Everyone loves a good buffet and the concept of sharing large plates of food in the name of friendship, collaboration or celebration has long been an enjoyable one. Recently, more and more catering companies have taken the buffet concept and transformed it into what could be the next big thing in home and business catering: the platter.
Buffet food used to rely on large plates and bowls of different delicious foods, all laid neatly on a table for people to pick at. Platters, on the other hand, come on one big tray – or platter – with ‘picky bits’ laid out next to each other in attractive patterns. They are as much a feast fort the eyes as the taste buds. Caterers are honing artistic skills alongside culinary ones to create an eating experience like no other.
When your catering platters could make perfect
The great thing about platters is their versatility. They can be large or small, sweet or savoury, themed or general. They are easily customised and anything that is not to the customer’s taste can be left out. Branching out into making up platters does not necessarily require much specialist equipment beyond an oven to cook or heat up warm food, a sink to keep the washing up under control and plenty of space in a hygienic kitchen to spread out the delicious goodies.
Platters are popular all year round for a number of different reasons and occasions. This means that they can be a good seller for a catering company, even during traditionally quieter times. Here are five ways to join in the platter party this year.
Christmas platters conjure up images of slices of cold turkey and ham presented with delicious cranberry and honey glaze or a sweet version with mince pies, dinky Christmas puddings and chocolates. Valentine’s Day calls for red macaroons, heart-shaped cookies and indulgent brownies. Bonfire Night suggests a groaning tray of toffee apples and s’mores. As for Halloween, the imagination can go wild making edible ghosts, ghouls, vampires and more. Whatever the season, a platter of picky bits can be designed to fit the theme and created to order by an enterprising catering company seeking to make its mark on a normally crowded marketplace.
A birthday platter can be reminiscent of childhood birthday parties when the sandwiches, cocktail sausages and cakes came out for tea. Creating birthday platters is a more grown-up, but no less delicious alternative that can be shared with friends or given as a present to the birthday girl or boy. Platters are easy to transport, meaning that they can be delivered to the party venue or home without having to lug around large numbers of bowls, plates and trays. The variety of food served will also mean that there is bound to be something that every party guest can enjoy.
Breakfasts are becoming a key selling point for catering companies as more of us work from home regularly and value time spent eating a delicious meal at the start of the day far more than ever before. Business breakfast meetings at home or the office can be spruced up with a well-crafted breakfast platter laden with pastries, fruits, cold meats and cheeses. A catered platter can get a birthday off to a great start or a special achievement can be marked with a breakfast platter to celebrate excellent exam results or a passed driving test. It is an unusual and charming way to celebrate life’s good times. Get in on the trend now by developing a range of morning-themed platters for every breakfast scenario.
Although a lot of companies have moved to mainly home working, post-pandemic, there are still those that encourage people to come into the office when national laws and guidelines allow to mix and collaborate in person. This type of hybrid working can also bring about new opportunities for catering companies keen to market their platters to the commercial sector. Breakfast platters to kickstart a productive day, or a buffet tray to keep people’s spirits up during a working lunch. Other ways for caterers to tap into the corporate market include luxury evening platter services for leaving dos, client get-togethers and gala award dinners.
As COVID-19 continues to run riot across the world, there are fewer and fewer people who have not yet succumbed to the virus and its varying symptoms. If you or your friend or family member are feeling poorly, or fed up of having to self-isolate, a platter is a great way to cheer things up and ensure that the invalids in question eat well to aid recovery. Caterers creating poorly people’s platters could specialise in providing healthier foods to support the immune system and help fight off viruses. For example, citrus fruits packed with vitamins, superfoods for an energy boost and honey and lemon to ease a sore throat or irritating cough.