Throwing a great graduation party for your child is a wonderful way to reward them for all of their hard work and academic accomplishments. However, it’s also a lot of work. There are many decisions to make, budgetary concerns, last minute guest list swaps to contend with, and more.
One of the decisions any party planner needs to make is how to feed anyone attending the party. When it comes to a graduation party, there are really only four options:
- Food provided by the venue.
- A catered menu.
- Potluck provided by other parents.
- A meal made by you.
Each food option has its pitfalls. In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of this vital aspect of planning your child’s graduation party.
Restaurants and banquet halls will have their own menu, and if you have a big budget, this is probably the simplest option. Most sites that provide food, chairs, tables, silverware, etc., are great for formal occasions. So, if you are trying to create a formal graduation party, renting a space or making a restaurant reservation can have the added appeal of providing the entire package.
The cons of this type of party are the cost and the formality. Creating an “all expenses paid” package for your graduate is likely to be costly, and if your guests are ordering off a menu, the cost can increase quickly.
Additionally, a sit-down meal requires extra planning, seating charts, and is usually fairly formal. This kind of party may not match your graduate’s personality or style.
A catered meal can provide more options for the venue, cost, and food presentation. Most graduation parties with catered meals have the benefit of a set budget. Additionally, a catered meal can be as formal or informal as you need.
Finally, at Mundo Catering, we provide many of the rentals you’d need if you are not utilizing a banquet hall or other formal space.
However, catered food also comes with a cost and requires budgeting. While you are off the hook for the food, you do still have to pay for it, choose a menu, and provide a space from which your caterer can serve or at which he or she can drop off the food.
When you are working to a very tight budget, you may want to depend upon the parents of the other attendees to bring food potluck style. This is an excellent option if you are planning to host the party at your home or a park, and you know your child’s friends have parents who are willing to bring a little something to the table.
The cons are pretty obvious. With a potluck, you have to make sure everyone will participate and keep track of what people are bringing. You don’t want all sides and no meal, all condiments, and no food, or all dessert and no dinner. This requires some extra organization and follow up on your part.
We think prepping your own food is a great option if you are having a party with just hors-d’oeuvres or only cold food and premade drinks. If you love putting together great cheese plates and enjoy labeling what’s gluten/nut/dairy free, homemade food is an excellent way to go.
However, if you are planning to serve a hot or sit-down meal, homemade is a lot of work and not as budget-friendly as you may think. Serving hot meals requires the rental of food warmers and additional serving containers. You will also have to make all of the food and find ways to either store it or serve it immediately so that it’s enjoyed.
Additionally, the food itself can get expensive, so you still need to consider a budget if you are making homemade food for your graduation party. Finally, it’s important to budget enough time for your food prep. Try to get as much of the chopping and pre-cooking preparation done before the actual cooking needs to begin.
As you can see, all options have their pros and cons. Whichever of the four above alternatives fits your child’s style, is most convenient, and budget-friendly for you is the best way to go. Remember, your time should also be considered as part of the budget!
Are you hoping to set up catering for your upcoming event? Contact Mundo Catering today!