Unveiling the 6 Types of Event Catering

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to event catering, where we unveil the secret recipes behind creating unforgettable experiences for every occasion. Whether you’re planning an elegant wedding reception or a high-energy corporate gathering, choosing the right type of catering can make all the difference in leaving your guests craving more. Join us as we dive into the six types of event catering, unlocking a world of flavors and culinary wonders that will have you dreaming about your next celebration.


Whether you’re planning a small gathering or a large-scale event, catering is a vital component to consider. Not only does it provide your guests with food and drink, but it can also be responsible for setting the tone of the event. It’s important to choose a catering style that aligns with the overall theme and atmosphere you’re hoping to create.

To help you make your decision, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the different types of event catering. Keep reading to learn about plated meals, buffet style, family style, stations, and more.

Types of Event Catering

When it comes to catering for events, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The type of catering you choose will depend on the nature and size of your event, your budget, and your personal preferences. Here is a comprehensive guide to the different types of event catering available:

  1. Buffet Catering

Buffet catering is a popular option for events such as parties, weddings, and corporate functions. It allows guests to help themselves to a variety of food items from a self-serve buffet table. Buffet catering is often less expensive than sit-down meals, and it can be more flexible in terms of menu options.

  1. Family-style catering

Family-style catering is similar to buffet catering, but instead of guests serving themselves, food is served family-style at each table. This type of catering is often used for more formal events, such as weddings or business dinners. It can be more expensive than buffet catering, but it can also be more intimate and allow for better conversation among guests.

  1. Sit-Down Meals

Sit-down meals are often used for more formal events, such as business meetings or conferences. Guests are served a set meal at their seats, usually with multiple courses. This type of catering can be more expensive than other options, but it allows for a more sophisticated dining experience.

  1. Hors d’oeuvres Catering

Plated Meals

Plated meals are one of the most popular types of catering for events. They offer a more formal dining experience and can be customized to fit the theme or tone of your event. Plated meals are typically served by the waitstaff and include an appetizer, main course, and dessert.

If you’re planning a plated meal for your event, it’s important to choose a menu that will please all of your guests. You’ll also want to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies that your guests may have. Plated meals can be expensive, so be sure to get quotes from several caterers before making a final decision.


Whether you’re hosting a corporate luncheon, family reunion, or wedding reception, buffets are a popular catering option that gives your guests plenty of food options to choose from. When planning a buffet, it’s important to consider the type of event you’re hosting and the number of guests you’ll have, as this will help determine the amount of food you need and the best way to serve it.

There are two main types of buffets: self-serve and plated. With a self-serve buffet, guests can help themselves to whatever they like from a selection of dishes that are laid out on a table or counter. Plated buffets are similar, except that each guest is served a plate of food by a server. Both types of buffets have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Self-serve buffets are great for informal events with large numbers of guests, as they allow people to move through the line quickly and get back to mingling and enjoying themselves. However, self-serve buffets can be more challenging to keep organized and clean, as guests may not put back serving utensils or return dirty plates to the proper place. If you opt for a self-serve buffet, be sure to provide plenty of staff members to keep things running smoothly.

Plated buffets offer more formal dining.

Family-Style Service

Family-style service is a popular option for events because it allows guests to mingle and enjoy a more relaxed dining experience. This type of service typically includes large platters or bowls of food that are placed in the center of the table for guests to share. A family-style service is a great option for parties or other events where you want your guests to interact and enjoy a casual dining experience.

Action Stations

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to action stations. First, these are designed to be interactive and engaging, so your guests will be moving around and mingling. That means you’ll need plenty of space for them to move about freely. Second, since guests will be standing and walking around, it’s important to have a variety of foods that can be eaten without the use of utensils. You’ll want to make sure your staff is well-trained and prepared to handle the increased traffic flow.

Here are a few ideas for action stations:

A build-your-own taco bar with all the fixings
A sushi-making station where guests can watch as their sushi rolls are made fresh
A make-your-own pizza station with a variety of toppings
A carving station with roasted meats that guests can choose from
An ice cream sundae bar with a variety of toppings and sauces

Hors D’oeuvres Receptions

A hors d’oeuvres reception is a type of event catering that features light appetizers or finger foods. This style of catering is perfect for events that are more informal, such as cocktail parties or corporate networking events.

Some common hors d’oeuvres that are served at receptions include:

  1. Cheese and crackers
  2. Fruit and vegetable platters
  3. Cold cuts and sandwiches
  4. Mini quiches or tartlets
  5. Canapés
  6. Shrimp cocktail

Bar Services

When it comes to bar services, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to decide if you want an open bar or a cash bar. An open bar means that guests can drink for free, while a cash bar means that guests will need to pay for their drinks. If you’re on a budget, a cash bar may be the way to go.

Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of drinks you want to serve. If you’re serving alcohol, you’ll need to make sure you have a variety of options available, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks. If you’re not serving alcohol, you can still provide a variety of non-alcoholic options, like soda, water, and juices.

You’ll need to think about how you’re going to staff your bar. You’ll need bartenders who are experienced in making the drinks you’re offering and who can handle a busy crowd. You may also want to consider hiring servers who can help guests with ordering and getting their drinks.

Benefits of Professional Event Catering

When it comes to hosting an event, there are a lot of factors to consider to make it successful. One of the most important aspects is the food and beverage service. This is where professional event catering comes in. Event catering companies specialize in providing food and beverage services for all types of events, from small, intimate gatherings to large-scale corporate functions. Here are some benefits of professional event catering:

  1. Customized Menus: Event catering companies can work with you to create a customized menu that fits your event theme and budget. They have a wide variety of food and beverage options to choose from, so you can be sure to find something that your guests will love.
  2. Experienced Staff: Professional event catering companies have experienced staff who are experts at handling all aspects of food and beverage service. They will take care of everything from set-up to clean-up, so you can focus on enjoying your event.
  3. Convenient Services: Event catering companies offer convenient services that make hosting an event easier than ever before. They can provide delivery, set up, and clean up, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
  4. Stress-Free Events: When you use professional event catering services, you can relax and enjoy your event without having to worry about food or drinks. Their experienced staff will take care of everything, so you can just sit back and enjoy yourself.

Choosing the Right Caterer for Your Event

There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a caterer for your event. The first is to make sure that the caterer is experienced in the type of event you are hosting. If you are hosting a formal dinner party, you will want to choose a caterer that has experience with this type of event. Secondly, you will want to consider your budget. Make sure to get quotes from a few different catering companies so that you can compare prices. You will want to make sure that the caterer can accommodate any special dietary requests that your guests may have.

If you keep these things in mind, you will be sure to choose the right caterer for your event!


As you can see, there are many options when it comes to event catering. Whether you’re looking for full-service catering or something more informal, there is a type of catering that will suit your needs and budget. With proper research and planning, getting the right caterer for your event should be a smooth process. Keep these six types of event catering in mind when making your decision, as it will help ensure that your guests have an enjoyable experience every step of the way!


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