How Do I Choose the Best Catering Platter?

B. Miller

The way the food is served and presented is important to the overall aesthetic of any event, whether it is a holiday family dinner or a large formal event with a number of guests. The catering platter, or serving tray, you choose can be a big part of this, as there are many different options. For outdoor parties with a more casual vibe, you might want to choose less expensive, colorful catering platters; these are often made of plastic, but will really look nice at a picnic. For larger, formal events, it might be necessary to purchase a chafing dish in order to keep the food hot while it is out on a buffet. There are numerous other options for a dessert catering platter as well, including cupcake stands that feature different tiers.

Tomato and pepper bruschetta from a catering platter.
Tomato and pepper bruschetta from a catering platter.

Catering platters are available in many different sizes, and they are often sold as a set to make it easier to have enough different types of platters for an event. Consider the menu and the way the food will need to be displayed, as well as if it needs to be kept separate from other foods, such as for allergy sufferers. For the appetizer portion of the meal, if the appetizers are going to be finger foods or snack foods, such as cut vegetables or finger sandwiches, a catering platter with dividers can be the best option.

Large, decorative metal catering trays are some of the most common and versatile options, because they work well at any event. The only problem with these is if servers will need to carry them, because they can get heavy. Plastic trays that are designed to look like silver are an alternative in this case. Plastic catering trays also work well for outdoor parties, as a catering platter set can often be found to match a specific theme, such as a beach or tropical theme. Wooden trays with handles are versatile options as well.

You may also want to choose a catering platter designed to really display the food, particularly fancy desserts or other individual-serving foods. Tiered platters, available in glass or even plastic versions, are a great way to display desserts such as cupcakes or cakes. Some people use a tiered cupcake tray in lieu of a wedding cake, because it gives a similar appearance. There is no shortage of different options for catering platters, serving trays, and baskets to be found by searching online, available in all different sizes and styles to suit different needs.

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