4 Things to Consider When Planning Your Event Menu

March 20, 2018

The NEW Center is proud to announce that we’ve revamped and updated our catering menus!

We’re proud to be able to offer a variety of delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all thanks to the experience and direction of our talented Executive Chef, Xavier Smith.

Planning a menu for your event can feel daunting—how will you ever please so many people with different tastes and diets? We’re offering four different aspects to consider that should help guide your menu choices. When you’re ready, be sure to contact The NEW Center to start planning!

Type of Event

Formal gala event

One of the biggest decision-making factors when deciding what type of food to have at your event is the event itself… Is it a black tie gala or a formal seminar? Or is it more laid back like a baby shower or office party? The formal events lend themselves to plated meals while casual events are more cut out for buffets and large spreads.

In addition, your menu choices should be impacted by the time of your event. A baby shower or bridal shower lends itself to a light brunch or lunch while a workshop or seminar that starts in the morning might kick off with a continental breakfast.

View our new dinner catering menu!


Tropical table setting

Consider what your event is all about. Even if it doesn’t have a blatantly obvious theme like a child’s birthday party would, there’s likely still something it all focuses on. For example, you might celebrate a tropical-themed wedding with a plated fish dinner, or perhaps you have a large Italian family and want to host a reunion with different types of Italian food.

Our Executive Chef can help you plan the perfect menu to compliment any type of special event.

Diet Restrictions

Start planning your event at The NEW Center!

When planning your event’s menu, be sure to think about your guest profile—specifically about any dietary restrictions or health concerns your guests may have. A great way to more accurately plan food for your event is to take meal requests beforehand, much like the bride and groom do before a wedding reception.

While meal selection is not often thought of for events like conferences and fundraisers, guests are likely to appreciate the gesture. Be sure to offer anywhere from two to four different options to be inclusive of those who are eating vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Below is a sampling of dinner options that include a vegetarian meal, a seafood meal, a poultry dish and a red meat dish.

Grilled or Blackened Salmon

Grilled to perfection topped with mango salsa or dill sauce

Chicken Marsala

Simmered in a wine and mushroom cream sauce

Steak Diane

6 ounce strip steak served with a dijon peppercorn sauce

Eggplant Parmesan

Topped with marinara and provolone cheese and baked to perfection


Event buffet

Now let’s talk about the big question—buffet or plated meals? This largely has to do with everything we’ve talked about so far… the type of event, the overall feel of the event and dietary restrictions of your guests. But the biggest deciding factor will likely be your budget.

Presenting guests with several options like we talked about above can start to add up, especially if many of your guests choose a seafood or red meat entree. Choosing a buffet with only one or two options may be a more cost-effective way to go. We can work with you to figure out the best catering strategy for your event that fits within your budget.

Start Planning Your Menu

Ready to start planning your next event? The NEW Center is the perfect venue with a central Northeast Ohio location, complete with delicious catering headed by our fabulous and experienced Executive Chef. Contact us today to start planning!

Categories: Event Planning Tips

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