planning menus for functions

Top Tips for Menu Planning

Posted: 5 years ago

Planning a special event can be a daunting task, with so many factors to consider along the way. Regardless of whether it’s a large function or a small gathering, staying organised and setting priorities can help you through the process. One of the most important details to focus on is your menu planning, since the food can often make or break your day. Check out some of our top tips for planning the perfect menu for a memorable event!


Obviously the biggest consideration is budget. Until you have settled on what you’re able to spend, you won’t be able to make any real decisions regarding menu. Most venues or caterers have a “per person” price in their menu packages. Figuring out the number of guests and what you can afford to spend “per person” is where your menu planning should begin.


Once you have settled on your budget and headcount, decide if you will be following a theme of any sort. Themes can include types of cuisine, such as Italian or Asian, or a style such as buffet, BBQ, or fine dining. Knowing the type of crowd you’re having can help guide these decisions, as your goal is to accommodate the majority of your guest’s tastes as best you can.


Once you’ve settled on your budget and your theme, now you can consider the space that best suits those choices. A corporate event may require a table set up suitable for note taking and event materials, while a wedding may require space for a both cocktail hour and a sit down dinner. The Pineapple Hotel offers numerous venue options, suitable for any occasion.


Both the type of event, and the schedule of the day will have an impact on the menu planning. Is it a corporate event or a social event? Full day, half day, or evening?   Is there time to incorporate a cocktail hour? Will you be serving alcohol? Table service can take longer than a buffet style. Some foods won’t keep sitting out, while others will hold up well for a longer time. It’s also important to ensure your guests are not left waiting to eat or drink, there’s nothing worse than a hangry crowd!


It can definitely be difficult to keep everyone happy, especially when it comes to food. Picking a menu that offers your guests a choice between popular items, such as surf and turf, will go a long way towards satisfying the majority of your guests. Another important detail to take care of is accommodating special dietary needs. Typically an RSVP will include this detail to help you and your caterer prepare for any possible food allergies, along with vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free guests.

Menu planning doesn’t have to be an overwhelming chore. Setting priorities and staying organised will help keep you on track, and any caterer worth their salt will be ready and willing to help you prepare the perfect menu for your special occasion. The event staff at The Pineapple Hotel are seasoned professionals, with incredible menu options to satisfy any taste, style, or event. We even offer numerous menu options to meet any special dietary needs your guests may have. With a great atmosphere, delicious food, and a variety of event spaces, The Pineapple Hotel is the perfect venue for your next function!