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A caterer's guide to the Christmas season

26 Oct 16

The Christmas season is one of the most important times for caterers; not only is it the busiest, it’s also a time when you can show off your catering talents and gain new clients. To help you get through this whirlwind time of year, we have put together a quick survival guide to the Christmas season.

Christmas party menu

When it comes to planning a Christmas menu it can be a challenge to marry tradition with new food trends. However, it can be done! The key is combining seasonal flavours with non-seasonal food and this can be showcased  effectively through canapes and bowl food. One combination would be to make a marinade of orange and winter spice for chicken wings or pork skewers. Another option would be to combine Christmas favourites, such as pigs-in-blankets and use game sausage or pork and cranberry.

If you are creating a menu for a sit-down dinner having a theme can help keep everything together and give your customers an idea of what to expect.

Popular Christmas themes include:

  1. The Nutcracker
  2. Into the woods
  3. Alpine
  4. Scandinavia
  5. Toy shop or Santa's workshop
  6. Victorian/A Christmas Carol  

Not matter what your theme is, a turkey dish is a must but it’s also worth having other options that fit with your theme and other traditional dishes such as beef and salmon.

Hiring catering equipment and furniture

If you need to hire catering equipment and furniture from a hire company, book as far in advance as possible, especially if you want specialist equipment or on-trend china. There are many benefits to hiring from a catering equipment company such as:

  1. No washing up
  2. Not having to worry about maintenance
  3. If something breaks or stops working, the hire company can replace it quickly
  4. Hiring equipment and tableware from hire company give you access to a variety of styles and brands meaning you don’t have to stick to the same design for every event.

When choosing a catering equipment hire company keep the following in mind;

  1. Are they a member of Event Hire Association?
  2. Do they have Safe Hire accreditation?
  3. Who have they worked with?
  4. Read customer testimonials to find out if they are helpful? Do orders arrive on time? and the quality of their equipment.


Decorations are central to a Christmas party. Whether you are designing a table setting or dressing the side of a canape plate – Christmas would not be Christmas without decorations. Your theme will largely dictate your decorations, but we’ve come up with some ideas to help you out.

  1. Candlesticks and candelabras bring a touch of sophistication as well as a nod to a bygone era and nothing says Christmas more than a splash of Victoriana. 
  2. Cake stands are not only great for displaying sweet treats but can be used to create beautiful decorative displays.
  3. Holly, mistletoe or a bit of spruce tree can be used to dress the sides of canape plates and wreaths can be used to embellish larger plates.

If you’re a caterer and need to hire catering equipment and furniture for an event please contact us today. At Allens Hire we offer a delivery and collection or collect and return service as well as a wash-up. We are members of Event Hire and are Safe Hire Accredited.