Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tips on Pairing Wine with Your Catering Menu

Many catered events come with the inclusion of wine and choosing the right kind can make a wealth of difference. If you are planning a wedding reception or any other kind of formal event, here are some considerations to make when selecting your wines for the night from SMS Catering Services Charlotte.

Complement the Season

Winter months generally call for menus that are comprised of richer, thicker selections. That usually means there is plenty of spice to go around. This would call for the taste of a bold red wine to help enhance all of those flavors. Summer menus are often a lot lighter, which generally calls for lighter white wines that are not as heavy.

Consider the Sauce

Many times, pairing a wine successfully comes from complementing the sauce. Heavier meals generally call for a lighter red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay. Meat dishes usually come with a heavier sauce which pairs better with heavier red wines like a Merlot.

Be Wary With Reds

Remember that not everyone is a red wine aficionado. Some dishes work very well with heavier reds, although the heavier reds are not a necessity to make it work. You can get away with using a medium-bodied red wine that may be a little more mainstream. Don’t get too fancy with your red wines and the majority of guests will thank you for it.

Stick With the Theme

There are plenty of wines that will fit the theme of your event. For example, an Italian wedding should include plenty of Italian wines. High end corporate events could consider using more revered French wines. Outdoor events may want to lean towards lighter wines. Coming up with a theme extends to the décor, menu items and also the choice of wine.

Mind Your Budget

Many weddings and corporate events come with limitless drinks which means a lot of guests will drink their share. Spending too much on wine might not practical from a budgetary standpoint. If you are intent on using some fine wines, one option is to relegate them to dinner service and go with a more affordable brand the rest of the evening.

SMS Catering Services is available to enhance all your private parties, weddings and corporate events. Equipped with a spacious banquet hall and top notch catering menu, your next Charlotte function can be a success with the help of SMS Catering Services.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Important Things to Remember When Planning Your Wedding Menu

Planning a menu for a wedding takes more than just simple choices. There are even important things to consider beyond he food tasting. Here is a look at some important things to keep in mind when it is time to plan out your wedding menu with SMS Catering Services of Charlotte NC.

There Will Be Special Orders

There are usually a few vegetarians at every wedding and there may also be some guests who have food allergies and special dietary restrictions. Plan to have at least a few special orders and make sure you go over those alternative options with your caterer.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Hiring wedding catering services is a detailed process and if you wait too long, your options will be limited when it comes to quality. Most reputable caterers are booked far in advance and some will not even consider catering a wedding reception on short notice.

Source of Food Is Important

Any old caterer can prepare a salmon dinner, but that does not mean it will be the freshest catch of the day. Look deeper into each caterer’s ingredients and inquire about the source of their food. A reputable caterer will be able to rattle off those details immediately and tell you everything you want to know.

Presentation Matters

It may be easy for you to decide on menu items, but don’t neglect to ask what the presentation of those food items will look like. You should be able to see how the food is presented on a plate, as well as what kind of plates and serving dishes will be used on each table.

Control the Portions

You don’t have to overdo it with food in order to make your wedding a memorable one. However, shorting guests on food and leaving them hungry will be a memory that stays with them for years. Make sure that your portions are not too dainty and all your guests are able to eat their fill.

You Can’t Please Everyone

No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to please everyone at your wedding with the food selection. Trying to do that is just going to leave you exasperated. Select the catering menu items you feel strongly about and leave it at that. You already have enough to worry about.

SMS Catering Services goes over every detail when it comes to wedding venue planning, corporate events and other kind of functions. Guests can be assured everything will be just as they want it, which will make for a special occasion to remember. Contact SMS Catering Services today for the best catering Charlotte has to offer.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Casual Catering Ideas

grilled chicken wings
Hosting a catered event does not have to include an elaborate display, nor does it have to cost you a fortune. More and more corporate catering events, family parties and wedding receptions are going with a more casual theme. Here is a look at some casual catering ideas for your next event.

Bar-B-Q Theme

This is particularly popular during summer months as guests can dress more comfortably. The menu can also include typical Charlotte BBQ catering selections, which are generally lower in cost. Desserts could also be cheaper by offering smores, which guests can make themselves with a simple campfire.

Accommodate Outdoor Fun

To keep an outdoor catered event fun for your guests, purchase flip-flops for all in attendance. This way, guests can kick off their uncomfortable shoes and let loose outside. Outdoor settings should be more relaxed and what better way to relax than with comfortable footwear.

catering buffet line, stack of clean plates

Buffet Style

No matter what kind of food you choose for your event, offering buffet style will create a more casual atmosphere. This takes away the formality of having to sit for a dinner that is served in courses.

