If you are planning your next event but are looking not to spend too much money on food, don’t worry - there’s a way out. Buffet catering is optimal for dynamic parties, especially if there is no allocated seating per guest. In our guide, we will raise key points in planning cheap events without compromising on quality of food. Planning Ahead Save yourself time and energy by planning all events far in advance. Most caterers require at least 3 business days notice; for larger groups, it can take up 3-5 work days to process a buffet catering order. When sending out invitations, have your guests indicate whether they have any sort of allergies or preferences. It would be a shame if you found out that a lot of your guests don’t eat the majority of prepared dishes on the day of the party. In terms of headcount, some companies have a minimum spend requirement for buffet orders. Make sure you discuss this with the catering company of your choice far in advance, and if you are not hitting the minimum headcount, they may offer you the option to reduce total menu items. Choosing Menu Items From food preferences to dietary restrictions, there is a lot to think about when putting together a buffet menu. We recommend asking your guests to indicate whether or not they have allergies in the RSVP letter. That way, catering to their needs will require less effort since you can plan quantities accordingly. If you prefer not to do that, make sure you arrange buffet options that are vegetarian, vegan, and even nut-free. Cheap buffet catering doesn’t mean it’ll be limited in flavours. Compile a menu of finger foods from different countries; for example, a sushi platter and Thai stir fry. Most catering services in London, for example, offer food options ranging from elegant canapes to street food like seafood paella. Party on a Budget For people looking to host buffet-style events on a budget, we have put together several helpful tips. First of all, opt for a catering service that provides everything from the equipment, to waitstaff and the actual food. Make sure that you have an allocated spot for the buffet; you don’t want your guests to feel crammed as they’re enjoying their delicious food. If you are hosting within a smaller space, like a house, choose the mini buffet option. Those are normally cheap but still offer plenty of options, from vegetarian dishes to carving stations. Presentation-wise, our recommendation is considering disposable cutlery, silverware, or thematic options in advance. Make sure that your caterer makes all of these arrangements along with the food; companies normally get those things at a cheaper price, and it will save you time going to the store and stocking up yourself. -- Summary: Plan your event ahead to avoid unexpected surprises closer to the day. Make sure you are aware of any food restraints at least 1-2 weeks before the party. Choose a diverse variety of dishes for your buffett; some of the dishes should be vegetarian and/or vegetable-based. By opting for a catering service that does everything from setting up the stations to preparing the food, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and energy. Want to know about our terms of service and get a consultation with us? Visit catery.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help you.