Summer Event Catering Ideas

If you're hosting an event during the warm summer months, chances are good that you'll want to serve lighter foods than you would during the middle of winter. A lot of summer parties and celebrations take place outdoors, so you'll want to serve food and drinks that reflect the easy, breezy locations.

Types of warm-weather events include kids' and adults' birthday parties, graduation and anniversary celebrations, wedding receptions, 4th of July get-togethers and bridal and baby showers. Summer is also a popular time for family reunions, which often take place at parks and call for casual cuisine. 

Stay out of a hot kitchen and free up time for other types of event planning, such as decorations and seating arrangements, by hiring a professional event catering company to make the food for you. You can work closely with the caterers to plan your ideal menu, full of fresh, seasonal food bursting with flavor.

Here are some summer event catering ideas to consider:

1. BBQ

If you're hosting the party in a large backyard, a park or any other venue offering gas grills, serve traditional BBQ fare to celebrate the season. Have caterer prepare a variety of different skewer combinations, including scallops or shrimp and pineapple fora tropical flair, chicken or beef with garden vegetables, and an all-veggie option for the vegans and vegetarians on your guest list.

Use seasonal vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, squash and eggplant, for the best flavor. You can also grill ears of corn brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese as well. 

Other BBQ-inspired food ideas include a build-your-own hamburger or hot dog bar, steaks and grilled chicken.

2. Sandwich Trays

One way to keep the heat down at a hot summer celebration is by serving cold sandwiches filled with gourmet goodies. You can either serve the sandwiches pre-made or allow guests to make their own creations. Provide a variety of bread options, including crusty Italian slices, croissants and buns, as well as both exotic and traditional fillings.

 Thinly sliced deli ham and turkey, hummus, a selection of cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and flavorful condiments are just a few sandwich accoutrements to consider.

3. Shrimp Boil

Invite guests to get hands-on with a large shrimp boil bursting with Cajun seasonings, red potatoes, garlic, lemons and corn on the cob. Set up long paper-covered tables and encourage guests to mix and mingle as they enjoy their food outdoors. 

Include crawfish along with the shrimp in the boil if they're in season where you live. You can also have them shipped in from other states where they're abundant, such as Louisiana, if you crave a traditional crawfish boil.