Hosting duties, regardless of the occasion, are often rewarding, invariably time-consuming, and potentially stress-inducing. Such duties include deciding upon an event setting, preparing the site accordingly, managing invitations, and, of course, collaborating with a worthy caterer in the choosing of entrées, appetizers, desserts, and beverages. After all, those who trouble themselves with the attending of whatever event you have in mind will surely appreciate being fed amply and with quality cuisine.
And while courtesy and decorum will keep one’s guests from voicing any complaints to the host/hostess themselves, if the desire to complain can be diminished entirely, it certainly should be. Heading off complaints at the pass, so to speak, is partially achievable by means which extend beyond A+ recipes, which brings us to our 6 creative menu design ideas.
When meals are expertly crafted, clever dishes handsomely plated, and nutrition fused inspiringly with excellent flavor, diners will surely find themselves perfectly sated. But much of the dining experience hinges upon factors which have nothing to do with the actual ingesting of food and spirits.
Environment, atmosphere, music, and aesthetics contribute greatly to a gathering’s overall mood and reception, as evidenced by the clear differences that exist between an ultra-refined steakhouse and a sloppy fast food trough. Classiness goes a long way in elevating the otherwise ordinary act of dining from the mundane to the memorable. Central to achieving class when hosting a meal-centered gathering is the menu itself. Of course, the entrée options will speak for themselves, provided they are suitably original and tantalizing to the eye, but the manner in which they are presented is of equal importance in generating a palpable sense of sophistication.
Menu Design Ideas for Your Next Party
Take these 6 creative menu design ideas into consideration when formulating the cosmetic aspects of your next hosting project. All are subject to modification as one sees fit, but will stimulate one’s thinking on the topic of entrée presentation and articulation via thoughtful menu creation.
1. Pub Style—Based on the theme and context of one’s gathering, this recognizable and charming approach to menu design may comport nicely with the food and beverage offerings. In most cases, the pub style menu centers closely on beer, spirits, and cocktail choices, while the appetizers and meals are relegated to the margins in what is essentially a glorified supporting role.
This option works well for discerning crowds of brewery connoisseurs, or in service of a gathering more casual in its conception than, for instance, a wedding reception. Knowing one’s guest list composition will be enough to determine the appropriateness of the pub style menu; it ends up being a sensible fit, dine responsibly.
2. Traditional Restaurant—An inherent element of professional quality accompanies the aesthetic properties of a traditional restaurant menu design. Entrées, appetizers, and desserts each assigned their own “chapter” within the arrangement, all under the heading of one’s event title—this is the sort of reliability hosts yearn to channel and convey when presenting guests with their dining options.
3. Rustic Mediterranean—Rustic themes yield a certain sense of authenticity, particularly where food quality is concerned. This is doubly so when the rusticity is combined with a Mediterranean aesthetic. A feeling of connection to antiquity and to a simpler way of life radiates forth from menus designed along these lines. Provided the cuisine in question aligns at least to some degree with the Italian/Greek meals accordingly associated with Mediterranean culture, a rustic theme will suit your menu brilliantly.
4. Aristocratic Elegance—Not necessarily a stuffy, stilted option, the elegant use of calligraphic fonts and heavily polished imagery has the potential to elevate one’s gathering from a common touch affair to one of high-class splendor. Dependent entirely upon the tastes of one’s guest list and the quality of one’s cuisine, it is certainly among the more narrowly applicable of these 6 creative menu design ideas. Employ this style when looking to deeply impress.
5. Recipe-Centric—As health-conscious epicureans continue to take culinary matters into their respective kitchens, many among them take a bit of inspiration from their every dining out experience. Humor such adventurous souls with a semi-detailed breakdown of each menu item’s ingredients and preparation methods. This will surely result of menu photography and active discussion amongst one’s guests.
6. Faux Amateur—Whatever it is about hand-written (or apparently hand-written) menus that resonates with the inner-optimist in most among us, has yet to be accurately identified. But resonate it does. The scribbled listing of dish descriptions will put the attendees’ minds at ease while suggesting a pleasant and largely casual gathering. Fonts are said to communicate nearly as much as the words to which they lend form; experiment joyfully with this theory.
Looking for more fun menu design ideas? Connect with Meg Hall today to discuss your event.