Summer is here. That means eating with family and friends, outdoor parties, braais, picnics, church socials, weddings. And in turn, that means serving food, food, and more food.
However, if you’re not careful, feeding a crowd can be expensive! Sandwich Baron founder and CEO Sally J’Arlette-Joy has many years’ experience in catering. Her advice for your menu is to plan it well. Food platters offer the best value for money she says, especially if, like Sandwich Baron’s, they are fresh and tasty.
She offers some things to look at when planning your menu:
“The time of day you will be entertaining is a huge determining factor for what you should prepare. There is nothing worse than going to a children’s party at lunchtime and only getting a few finger delicacies to eat. If you’re scheduling a function at one of the principal meal times, people expect a full meal.”
She advises that you schedule your function according to the following table, which demonstrates the times at which you can get away with light snacks such as platters:
From 7am to 9.30am, a full breakfast would be the appropriate food. From 10am to 11.30am light snacks would suffice. Between 12 and 1.30pm provide a full lunch, while light snacks would be appropriate thereafter until 5pm. A full dinner is customary between 5pm and 8pm, following which light snacks and desserts would suffice.
“If your gathering is scheduled from 9:30 – 11am, that would mostly fall under the ‘light snacks’ rule. One of our Anytime Platters serves eight to 10 people and costs just R289. A Breakfast Platter serves 10 to 12 people for just R350. These are affordable options for entertaining,” says J’Arlette-Joy.
If your party is from 11:30am – 1pm, that mostly falls under the ‘full lunch’ rule. Any time after that, but before the 6pm – 8pm slot which falls under the ‘full dinner’ rule, there are a number of platters that would be ideal. These include Sandwich Baron favourites such as: Cheese and Biscuit Platter, Chicken Platter and Cocktail Platter. Each of these are in a similar price range and feed eight to 10 people.
“Keep in mind with time of day people tend to eat and drink more. So depending on your budget, plan accordingly for this.”
She recommends some ideal platters for the evening: Henry III Platter, Just Sausage Roll Platter, Munch Platter and the Rib & Chicken Platter. The pricing of these is all similar to the previous platters.
J’Arlette-Joy suggests another potential economy: have more rather than less variety. “People tend to eat less of each and be satisfied with smaller bites. This is especially so with desserts, where it is wise to have smaller portions.
“Therefore, for your next party serve up a few platters overflowing with flavour combinations. These easy-to-serve ideas will leave you with time to eat, drink, and be merry yourself – something few hosts ever enjoy! The beauty of platters is that they’re sure hits with everyone – from a child’s birthday celebration to an adult’s cocktail party.”
Increasingly, mums and party planners want healthier options. All Sandwich Baron’s platters are fresh and nutritious. And it has recently developed a range of Banting foods for its menu, consisting of low-carb and higher fats and proteins.
“Party food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Delicious bites can be as good for you as they taste,” concludes J’Arlette-Joy.