I am catering to 100-150 people in July and i need some feed back on my menu?

For the hot side i will be serving BBQ ribs, baked beans, and corn on the cob with a fresh herb butter. For the cold side I am making chicken salad (with grapes and nuts), pasta salad, and a fruit/cheese/cracker tray. I honestly have not figured out the desserts yet (any ideas would be very much appreciated) ALSO (the hardest part) I will have to transport this meal about 20-25 minuets away. PLEASE if anyone has any tips, pointers, suggestions or anything else, please don't hesitate to comment. THANK YOU!



702551 June 24, 2017
Let's back up a bit and consider some things before the menu planning...

Even if you made nothing and bought everything, I highly suggest you look at your delivery plans as well as storage and prep resources.

Food for 100-150 people isn't going to fit into a typical passenger car, even a humongous SUV with all the seats removed. It's not just the weight limit, you'll be running into volumetric limits as well.

Someone mentioned slab pie. Sure, great idea. Think of how many one slab pie will serve. Let's pretend it's ten. Now multiply that by 15-20. You need to find all those pans and fit them into a vehicle to take to the destination. Do you have the necessary prep tools to make slab pies for 150-200 people? Do you have 15-20 baking pans? Do you have 15-20 sheet pans on which to stack things on? And you aren't going to be able to bake them one by one, you will need to do multiple pies at once.

You will need to prep-make-store food for 100-150-200 people before you even get it to the final destination.

I think the typical household refrigerator is good for storing food for maybe 8-12 people (a one-time event) if you are not a packrat. Multiply this by 15 times for your endeavor. Do you have 15 fridges at your disposal 24-48-72 hours in advance? Let's say you go with someone's suggestion of a green salad. Do you have room for two cases of lettuce?

Just things to consider.
nance June 20, 2017
All the food is very, very hearty. I am a lighter eater, and with the exception of the chicken salad and cheese/fruit tray, there is not much there I would eat. You didn't mention what the event is, but if there will be lighter eaters there or vegetarians, you may want to add a large tossed salad.
BerryBaby June 15, 2017
I know you were looking for dessert ideas (slab pie), instead of chicken salad I suggest black bean and corn with green peppers and red onion in an apple cider vinger base dressing. Canned black beans, fresh, frozen or canned corn can be used. Or use black Eyed peas and make Texas caviar, lots of recipes online,
MMH June 13, 2017
You can't go wrong with watermelon. It is the essence of summer. It's easy to cut in wedges and serve. If you want something a little more complex, I like the watermelon, feta salad. No eggs. No mayo.
Sam1148 June 13, 2017
Maybe drop the nuts from the chicken salad for those with nut allergies.
amyjane June 12, 2017
Hi. I agree with others who have issued concerns over dishes with eggs, mayo....please save yourself and others from a very easily disastrous result. Have you though of bbq'ed chicken drumsticks? They are easy to prepare ahead and are good at room temp. Corn bread? Tomato, mozzarella and basil salad on skewers (could add a cheese tortellini for substance). Easy to keep on ice and easy to eat standing up. You could also do a cold skirt/flank steak in thin slices.
Amy June 12, 2017
Shortcake baked in 1/4 sheet pans and cut into squares served with a bowl of sliced/sugared berries on the side. They can assemble it themselves!
ChefJune June 12, 2017
I hate to be the killjoy here, but this sounds like it's your first catering venture, and I just have to suggest... What kind of insurance do you have for your business? In these days of litigiousness, if someone gets sick at or after the party, they can blame it on your food, and you are liable. If you have an established catering business, I presume you already carry liability insurance. If you are just starting out, it is something I don't recommend you overlook.
ChefJune June 12, 2017
Just noticed you said it will be very hot and you are serving out-of-doors... If you serve anything with mayonnaise, be sure to serve it on ice. Eggy things can go bad VERY easily in hot weather.
Rachel June 12, 2017
Agree with nancy on the half bbq, half picnic vibe. I would do the BBQ ribs, baked beans, and corn, but then on the cold side, make a potato salad and a green salad. The menu is very meat focused and chicken salad seems a little strange to me at a BBQ. I did a similar catering event in late summer about a year ago, for 100. Made pulled pork, as a main. Ribs are tough to do. I have done similar where i have to transport hot and cold items to another location. I pack items that have to stay hot in a hard sided cooler (clean the cooler well, then throw your ribs or pulled pork directly inside), then put them into the chafing dishes when you get there. Use a separate hard sided cooler for the cold stuff. Also, this doesn't sound like it's a super formal occasion, use the disposable aluminum pans, and tightly seal with foil. Does your location have any electric outlets or do you have to use the sterno can set up for your chafing dishes?
Rachel June 12, 2017
also, if you don't have one of these for your main dish (or dishes), i would highly recommend getting one so that you can control the heat more effectively than a sterno can (if that's what you're using) and you don't get a burned spot.
It'sMe,It'sMe! June 12, 2017
That sounds pretty close to what i'm doing. I do not have outlets or Sterno or any other heating device. This is for a bunch of Tennessee country folk but I'm still trying to put out quality into the food. I see what your saying with the meat, I was trying to give a complete hot or cold meal because it will be very hot outside and not everyone(while their at work) wants to eat ribs, but might not want a salad to eat...also I might look at something other than ribs(like you mentioned) for budgeting reasons.
Rachel June 12, 2017
I see, it's a challenge to keep things hot. I am adding a link to the disposable chafing dish set ups from Sterno, if you do decide to do that, but if not, I'd recommend leaving your ribs in the cooler for serving. don't leave them in there for an extended period because that can cause issues with bacteria growing at ideal temperatures for a longer period of time, if you have leftovers, get them chilled down asap.

