Top Ten Foods to Include in a Catering Menu

Because we adore you, we want to make you look good.  Especially since when you look good, we look good right?  Right.  And don’t worry, you can take the credit on this one.  Just make sure you book your shoots with us and we are fine being your supporting cast + crew.

1. Cut Fruit

Now, we will be honest.  We’ve made the mistake of providing whole fruit thinking, what’s really the difference?  Turns out it’s huge.  Think about what people are doing on-set–hair, makeup, handling expensive photo equipment or luxury samples–should their fingers really be sticky?  NO!  Having opposable thumbs not only helps set us apart in the animal kingdom, but it also means we can use fancy tools–like a fork.

Let’s celebrate our evolution, people.  Cut fruit is one act closer to making the next step in human development.  Really, it is.

2.  Bottled Water

Ok, we know it’s not necessarily the most ecologically sound idea.  And we’re pretty sure we’re going to get all sorts of letters from this one.  But shootdigital is adamant about recycling so we do our best given the circumstances.  And yes, we do provide a water fountain with reusable glass cups and also recycled paper cups.  But people are ultimately clumsy and end up knocking over cups all the time…which we have to clean up with paper towels….so really it’s a vicious cycle.  Plus, there’s the whole open water source/expensive and highly electrified photo equipment to contend with on a busy set.  And that can be a real downer

Bottom line–all living things are consumers.  We just need to be conscientious in our consumption.  Give your clients water and then show them the water cooler.  And make sure any bottles that DO get used, go into the recycling bin–empty and sans caps.

3.  Peanut-Butter and  Granola Covered Apple Slices.  With Honey.

One of our favorite caterers make these as a side of their breakfast spreads.  And despite what we’ve heard about the growing commonness of peanut allergy, these things are snarfed up so fast we aren’t even sure they were there in the first place.  Like, maybe they weren’t. Not to get all Aldous Huxley on you, but, whoa.

4.  Seasonally Appropriate Dishes

We want our clients to feel like our space is their space.  One way of giving them that cozy vibe, is a soup dish in winter, or a really fresh salad in summer.  If people have a bit of the familiar to anchor them, they may just be lulled into a happy state of nostalgia and a more easy-going attitude.  And that means better pictures, faster editing and more inspired shots all around.

5.  DessertS

Nope, that “S” above isn’t a typo. It’s a muST.  We have a hard time believing it, but turns out some people just don’t like chocolate.  Or, even more tragically, some people are actually allergic to the stuff.  Quite a cross to bear, we know.  Thankfully almost everyone likes dessert.  Just be sure to include at least two options (one definitely being chocolate).  Cookies seem to be a big crowd pleaser, even more so than pies or cakes.  People also really like things they can go back and grab (gives them an excuse to take a momentary break), so miniature desserts in particular are always a hit.  Plus, who doesn’t like to feel like they are a giant, every now and then?  The ego boost + the sugar high cannot be beat.

PS–for some of our favorite cookies, might we suggest City Bakery?  Randi turned us on to them and they really are some of the city’s best.

6.  A Warm Breakfast

Mornings are hard.  You want to go to bed.  You aren’t fully on your game yet.  Sometimes you don’t want to chew on a bagel.  Sometimes you want to laugh in the face of the people eating their granola apples and say “Look at me!  I am eating eggs and cheese and man, do I feel ALIVE.”  We get it, really we do.  So make sure there’s at least one warm item on the menu and we recommend some sort of egg for that warm item.  But also be sure your caterer provides a warming tray in which to keep them.  Because there’s  nothing worse than a warm breakfast turned cold.

7. Snacks!

Because most people are afraid of commitment, give them an alternative to eating something large.  We recommend a cheese plate, pretzels, and assorted nuts.  Even dried fruit can be a hit.

If you find yourself in a bind, Whole Foods located down the street from shootdigital sells pre-sliced veggies with dip in the middle for a pretty reasonable cost.  Not to be underestimated.

8.  Hummus Plate with the Fixings

Is it just us, or does it seem like hummus and peanut-butter are two of those really cool foods that can really stretch a meal?  Not together of, course.  But providing hummus with some veggies,chips, or even the traditional pita slices is a cheap way to stretch your catering budget and give people something to “nosh” on when they can’t seem to decide if they’re hungry or not.

9.  Bananas

Yes, that’s right.  We know we said provide cut fruit but we are going to make an exception.  And since we are making the rules, we pretty much can do that, right?

Bananas are great because they can be eaten on the go, placed down for a moment while you move a light, a model, etc.   They also provide a healthy alternative to some other possible sweet encounters you may come across on set (like perhaps that sultry new photo assistant, eh?).  Zing!

10.  Gum

Ok, we know technically it isn’t a food–even if you accidently swallow it.  But do you know how many times we get asked?  And usually it’s by clients who try to shuffle out of the studio and discreetly fenagle it off us before anyone notices.  Let’s just put it out in the open already.  Between the early hours, the coffee, and catered food, people are going to need a bit of a refresher now and then.  It’s ok!  But let’s take the shame and secrecy out of the equation.  Buy some mint gum so your clients can breathe a (fresh) sigh of relief after lunch.

And in case you missed it, be sure to read up on Top Ten Foods to AVOID in a Catering Menu to make sure you have all your “i’s” dotted and your “t’s” crossed!

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