Hawaiian Theme

The mere mention of a Hawaiian theme takes away any formality. A pig roast is a great addition to a Hawaiian theme and guests can even be encouraged to dress in Hawaiian shirts. This is typically better suited for the outdoors, but can also be a refreshing indoor change in the winter months.

Clam Bake

This is a unique summer experience like no other. Clam bakes do not even require formal dinnerware. This is not only a relaxed and comfortable setting, but it is a great conversation piece even after the party has concluded. The décor can also be very informal and cost efficient.

Tapas Menu

A tapas menu brings out a lot of small plates, which are often shared. It also provides people with a less formalized dining experience. There is a lot more time for interacting without having the pressure to sit down through various courses of a meal.

SMS Catering Services can accommodate all types of catered events and even provides a spacious banquet hall for those looking for a venue as well. No matter what kind of style or theme you choose, the team at SMS Catering Services will work to make your event a success. For the best casual catering Charlotte has to offer, contact today.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Creating a Winter Theme For Your Next Catered Event

plates and table arrangements at a winter themed dinner party
The winter months provide the opportunity to be a little more creative when it comes time to plan your next catered event. Here’s a look at some tips on how to create a unique winter theme for your next corporate event, holiday party or wedding reception. 

Winter Wonderland

The winter months bring snow to everyone’s mind and creating a winter wonderland theme would include more than just white décor. The menu could also include white wine and food selections could even stay with that theme. Fish, crab and lobster are just a few examples of the way you can incorporate the winter wonderland theme into your menu.

Rustic Theme

Nothing says homey like a country setting with a lot of rustic charm. Warm, earthy tones could decorate your next event while the menu could be set up to warm the soul on a cold winter day. Hearty mashed potatoes combined with a carving station would help to provide that rustic feel. Warm drinks would also add to this, types such as warm apple cider, with or without spiced rum. This rustic theme as become all the more popular with wedding venues and even corporate events.

Red Wine Tasting

Red wine is warm and inviting, and a particularly good fit for the winter months. Offering a selection of different types of red wine along with cocktailed hors d'oeuvres is a good start. Pairing the wines with different dishes is also an elegant setting for any winter party. With all that wine, it would also be a good idea to serve a hearty main course as well. An oak-inspired décor would also pair well with this theme.

deep red rose sit frozen within a ice sculpture which sits on a catering table

Ice Theme

Bringing the winter theme inside can be done tactfully with decorative ice sculptures as a showpiece. That will make for a cool setting and could be complemented with a lot of cold dishes that would precede the main course. Cold seafood appetizers will maintain that theme while soups and chilled salads would also add a nice touch. Cool blue colors that are dimly let can enhance the overall mood and a variety of frozen desserts can finish the night off.

If you are looking for a unique catered event during the winter months, contact SMS Catering Charlotte. The best catering Charlotte has to offer is available to enhance your next wedding reception or corporate event. SMS Catering Services also provides a spacious banquet hall Charlotte that can put an exclamation point on your next special occasion.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ways to Save on Your Catered Wedding

Weddings are often more expensive than many couples presume. Unexpected costs can escalate in a hurry, causing the overall price to soar. That is why it helps to save money whenever you can in the wedding planning process. Here are some tips on how to minimize your wedding catering bill.

Choose Your Seafood Wisely

When it comes to selecting seafood appetizers for your catering menu, remember that there is a difference in prices. Shrimp and scallops are going to be priced significantly higher than mussels and clams. Opting for the latter will still allow you to offer your guests seafood without spending too much money. Also, seafood that is in season will be priced cheaper, which could allow you to get a discount on a seafood item for your main course.

Limit Your Stations

During the cocktail and dinner hour, there will be the options of adding different stations, such as a vegetable crudité or raw bar. There is usually so much food served at weddings that a lot of food at those extra stations goes untouched. Limit the add-on stations that could be quite costly.

Hand-Pass hors d'oeuvres

Have the wait staff pass out hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour instead of just placing them out for self-serve. This will reduce the amount of appetizers that are served, thus limiting what you have to spend on the cocktail hour.


There is the option of choosing family-style dinner entrees which are served to each table and passed around. This can drastically reduce your overall food costs. And if you are set on serving dinner courses, don’t go overboard as a salad course and main course are usually more than enough after a hearty cocktail hour.

Buy Drinks Responsibly

Making liquor available to your guests at the bar will boost your overall bill. If you are set on offering liquor, go with mid-shelf liquors instead of top-shelf liquors as there will be a noticeable difference in price.

Stay Simple With Sweets

When buying a wedding cake, remember that three tiers are cheaper than five tiers. Any gourmet type of filling is also going to cost more. Keep the filling simple. By this point in the evening, many people are already full, so bite-size desserts are not a bad idea as well.

