Let’s talk SOCIAL FOOD! Also known as a late lunch or midnight snack, but not always served at midnight, the food is another highlight of socials. You can NEVER go wrong with traditional luncheon meats, cheese, rye bread and pickles. After a few drinks, who doesn’t love a good old fashioned sandwich?! But as with everything, times change, and so does the social food. Some couples choose to follow a cultural meal serve their guests, or some couples want to highlight a favourite food of theirs as their late lunch. Some couples choose a theme for their social and the food reflects that, or maybe simply they found a better price for one type of food over another. Whatever the reason behind the food choices, the reveal of the midnight snack is exciting all on its own. Personally, all my food restrictions go out the window on a social night so I can enjoy whatever comes my way!
Most couples choose to serve the food around 11 followed by the silent auction draw. Food comes out, lights come on, people win prizes. There is no rule of thumb to this, it is strictly preference. Socials generally start at 8pm, and a lot of people don’t start showing up until a little later than that. However, 8-11 is still 3 hours of dance music, drinks and plenty of time to work up an appetite! Some socials even serve the midnight snack by 1030. One thing to keep in mind though, you also want to keep people at your social. When the lights go on and the prizes are all drawn, most people tend to leave. If you are making money off the bar, you might want people to stay a little longer. Or if you know a big crowd is coming later, hold things off so they can get their money well spent to support you. There are a lot of things to consider, but in the end, no one is going to care if food was served at 1030, 11 or 1130!
On with the list! Here are the top foods that are away from the traditional. I hope you find some inspiration and something that works for you!
PIZZA – pizza is the type of food that makes an appearance at most social events, including a wedding social! It is an easy one hander to eat, it is delicious, it certainly helps deter a hangover, and with little shopping around you are bound to find a location that is willing to give you a great deal for a large order. Dominos offers some really great deals and are quick to respond to emails. I got a quote of about $650 for 350 people.
MCDONALDS – Think McDoubles and Junior Chickens. Another hangover friend, McDonald’s does cater (yay McDelivery!) and if you go in and talk to the manager, working out a discounted price for an order to feed 350 might be in your cards. The more you order, the bigger the discount.
TACO BAR – Willing to DIY? Set up 3 or 4 crockpots of taco meat, then serve up taco shells (hard or soft!), shredded cheese and lettuce, diced tomatoes and green onions (optional), sour cream and salsa. Buy large amounts of these food items from places like Costco or even Walmart or Superstore. Check for sales to save yourself even more money. A DIY is always a money saver and a taco bar is definitely a memorable midnight snack!
PIEROGIES – Having a large Ukrainian crowd? Or simply just love Ukrainian food? Why not do a pierogy bar! Whether catered or DIY, crock pots make serving a hot meal easy. Mixed with onions and served with sour cream, all you’ll need is an extra crock pot or two for kulbassa. We did this as our midnight snack at our wedding and it was a huge hit! Consider serving cabbage rolls as well to make the meal well rounded!
FILIPINO – I wanted to touch on this one to highlight the amazing food that the Filipino culture offers. Filipinos are very hospitable people who love to have a good time. This includes the food! You can expect to see egg rolls/spring rolls, fried rice, fried chicken, calderata (a beef with sauce), leche flan (custard), and ube haleya (sweets). I think an opportunity to sample another culture’s food should never be missed!
HOTDOGS – hotdogs are both easy to make and eat and I can see these as being a big hit after a night of drinking. There are so many methods to keep hotdogs warm until it is snack time, and condiments are both inexpensive and have virtually no prep. Hotdogs would be a great way to stay on budget and still offer something different!
PORK – pork can be reasonably inexpensive and a little goes a long way. Whether this one is a DIY or you go with a catering company like Danny’s Whole Hog, I think pork would be a big hit! Whether a pig roast (if it’s in your budget), pulled pork or even Pork on a Bun by Manitoba Pork, there are so many routes you could offer when it comes to pork!
The options are virtually endless when it comes to choosing what sort of late lunch to serve. Pick something that is in your budget and something that you love. When deciding how much food to serve, take the amount of people you are expecting and have enough food for about 2/3 or so of that amount. If you are expecting 350 people, you don’t need food for 350 people, I’d go for 225-250 people. Not everyone will eat, people don’t eat a lot, and you might not even hit the amount of people you are expecting. Most caterers will help you decide how much food to serve, but if you choose to DIY, then go with the above mentioned amounts! I’d love to hear about what you decided to serve at your social, even if it is the traditional! Let me know what you did in the comments below 🙂
Man I Love Food,
Planning your Socials – All Around Sound