Graduation Party Catering

April 21, 2015 - Catering a Party

Throughout the Palo Alto area, students are about to mark a major milestone in their lives. That’s right, at local high schools like Palo Alto High School and Gunn High School, the Class of 2015 is getting ready to graduate. And, with graduation festivities just around the corner, parents have been calling in nonstop to order catering for graduation parties and meals with the extended family.

Celebrating the graduation of your son and daughter should be a time of as much joy as possible. Of course, it can also be one of the most stressful periods if your family is like mine. One way to preempt your mother, or maybe your mother’s cousin’s sister’s nephew, from taking over your kitchen and creating havoc, is to order catering.

A few years back, before my time with the Palo Alto Catering Company, I was preparing for my son’s college graduation, and thought it would be more economical for everyone in the family to bring dishes to his graduation party. Little did I know, I was setting myself up for the most stressful, chaotic – and least celebratory – graduation party. On a day that should have been all about my son and his achievements, everyone’s focus was on the nightmare in the kitchen. Instead of having one professional chef in there, a swarm of grandmothers, cousins, sisters-in-law, each one thinking they knew best, flooded into the tiny kitchen space. While I’m happy to say no one set anything on fire, it was a mess. I told myself, then and there, that for my younger daughter’s graduation in a year, I would hire a caterer.

Many people ask about exactly what kind of graduation party or meal catering works best for. Well, from my experience, there are several things to consider. If you’re trying to maximize turnout, we recommend making your son’s or daughter’s graduation party a weekend brunch. Everyone will show up for some delicious catered food after the previous night’s…celebrations. While dinnertime isn’t a bad option for catering, graduation is a time when people tend to reserve the evening for more personal festivities with mom, dad, and the immediate family.

Another factor to consider is, of course, location. While ordering catering in your home enables you to focus on the celebration at hand, it won’t always be possible for all graduation festivities to occur there. Catering is especially well-suited for those times when you want your son or daughter’s graduation party to be set up somewhere else, perhaps in a nice or fancy location, that you aren’t as familiar with. You might even want to get catering on campus. We have catered everything from picnic lunches and tailgate barbeques to fine ballroom hors d’oeuvres and church gatherings.  But, keep in mind that location choice determines food selection. You wouldn’t want to have shrimp cocktails served at a tailgate barbeque. Or have backyard catering with hot soup. Which brings to mind a helpful saying my mother had: always tailor menu to venue.

For any other details, you can always ask your party caterer for help in creating the most personalized graduation catering experience possible. Once you’ve picked a location and time suitable for your graduation party needs (and hopefully lowered the chances of a kitchen family feud by choosing to cater in the first place), you’ll be well on your way to setting up a perfect and memorable celebration for your high school graduate.