With the arrival of spring comes a lot of things – the reemergence of green in our landscapes, the beginning of wedding season, the final stretch before summer break…and last but not least, graduation ceremonies and celebrating graduation! As such a major life accomplishment and milestone, many friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues, and other loved ones gather to show their support and celebrate the graduate’s accomplishments. When thinking about these parties from the standpoint of whoever is put in charge making arrangements for the entertaining, there are several important bases to cover. Arguably the first things that come to mind when you think of graduation parties are great food and drinks to enjoy, so as staples, you’ll want finalize these plans and get your date on the book with vendors sooner than later in order to get exactly what you want for the event!
The Fare: Catering for the Party
Right after you’ve decided on your venue and secured your date, you’ll be moving on to making all of the other arrangements for hosting your guests. Aside from entertainment, the key things to consider are the food and the drinks to be served. First, we’ll cover the food.
Hors d’oeuvres spreads are generally the most popular for graduation parties as they offer a wide variety of crowd-pleasing options and are easy to grab and go, followed by grilling as it’s the perfect time of year for most parties to be held outdoors as the weather permits. However, depending on the time of your party, you may opt for serving a full meal. With so many possibilities to choose from, it can be overwhelming to translate your ideas into the order that’s placed and arrives on the day of your party, particularly in judging the right amount of food and ensuring there’s a good selection of items to choose from.
Gathering the details and presenting them to a catering company will allow for a meeting of the minds and collaboration, so ultimately with the expertise and guidance of professionals you’re sure to end up with delicious fare that your guests will rave about.
“As our specialty is fresh, high quality meats, we not only have just about anything you can think of to grill, but also plenty of choices for hors d’oeuvres, meal packages, and full-service catering,” says Sean Fuller, owner of Just Good Meat (www.justgoodmeatomaha.com). “We always have bundles and party packs available for our customers to swing by and pick up in the store, and delivery with the orders placed via phone or online, but with our expansion into catering this past year, we’ve had the pleasure of serving up our signature fare at all types and sizes of events.
Our most popular package pairs 10lbs of meat with 10lbs of sides You can pick and choose your meat – BBQ pork, beef or chicken – and your combination of homemade sides – BBQ smokehouse beans, country-style potato salad or coleslaw. We recommend splitting the sides up into two 5lb portions for a little variety. This will feed approximately 20-25 people for $79.99. Moreover, with the package deal, you can add more meat for a special price of $5.99 per pound extra and sides for $2 per pound extra. These increments make it easy to get just the right amount for the number of guests you’re estimating to be in attendance. We’ve made it as easy as possible; you just swing by and pick it up or we bring it to you, set it up for your guests, and you’re ready to entertain!
As far as catering offerings, aside from all of the BBQ meats there’s plenty more to choose from whether you’re looking for something simple like marinated chicken breasts or sloppy joes, on up to smoked prime rib that is delicious on its own or can make for great French Dips or Philly sandwiches. For those who prefer hors d’oeuvres, we’ve got plenty of variety there too, with meat and cheese platters, meatballs, smokies, wings, skewers, or scaled-down entrees such as miniature sliders or bite-sized portions. Finally, for grilling, you guessed it – tons of variety here too. We always kick off spring with a sale right in time for graduation parties, with great prices on ribeyes, T-bones, Porterhouses, bacon-wrapped filets, top sirloin, chicken breasts with different flavors of marinade to choose from, grass-fed hamburger patties, an assortment of fresh fish, and over 15 different types of homemade sausages, including cheese, bacon cheese, jalapeno cheese, Hawaiian pineapple, and more.
We’re able to customize a meal or spread based on your budget, head count, and preference as to the particular food items that we incorporate. As you can see, with hundreds of items available there are a lot of different possibilities, so we like to discuss the details with the customer to get an idea of specifics – if there’s a theme, what foods you like or how much variety you want, and any other pertinent information. With that in mind, we’ll be able to make recommendations for how many entrees or sides you’ll need, or if you opt for a selection of hors d’oeuvres, we’ll know how many items to incorporate together for the perfect spread. Not to mention we’ll be able to advise as to what configuration of items will work best for your vision at the most affordable price.
At Just Good Meat, our approach to serving our customers remains focused on attention to detail with an emphasis on great customer service. Along with providing our clients with the highest quality fare, we pride ourselves in taking the time, hassle, and stress out of party planning for our customers. As far as feeding your guests goes, no matter if you’re hosting 10-20 people or a group of 100-200+, we have plenty of options for all preferences and can easily accommodate any dietary restrictions. Our team will personally handle all of the arrangements regarding feeding your guests so that you can enjoy the moment and the good company instead of worrying about these details before, during or after the party. However, for those who don’t envision shying away from the grill but just the opposite, want to be heading up the operation, there are literally hundreds of great options that can be picked up or delivered right to your doorstep.”
Fuller adds, “The best part about Just Good Meat is that whether you’re planning ahead for our catering services or need to stop and pick up items at the store last minute, we can help you make it happen either way. With our variety, expertise and flexibility you’re guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for…and with so many possible choices, maybe even something that you hadn’t even considered as an option! Planning a party is a big undertaking and our goal is to take a major part of that off of your plate by offering an easy way to provide your guests a delicious meal or hearty snack that will fit all of your specific requirements.”
The Spirits: Stocking up the Bar
Just as essential as feeding your guests is providing them a nice selection of refreshments to enjoy. So next up after getting the food squared away is figuring out what types of drinks you’ll want to have available and the quantities that you’ll need. Whether you’re picking up a few kegs of beer, an assortment of spirits and mixers, a few bottles of wine, or all of the above, you’ll want to be able to grab everything at the same place if at all possible.
Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is great for picking up your celebration needs in this area because they have hundreds of items to choose from with a large variety on-hand. Rather than trying to find the best sales, you’ll always be offered great prices no matter when you stop by. From well-known brands to ones that aren’t commonly available at the usual retail stores, it’s one of the best one-stop-shops for just about anything you could think of as far as adult beverages are concerned. They even have party staples such as paper plates, tableware and table coverings for additional convenience.
Oftentimes the most challenging part of buying your refreshments isn’t so much picking out a variety of drinks, but more so deciding how much you’ll need. The staff at Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal have assisted with many local weddings, parties, and events, so they will be able to help you accurately estimate the quantity you’ll need to accommodate the amount of guests you’ll be expecting.
“Knowing what to serve and the quantities needed is most often the dilemma that party planners are facing,” says Jim Sobyzk of Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal (www.cornhuskerbeverage.com). “Our experienced staff will not only help you decide the number of servings but also the proportion of beer, wine, liquor, punch and soft drinks. We realize that helping our clients stay within their budget while satisfying their guests’ needs is of the utmost importance. Instead of taking your chances and buying the wrong amount, we’ll save you a lot of time and hassle.”
Aside from gearing up for the party, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is also a great place to find a graduation gift for the wine, beer or liquor connoisseur—or just the person who likes to enjoy a few good drinks here and there. There are even DIY kits available for those who like to brew their own beer, with easy-to-understand instructions that are great for beginners too.
So this year for celebrating graduation, no matter how big the event, you’ll want to be a party to remember. Ensuring that guests are able to enjoy great food and refreshing drinks along with some sort of entertainment is the foundation to all of the fun times and memory making that is sure to ensue. As with throwing any fantastic party, make sure to utilize your local resources so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is being a great host and spending time with your guests! Finally, we extend our congratulations to all of the 2016 graduates and wish you the best in whatever the future holds!