Five Simple Self-Serve Catering Ideas

At some events, it’s going to be easier and more cost-efficient to set up a self-serve food station than to hire a full service caterer. Many of the companies that are catering Toronto offer better rates for this kind of event catering because it costs less in terms of man-hours since not as many staff members are required. In what follows, we’re going to list out five simple ideas that can be used in a self-serve environment without using a traditional buffet that includes several different types of food.

Salad Bars

Some of the most common meals used with a self-serve station are salads. What’s great about letting people prepare their own salads is that you can satisfy each individual’s personal wants and needs for a salad without having a long list of custom orders to fill. When Toronto catering companies let the guests make their own salads, you’ll have fewer mistakes being made in terms of orders being made incorrectly, and your service will go much quicker as well. You can also offer creative meat items for a salad to keep the catering from being dull like strips of bacon, strips of venison or chunks of steak.

Chicken Wings

At events that lean towards being informal, chicken wings are a nice way to keep things friendly and fun. Most people love chicken wings, though some people will prefer to eat them with their fingers instead of with eating utensils. Make sure that you offer at least two or three varieties of wings since some people prefer hot wings and other people prefer barbeque wings. Most Toronto caterers will be able to whip up some pretty good wings, but it can’t hurt to ask for a tasting before you decide on which company you’ll go with.


An atypical self-serve item that isn’t seen very much is a nacho station. This is a more creative idea that is best for informal events, but it could be used at semi-formal events as well. If you ask your Toronto catering company to do something creative with the nachos theme, then you’ll get a long list of ideas to pick and choose from. In general, you’re going to want to offer a couple of different types of high-quality chips and a lot of different toppings to choose from. The most popular toppings for nachos are cheese, seasoned beef, peppers and sauce.

Sub Sandwiches

If you need to offer a self-serve food station at a formal event, one excellent option is a table that allows people to create their own sub sandwich. Ask companies who are catering Toronto what they can offer for this type of service before you commit because a sub sandwich station isn’t a particularly common request. Offer up two or three different types of bread, a selection of meats, a selection of cheese and a wide range of vegetables and condiments. This is an easy way to give everyone what they want without spending a whole lot of money. You could even offer salad bowls for people who would prefer to avoid the bread for dietary reasons.

Baked Potato Bars

Along with a salad bar, one of the best self-serve stations for a side item is a baked potato bar. This will usually be appropriate at any type of event, and it can be the complete catering service by itself, or it can be a single station in a multi-station service. The most important thing with a baked potato bar is that the potatoes are cooked correctly. Under-cooked or burnt potatoes will ruin your entire service, so make sure that you go with Toronto caterers who have a good reputation.


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