School’s out, summer’s in, and friends, neighbors, family are happy to gather together to celebrate the new graduate.
Here in NJ, we’re about a month away from many graduation parties that will be held from Bergen County to Burlington County.
Every family wants to honor their child–but not have to use college tuition money to pay for it.
Sir Ives Caterers, specializing in off-premise catering in all parts of New Jersey, has catered countless graduation parties in its 30+-year history. Christopher F. Ives, our CEO and Executive Chef, offered some of his best kept secrets for hosting a successful and fun graduation party:
The Food – When and How
“I always recommend throwing a party in mid-afternoon so your guests do not arrive starving,” Chef Christopher says. “A second key tip is to serve food and beverages at different locations (stations) to avoid the food table being swarmed with guests waiting in line.”
Chef Christopher says the best (and most affordable) option is to forgo a full bar and set up a table with punch-style drinks. “Regardless of what you serve, keep in mind you can never have too much ice,” he advises.
According to Chef, you can expect that within the first hour each guest will have about 1½ drinks, and then one drink after that per hour. It’s safe to assume that each guest will end up using up to three drinking glasses, so buy or rent glassware accordingly. Be sure to designate a few people to monitor the beverage stations so there are at least three different non-alcoholic options for guests at all times.
How much food do you need?
Expect that each guest will eat between 6 and 10 hors d’oeuvres. Serve larger quantities of less pricey and more filling apps. For example, seasoned meatballs are a tasty dish that can be made ahead, and they are incredibly easy to prep. Make turkey, pork, beef, or even vegetarian varieties and serve them with a trio of sauces.
Roasting a chicken or pork shoulder for pulled meat sliders is an easy and budget-friendly way to feed a large crowd: Meat sliders can be made ahead, or the meats can be served buffet-style so people build their own sliders and stuff them with a custom selection of condiments. DIY sliders are fun to make and will also keep guests busy rather than overeating.
No matter how formal your celebration may be, big platters of fresh cookies and brownies are always a winning bet. Both are speedy make-head options and they’re easy on the wallet.
Consider a caterer for your graduation party
Hosting a party is a lot of work—planning, shopping, storing, preparing, serving, clean-up—and we haven’t addressed decorations, music, timing of the food presentation, seating, table covering, tents…
Many of our newer clients are surprised how affordable a professional catered affair can be. Think about the last big party you hosted—by the time you added all the expenses you incurred (not to mention tired feet)–the cumulative cost may rival that of a professional off-premise caterer.
Sir Ives Caterers has a few key dates available in late May and June to cater your party!