SMS Catering Services caters all kinds of wedding receptions for all kinds of budgets. Also equipped with a spacious banquet hall, SMS Catering Services can create the perfect setting for your wedding reception.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Important Questions You Might Not Have Asked Your Caterer

There are obvious questions that need to be asked when selecting a caterer for your next event, whether it be an anniversary, wedding or corporate party. However, there are plenty of important questions you might not have thought to ask your caterer. That is why we have complied this informative list of frequently forgotten questions that every party and event coordinator should ask a caterer.

What is the timetable for service?

Caterers will establish an itinerary for your event, but it is important to know just how long service will take. You should know just how long it will take from the time the first and last entrées are served. You should also know the exact down time between courses.

What is the leftover policy?

There is usually a good amount of food at a catered event and it’s very rare that all of it is eaten in its entirety. Paying for the food should give the client the right to take the rest of it home and it is definitely a topic that should be discussed.

What is the cost of tables and chairs?
Believe it or not, some catering venues will charge to use their tables and chairs. There are even upgrades when it comes to these items. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.

Can I control the thermostat?

When choosing a caterer that provides a venue, including banquet hall, having access to the thermostat is a major plus, especially when it comes to weddings and formal events. Being able to keep a room cool also helps when dealing with larger groups of people.

What is the sound quality?
Weddings have deejays and corporate events often include guest speakers or presentations. That brings about the need for a higher quality of sound. If your caterer is providing a banquet hall, ask about the acoustics, the sound system and any other aspects that have to do with the audio.

What is your alcohol policy and fees?
This will help pinpoint how much you are going to spend. Some caterers charge by consumption while others charge per person. Some charge a corkage fee for alcohol brought in by the client. There are also caterers that serve wine with dinner and others that limit the amount of time alcohol is served. Ask for a full rundown of the alcohol policy and fees.

SMS Catering Services can answer every customer question while providing quality service for all types of events. Whether you need a catered event at a banquet hall or catering brought straight to you, SMS Catering Services in Charlotte is standing by with a solution that works.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How to Find the Right Caterer

Catered events do not just happen. There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding, corporate event, anniversary, or birthday party. There is also a great deal that goes into choosing the right caterer. Here’s a list of what to look for when it comes time to find the right caterer for your next event.

NC event catering services, party caterer Charlotte

The Right Experience

Not all catering services are the same. That means that not every caterer is equipped to handle specific events. For example, a caterer service that hosts a lot of weddings may not be the right type of caterer to handle your corporate event. Check out what kind of events different caterers have done in the past and go with one that has experience in handling your particular theme.

The Right Taste

At any kind of catered event, there is going to be an ample amount of food that is served. The only way to test that food is to taste it. Most reputable caterers will permit some kind of tasting as an example of what the client can expect. So venture out and let your taste buds be the judge of the catering menus.

The Right Service

One of the requisite parts of any catered event is being served. Caterers should have certain standards when it comes to service. Ask about these standards and never forget to ask about how much staff will be working during the event. It is a must to make sure every guest is accounted for at a catered event.

Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger at The Miracle on the Hudson - Flight 1549 Homecoming Event

The Right Leader

Find out who is in charge of running the events within each catering service. The best food will be all for naught if the nightly itinerary does not run smoothly. Meeting the event coordinator, the person who will be overseeing everything, is a must. Feeling comfortable with that person goes a long way towards a successful event.

The Right Price

Budget is a primary concern when it comes to any event. There is no sense meeting with a caterer you cannot afford. So before doing any type of investigating, make sure that the catering price is right for you.

SMS Catering Services Charlotte hosts all kinds of events in its own banquet hall as well as providing off site catering services. There is an abundance of options for customers to choose from. SMS Catering Charlotte  can make your next event one to remember.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Nuances of Planning a Catered Corporate Event

Catering Charlotte corporate events comes with its own set of nuances. It is not like an ordinary get-together or a 25th wedding anniversary. Therefore, it is imperative to find a caterer who can meet all the demands that come with catering a corporate event. Here’s a look at some of the nuances of planning a catered corporate event.

Menus With Options

The point of a corporate event is to try and appease all those in attendance. That fact is important to remember when planning a catering menu. Regardless of the theme, there should be plenty of options for everyone. For example, when serving dinners, there should always be a vegetarian dish. And when breakfast is the choice meal, be sure to include a wide variety.

The Importance of Formality

Many corporate events are formal ones. This is where it helps to hire a caterer that is well versed in that type of setting. Those particular caterers are usually well aware of how important things like appearance, service and high standards of food are to the overall event. For formal events, it is recommended to go with a caterer who has done similar events in the past.


Businesses operate on a daily schedule, so a corporate event should follow the same regimen. There should be a time allotted for such things as a cocktail hour, meet and greet, presentations, or guest speakers. The demands of that itinerary should be able to be met by the catering service. The time of the event may also play a part in deciding whether or not a wet bar would be provided.

