are taking care of bachelorette party attendees? Or catering a professional luncheon or private retreat? Whatever the reason, serving lunch for a large group will be much easier if you follow these 5 tips.
1. Survey Guests for Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Use Google Forms or other such free survey websites to ask around about food allergies and sensitivities before you start planning your group lunch. It’s common courtesy to have a variety of different food types so that everyone can find something they like. However, it’s always good to know what you are working with long beforehand. If anyone has severe allergies, you’ll want to use bold labels by each dish to assert what is safe for them to consume.
2. Don’t Worry About a Theme
Doing a “taco Tuesday” or “seafood buffet” might look great on invitations but it’s a pain to implement. Serving a large crowd is much easier if you take a “mix and match” approach. This is especially true if you are asking people to bring snacks or dishes of their own to add to the mix. The larger the crowd, the more impossible it will be to keep everything on-theme. Cut yourself some slack and focus on what’s affordable and delicious rather than what’s thematically relevant.
3. Start Stocking Up on Non-Perishables Early
This way, you can hunt for deals that will save you a bit of money. Large group meals can go wildly over-budget quite quickly. You have more time to wait for sales and compare prices of must-have items if you start shopping early. Things you can shop for right away include dry ingredients, like pasta or rice, baking items, like flour and sugar, canned goods, cases of soda pop, chips, and other snacks, and supplies like paper cups, napkins, and plates.
4. Ask Guests to Pitch In
If appropriate, you can ask your guests to each bring something. It can be as simple as snacks and pop or as complex as a premade meal for a potluck. If people are traveling far (think: flying), then maybe a “tip jar” is a better way for them to help. You can use something like Venmo to collect donations. That way, people can contribute financially if that works better for them. If you’re planning a work retreat or corporate event, simply consider food costs in the ticket pricing.
5. Find the Right Hosting Space
How many people are coming? How much table space do you need? Do you want dishes to be provided with the venue? Do you need functional kitchen space? These considerations and more will play into what venue you book for your event and group lunch. For example, at La Casa Mirador, we offer our guests:
- a massive open kitchen
- Lunch seating for 120 guests
- Outdoor decks and patio space
- 12 poolside communal barbecues on the resort grounds
- A bar area
- Stemware and place settings (event packages)
- Banquet tables and chairs with standard white linens (event package)
- And plenty of other amenities
Planning a corporate luncheon, wedding meal, or another formal group event? Contact us to learn more about our availability and the different event packages we offer at La Casa Mirador Guest House.