When planning an event, whether it may be a birthday celebration, wedding or even corporate networking function, catering is key. Catering is often the main factor guests look forward to, and many are dubious about attending if they are not keen on your food and drink choice.

Often, opting for a catering theme that is a little more outside the box is incredibly popular amongst guests and the eagerness to attend increases with the curiosity to try new dishes.

To get your creativity flowing, we have devised a list of our top unique catering ideas, all of which are guaranteed to suit all event types.

6 Unique Catering Ideas

Many different considerations must be taken into account before deciding on your chosen catering theme with the number of guests you must cater for and the style of your event proving to be the most important. Always aim to meet with your chosen caterer before the day of your event for a taste test. All caterers will claim to be the best and hold the ability to conjure up the tastiest dishes; however, you will never be able to uncover the real truth unless you try their creations yourself. Another way of gaining information on the quality of their food is to research reviews and ask for references. Look out for both positive and negative feedback, then weigh up the options of both.

So, now you know how to pick the right caterer, its time to decide on your theme, here at our top six unique catering ideas!

1. Fairground

Bring the classic fun of the fair to your next event through fairground style catering, perfect for a sweet snack during the day.

From a candy floss cart to a vintage popcorn stand, opting for fairground or circus inspired food is guaranteed to go down a storm, particularly if you have younger guests who can eagerly persuade their parents for a treat. Not only do these options taste fantastic, but they also look visually appealing and will bring all guest back to a fun time in their childhood. Fairground food is excellent for all manner of event types, from corporate family fun days to event birthday parties.

popcorn stall

2. Mexican Feast

Traditional Mexican dishes are an acquired taste and would not be a recommended option if many of your guests are particularly fussy eaters. However, if your friends, family or colleagues are open to trying new tastes and love some heat, then they will adore a feast filled with tacos, quesadillas and burritos.

The fantastic thing about Mexican food is that you will be able to cater for both meat eaters and vegetarians through alternating popular meats such as chicken and pork with veggie alternatives such as halloumi and tofu!

For a variety of delicious Mexican dishes and recipes, you can try from the comfort of your home, head over to BBC Good Food!

3. DIY Crepe Station

Who doesn’t love a freshly made crepe, warm and oozing with flavour? Setting up a DIY crepe station would go down a treat for a relaxed, daytime event such as a fun day, birthday party or social function.

You will need to get someone or a few keen cooks on board to make the crepes for the duration of your event; then you can set out a buffet of toppings where guests can help themselves to the accompaniment of their choice. Both sweet and savoury options should be on display to suit a wider audience, and they can customise their freshly made crepe to meet their favourite tastes.

If you’re new to DIY crepe stations, The Spruce Eats has a full guide worth looking at!

4. Giant Paella

For those throwing a large scale event, hiring a professional chef to whip up a freshly cooked paella dish from scratch in front of your guests would be an ideal option.

Buen Apetito is a national supplier of event catering, specialising in the much loved traditional Spanish paella. Mouthwatering aromatic aromas will fill the air while a member of their team will cook up to four different paella dishes including a variety of different kinds of seafood, vegetables and meat. Once cooked, your guests will be able to head up to the station and help themselves to as little or as much paella they desire.

5. Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea themed catering is perfect for complimenting a vintage style wedding and celebrates traditional British “finger food” and bakes such as scones, cupcakes, eclairs, sausage rolls and selections of sandwiches. To make your afternoon tea a little more high end, why not consider serving a glass of bubbly to enjoy?

The great thing about opting for an afternoon tea theme is that you will not need to enlist the help of a professional as both the food and set up can be done at home. Olive Magazine has a whole host of different afternoon tea recipes, both sweet and savoury that are easy to try at home. Once you’ve decided on the food, you will serve, head over to Party Pieces ‘Truly Scrumptious’ range for napkins, plates, teacups and cake stands.

6. Indian Cuisine

If you were struggling to find a venue for your event and wanted to arrange a luxurious sit-down three-course meal, then it is most definitely worth considering booking a large table at a local Indian restaurant.

Similarly to Mexican dishes, opting for Indian themed catering would be better for those who are not fussy eaters and are open to sampling various different curries, side dishes and dips. Kakori is an Indian restaurant in Milton Keynes which caters for many different occasions from corporate events to birthday parties. They also have a Sunday buffet which means your guests will be able to try many different new dishes all at once.

What Catering Idea Will You Choose?

As mentioned in the introduction, deciding on the perfect catering to suit all guests can prove incredibly tricky. If you’re unsure whether your guests will enjoy an idea you’ve come up with, why not send an email or message around to confirm whether they would be happy. Of course, this would only be suitable for occasions such as corporate events; if it is your wedding, then it is entirely your decision.

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