Pile of trash bags on the street

3 Tips for Avoiding Food Waste at Catered Events


There’s nothing like delighting guests with a beautifully curated catered event that features delicious—and unforgettable!—cuisine. However, many hosts dread the final step of their victory lap: packing up the leftovers. While some may encourage guests to take home food for friends and family, the reality is that as much as 40% of food in America goes unsold or uneaten, according to We Don’t Waste, a nonprofit organization aimed at reducing hunger and food waste in Denver, CO. Use the following three tips help you find more sustainable methods to execute catered events large and small.

Menu Planning & Attendance Tracking

Before meeting with a professional catering service, you should ballpark an estimate of how many people are attending to better determine how much food you need. Reviewing attendance and consumption data are two great ways to get a more precise estimate. There’s no need to worry if this is your first rodeo—an experienced caterer can help you figure out which catering menu is best suited for the occasion.

Consider Donating Leftover Food

Purchasing to-go boxes for guests to take home leftovers after already filling up at the event can feel counterintuitive to your sustainability efforts. Still, you can find other ways to get the meals to other hungry people. Partnering with a food donation program or another community organization can help ensure the remaining food helps a worthy cause instead of just being thrown away.

Avoid Individual Packaging

Opting for buffet-style serving stations is an effective method for curbing food waste. Instead of assuming what constitutes a single serving for each guest, everyone can fill up on what they need without worrying about getting too much—or too little—to eat. You can also host an eco-friendly event without worrying about health and sanitation issues by working with a catering staff that will help with serving guests’ food with gloved hands.

Work with Elysian Events Catering to help you plan a sustainable catered event in the New Orleans area. Each chef-prepared menu item available to our clients is made entirely from scratch, and we’re happy to help you coordinate eco-friendly plateware for your gathering. Contact our team today to learn more by sending us a message or calling us at (504) 541-0091.

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