These are the disposable chafing dishes I was talking about earlier: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterno-24-Piece-Disposable-Party-Set/643159137
Nancy June 12, 2017
If it's very hot outside, take your menu cues from countries with hot weathe,r.
Also, everyone loves bread...how about a smorebrod (buffet) of different breads & spreads, all cooked but served cold/room temp. Keep some in cooler and bring out at midpoint of meal.
Also, many substantial salads can stay several hours at room temp safely as long as you omit mayonnaise & other bacteria-happy environments. Examples: German potato salad, salade Nicoise, cole slaw with vinaigrette, fattoush (Middle-Eastern tomato cucumber salad), various watermelon cucumber salads, Greek salads.
So menu (without worrying about hot food) could be: breads spreads, salads (including cheeses beans and maybe some preserved meats), corn, then brownies or fruit for dessert.
Nancy June 13, 2017
Meant buffet of smorrebrod, open face sandwiches from Denmark
Lost_in_NYC June 12, 2017
I also think you need a hearty vegetarian option. Otherwise those folks will have to make do with alittle bit from the hot and cold sections and not really have a complete meal. Right now it leans very meat heavy with the ribs & chicken.
It'sMe,It'sMe! June 12, 2017
O.K, Would a complete salad work do you think? Then they would also have fruit and corn on the cob. I you get a chance I would love to hear your thoughts once more! I would really appreciate your time.
Lost_in_NYC June 14, 2017
You could do hummus with olives (on the side or topped with) or a hearty grain salad (Charlie Bird's Farro Salad is a great option & very tasty - recipe can be googled) as decent vegetarian options that wont spoil.
PHIL June 12, 2017
pulled pork travels well, and goes with the BBQ theme. Also a big green salad is easy, store bought dressing to save some work. for dessert, some cut up fruit / watermelon. cookies/ brownies, maybe buy some pies? Good Luck, that is a big job.
It'sMe,It'sMe! June 12, 2017
Thank you, that's the direction I started going in.
Nancy June 12, 2017
What's the occasion? The menu needs to be more coherent and serve or celebrate the occasion.
Right now it seems half bbq and half picnic. Maybe the hot/cold split reflects your serving capacity, but not sure it will be clear to guests.
Have a look at various articles for cooking for a crowd 100-150...they have both menu ideas and quantity guidelines.
BerryBaby June 12, 2017
There was a similar question not long ago and I'll offer my same answer, slab pies! Easy and they feed quite a few. Best time of year for them with all the fresh fruit. Good luck! BB
It'sMe,It'sMe! June 12, 2017
I have never heard of them before, I did some research and look-ups and they sound great. Thanks!
PieceOfLayerCake June 12, 2017
Yes! Slab pies are the best! Simple, fresh and delicious!
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