Lunch Catering Ideas

by Sidney Johns ; Updated September 28, 2017

Catered lunch tray

fresh fruit platter image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com

Whether for an office party or a baby shower, a luncheon is a casual alternative to dinner parties. A lighter menu is typically in order for your catering. Whether you’re preparing the food yourself or ordering from a local catering company, step outside the box and try new menu ideas for the occasion.

Lunch Cookout

For catering a relaxing or very casual lunch affair, grilling is an option. Prepare traditional cookout foods like hot dogs and hamburgers on a portable grill. You can add sausage to the menu for a bit of variety. Provide condiments along with traditional toppings such as tomato, pickles and onions. Side dishes for the occasion may be as simple as a variety of chips. Cold salads made of potato or cabbage can one up the chips. For a complete hot meal, add grilled vegetables such as corn on the cob to the menu.

Stepping away from the traditional grilling foods, but keeping with the fast cook time, you can choose to serve fish. White fish or tuna steaks, served with vegetables steamed in tinfoil on the grill, can make the occasion calorie conscious. Be sensitive to allergies of any guests when deciding on seafood dishes. If the occasion calls for heartier dishes, grill steaks or chops. Offer grilled vegetables for sides as well as a tossed salad.

Sandwich Bar

To cater a casual lunch affair, get in touch with your local deli to create a sandwich bar. Serve a variety of meats, including sliced turkey varieties and ham on large platters. Different cheeses along with lettuce, tomato and onions will adorn separate trays. Large baskets can hold a variety of sliced breads for your guests to choose from. Your guests will be able to build their own sandwich from the buffet. An assortment of condiments can complete the sandwiches. Serve with chips, pickles, olives or other finger food sides.

If you desire a hot sandwich bar, serve strips of cooked chicken or steak instead of lunchmeats. Consider offering grilled onions, mushrooms and peppers for toppings. Hot items will need heating trays to maintain the proper temperature.

Chilled Out

A chilled lunch works particularly well for catered affairs on hot days. Boiled, peeled and chilled shrimp served along with varieties of sushi and green salad make a meal without the heat. A salad bar is also an option. Serve several types of lettuce along with different toppings such as cucumber, green and red peppers and tomatoes. Offer cooked, sliced and chilled chicken, steak, turkey or ham along with boiled eggs and grated cheeses. Always serve with multiple options for dressings.

Photo Credits

  • fresh fruit platter image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Sidney Johns began her writing career in 1993 after moving to Florida. The former teacher and surgical technician worked in the home improvement industry prior to earning a Bachelor of Science in education from Indiana University. While on hiatus in 2004, Johns studied holistic healing and organic growth and gardening.