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A Comprehensive and Empowering Guide to Funeral Catering: 6 Key Steps

A Comprehensive Guide to Funeral Catering: Key Steps

A Comprehensive Guide to Funeral Catering

Funerals are a time for family and friends to come together and remember the life of a loved one. One of the most important aspects of this gathering is the food served, as it provides comfort and sustenance during a difficult time. This article will guide you through the process of catering for a funeral, from planning to execution.

Planning a Funeral Luncheon

When planning a funeral luncheon, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Budgeting: The first step in planning a funeral luncheon is determining your budget. This will guide your decisions regarding the venue, food, and other aspects of the event.
  • Headcount: It’s important to estimate the number of attendees to ensure you have enough food for everyone.
  • Location: The location of the luncheon can be at a family home, a church hall, or a rented venue, depending on your budget and the number of guests.
  • Time and Date: The luncheon typically takes place immediately following the funeral service, but the exact time and date will depend on other factors including availability of venue, celebrant or moderator and so on.
  • Food and Beverages: When planning the menu, consider the dietary needs and preferences of your guests. It’s also important to provide a variety of beverages, including water, tea, coffee, fruit juices and possibly alcoholic options for those who wish to toast to the memory of the deceased.
  • Invitations: This can be done a number of ways.  Once the details are finalised, send out invitations to guests. These can be formal invitations or simply a phone call or email.
  • Decorations: Decorations for a funeral luncheon are typically simple and understated. Flowers are a common choice.
  • Playlist: If desired, you can create a playlist of the deceased’s favorite songs to play in the background.
  • Activities: Some families choose to have activities or speeches during the luncheon to honour the deceased.
  • Hosting: On the day of the luncheon, ensure guests are comfortable and well taken care of.

Choosing the Right Food for a Funeral

The food served at a funeral should be comforting and easy to eat. Here are some suggestions:

  • Finger Foods: These are easy to eat while standing and mingling. Examples include sandwiches, vegetable platters, hot finger food like spinach and cheese frittatas and gourmet house made mini sausage rolls are always popular too.
  • Hot Entrees: These could include casseroles or other warm dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and kept warm in a slow cooker or warming tray.
  • Salads: A variety of salads can provide lighter options for those who prefer them.
  • Desserts: Sweet treats can offer comfort at a difficult time. Consider slices, tartlets and the traditional scones, jam and cream.
  • Beverages: Provide a range of drinks, including water, tea, coffee, fruit juices and possibly alcoholic beverages.

A Comprehensive and Empowering Guide to Funeral Catering:  Appropriate Food for a Funeral

The food served at a funeral often reflects the deceased’s tastes and culture. Comfort foods are a common choice, with dishes like sandwiches, spinach and cheese frittatas, ham and cheese mini buns, and chocolate slice often served.

Foods that the deceased loved or that represent their culture are also appropriate.

Setting Up a Funeral Luncheon

Setting up a funeral luncheon follows much the same process as planning it. Ensure the venue is clean and tidy, set out the food and drinks, arrange the seating, and prepare any decorations or music.

It’s also important to decide on any activities or speeches ahead of time.

Catering for Large Groups

If you’re catering for a large group, such as 100 guests, you’ll need to adjust your food quantities accordingly. Generally speaking, you will need about 8-10 large trays and 12-14 small trays to adequately feed 100 guests.

Simple Finger Food for a Wake

Finger foods are a great choice for a wake as they’re easy to eat and can cater to a wide range of dietary preferences. Here are some ideas:

  • Vegetable and Fruit Ideas: Cut vegetables with spinach dip, vegetarian tomato and mozzarella skewers,  sandwiches, individual vegetarian quiches, grapes or berries with marshmallow fruit dip. Vegetarian Grazing Tables are also becoming increasingly popular.
  • Breads and Rolls: Banana bread, sandwiches, and dinner rolls with butter.
  • Meat and Protein Ideas: Slow cooked meatballs, suasage rolls, gourmet party pies, mini ham and cheese quiches.
  • Dessert and Snack Ideas: Brownie recipes and variations, favourite cookies, individual custard fruit tarts, chocolate slice, lemon slice and scones, jam and cream.

A Comprehensive and Empowering Guide to Funeral Catering: 6 Key Steps

While catering a funeral can seem daunting, with careful planning and consideration, it can be a meaningful way to honour your loved one and provide comfort to your guests.

Remember, the most important thing is to create a space where people can come together, share memories, and support each other during a difficult time. Get in touch with our team at Classic Catering to gain further insights and ideas.