Catering, Food Trucks & Restaurants. How to pick the food!

Weddings have been changing in so many awesome ways. Over the last dozen years one of my favorite changes to watch in the marketplace has been the food for the obvious reason I usually get to partake in some tasty treats in my profession! The standard Meat & Fish with potatoes and vegetables served plated or buffet style, while still alive, is on life support!

The most successful weddings I see with the happiest guests, couples, families etc share a few important qualities:

  • They Focused on entertainment (DJ, Photo Booths, outdoor games etc)
  • They have great food & drink
  • They respect their guests time (no 2 hour photo shoots after the ceremony!!!!!)

So how do you focus on the food without blowing up your budget? What’s the best choice for you? We’ve got some ideas on this. Of course, it all starts at your venue and the rules you have there. If you haven’t selected a venue yet see my blog post about the top questions to ask your venue before signing.

Your Food Options!

Food Trucks

I love food truck weddings, the mobile kitchen means you get hot, fresh food! I’ve seen pizza trucks line up gourmet slices, taco trucks serve some Baja Tacos, Indian Food, the list goes on and on! Picking out a food truck can make for one kick-ass Saturday with your spouse-to-be as well!

What you have to consider? Not all food trucks are meant for weddings, not that their food isn’t amazing, they may not be able to deliver in bulk at once like is needed, they may just have no idea how to do it! When talking to a food truck, ask them some/all of these questions:

Have you worked an event at my venue?
How do you setup, do you bring the food in and setup a buffet? Tell me about some weddings you’ve catered and how you did them
How does your staff dress?

A great option that we offer for food truck catering is hiring a Server Staffing company alongside the food truck. At Dobodo events we have worked many food truck weddings, they are great at handling the food and the buffet, our team takes care of the traditional caterer roles in the venue such as Setup, Dinner Service, Table Setting, cake cutting, bartending, cleanup etc for the night. Typically our clients see dramatic savings using a Food truck/staffing combo over the traditional catering options.

Restaurants

Restaurant catering is becoming more and more a fantastic option as well in the wedding world! The things we urge our clients to consider are things like:
Proximity to venue (keeping the food hot)
Cooling/heating access in the venue
Delivery & Setup

This option is great for ethnic foods that are tough to find a catering company for, or for foods like BBQ or Italian that hold really well, even something like a Bride we had with a serious pine-nut allergy, she didn’t trust eating just about anywhere and had her favorite restaurant that accommodated her needs bring in the food.

Restaurants typically have the same problem as food trucks, the staffing portion. Combine your restaurants food with Dobodo’s team and we have the restaurant simply deliver the food an run. We bring in all the serving utensils, chafing dishes, everything for the buffet and handle all the setup, service & cleanup to make a great & affordable option.

Traditional Catering

Still of course the dominant model in the wedding business. The food & fare ranges widely as well as the level of service, quality of food. We recommend working with caterers that offer private tastings, that really can sit down and design the perfect menu & deliver the experience you want.

Full service catering is the most expensive of the 3 food options you will find compared here. If you are going that route, make them earn it! Discuss passed appetizers, fun menu items, food stations.

When meeting with catering companies, make sure they walk you through how they are going to handle service at your venue. How will they prepare and when, how do they deliver hot & fresh food for this venue? This is my #1 pet peeve for catering, they show up with food that would taste great, if I had eaten it 4 hours ago hot….

All of these options can be great! The biggest take-aways for you is to keep your food options open, have fun with them and get what you want as well as making sure you dig deep with whoever your meeting to get your food from, lots of questions!!!

The biggest factor in planning your wedding menu, is thinking about the overall experience, not just the food.  The food can be just a boring requirement to your wedding or it can incorporate and really stand out as part of an immersive experience where both you and your guests are getting to truly escape reality for an evening!

Ryan Terry