Finger Food

At corporate events, there is always a lot of mingling going on. Serving hor d'oeuvres provides guests with a chance to mingle and still get some food. Choosing to serve some type of butlered finger food is a good way to create a lot of networking.

Service Attire

Most corporate events require business attire for its guests. The attire of the service staff should also reflect the event, which means staff members should be dressed accordingly. Having service staff dressed in a formal manner will contribute to the overall mood of the event.

SMS Catering Services handles corporate events for all occasions. Regardless of the theme, the SMS staff will work to ensure a successful event. For the best corporate catering Charlotte has to offer, contact the experienced team of professionals at SMS Catering Services.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to Select the Right Wedding Venue for You

Weddings are more than just one-time events. There is a lengthy selection and planning process that goes along with it. That includes choosing the right Charlotte wedding venues. Here are some helpful tips couples can use to select the right venue for their wedding.

catered wedding, wedding reception sign

Make a Checklist

When it comes to start looking at wedding venues, go into each visit prepared. It’s a good idea for couples to put together a checklist of everything they want on their wedding day. Many times, couples get caught up in the moment when visiting wedding venues and they start to consider options that do not coincide with their original plans. Be exact when making your checklist and keep it handy when touring a venue.

See the Season

Most couples are not looking to get married right away, which means each venue will probably look a little different when your big day comes around. Make sure the seasonal fit is the right one. If you are visiting an outdoor wedding venue in the fall, it is going to have a different look in the spring.

Ask the Vendors

For most weddings, couples will hire a photographer, DJ, florist and other kinds of vendors. Don’t hesitate to ask each of them their thoughts on the different wedding venues you are considering. Chances are that those vendors have been to each venue and can offer an objective opinion.

Map the Route

Guests are going to need to get to your wedding, so it is important to consider the drive time and traffic patterns to a particular venue. Friday night weddings can be difficult for commuters and traffic could cause them to miss the ceremony altogether. Being mindful of the navigation process can make the process of choosing a venue a lot easier.

Record Info

Taking notes, snapping pictures and asking questions is an essential part of choosing the right venue. Don’t hesitate to say whatever is on your mind and don’t be shy when it comes to taking photos. Collecting as much information as possible is extremely helpful. It is also a valuable way to compare different venues against one another.

SMS Catering Services NC has a vast amount of experience hosting all types of weddings. Equipped with a spacious Charlotte banquet hall, ceremonies and receptions can be done at the same site. When it comes time to search for the best Charlotte wedding venues, look no further than SMS Catering Services.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Casual Corporate Event Ideas

Not every corporate affair or event has to be a formal one. There are plenty of occasions that call for a more casual setting and may even allow you to leave the black tie at home. Here’s a look at some more casual ideas for your next corporate gathering.

These affairs may not necessarily be in the mold of traditional picnics. They are held outdoors and often include festivities and attractions such as group sports and fun competitions. Attire is often expected to be sporty and casual, but not too revealing or formal.

These types of functions provide a backyard type of feel. Food choices can range from BBQ pork to hamburgers and hot dogs…. or our famous NC Style BBQ Catering! This can create a different kind of company experience as corporate walls are often broken down by the simplicity and informality that comes with a backyard barbecue.

SMS Catering Hawaiian Menu: whole roast pig & bbq pork butts

Pig Roasts
A pig roast is more than just providing a different type of cuisine, it provides a laid back atmosphere where people can mingle without any kind of office pressure. There can also be a Hawaiian theme to accompany a pig roast, which opens the pallet of food options up to some of the more exotic varieties of dishes and cuisines.

A company gathering for brunch combines the elements of breakfast and lunch, just as it combines the elements of business and casual. These types of events often go off without pretentiousness and create a more relaxed and casual feel. They are also recommended to be held on off days.

catered business luncheon or brunchSeasonal Events
Holiday-themed parties can have a more casual element as evidenced by the menu. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your co-workers and serve a corned beef and cabbage feature dish. The month of October is a perfect time to celebrate German heritage with an Oktoberfest menu. Of course, October holds another great holiday, Halloween. Have a costume party of just have fun! Drinks optional, of course.

Super Bowl Parties
There could be a tailgate theme to your casual corporate Super Bowl party which centers on the game of football. The use of party trays and buffet trays are an excellent way to create a casual atmosphere at your company Super Bowl party and the big game helps give everyone a way to connect.
SMS Catering provides catering services for all kinds of corporate events. If you are looking for a more casual setting, we have an abundance of alternatives that will make for a memorable experience with either your colleagues or your family. Let us make your next event something special by calling SMS catering services, located in Charlotte, NC.