Many people ask caterers if they prepare “normal” Western dishes as well as those considered to be traditionally Islamic or Muslim! Of course so many tell them they do however, for customers interest in halal catering, it is pertinent to understand in full what it means. Halal simply means “permitted” or “lawful” according to Islamic religion. This plays a large role in Muslim life, and certainly affects the way they eat and prepare food. For any food to be considered halal it must comply with Shari’ah law. If you are interested in halal catering, here are best tips for planning your next corporate or social event with halal food:
• Know your halal basics
The first step of your planning process should be to get to know Islamic customs – specifically their eating habits! Nothing ruins an otherwise perfectly planned event like food that none of the guests will eat. So, if you’re planning an event which requires a cultural touch, whether you’re Muslim or not, you need to be sure you are pertaining to Islamic law in terms of allowable food. This is extremely important especially at cultural events like weddings. Some foods and drinks which are not halal (haram or forbidden) for Muslims to consume include: alcohol, pork and pork by products and other animals which have not been correctly prepared under Islamic Shari’ah. In order to avoid mistakes during preparation, ensure you do a research and come up with a draft menu with your caterer, who would know whether it’s halal or not. Another good tip is to visit local halal grocers to get menu ideas.
• Selecting a venue
Do you know any Islamic-specific venues? If not, do a quick search in your area or ask for recommendations. It really all depends on the type of event you are planning. When selecting a venue keep in mind the amount of guests, whether the event is formal or informal, the theme and the decorations.
• Search for a flexible and creative caterer
Keep in mind that not all catering services will have had experience in handling halal events, so do your research and ask around for recommendations. Ask your potential caterer questions like:
Has the caterer been involved in a halal event before?
Do they know the specific requirements and preparation techniques?
Can the caterer accommodate for the Islamic restricted diet? A creative caterer should be able to develop a unique and interesting menu without certain meats and drinks.
Does the menu offer options for people with other dietary requirements? As with any event, vegan and vegetarian guests will require some extra thought.
Can the caterer provide a list of ingredients for each meal? Guests will appreciate it if this is clearly printed on the menu.
• Ask for menu input
Your caterer will of course be able to provide some delicious menu ideas, but don’t be afraid to ask guests for their input. A fun way to find out your guests favorite halal meal is to ask them on their individual RSVP cards. When the RSVP cards are returned, you and your caterer will have an idea of what kinds of foods your guests are expecting and would love to eat during the event. This is where a skilled and flexible caterer is essential – given a reasonable time frame; they should be able to adapt the menu to incorporate new ideas and requests.
No matter what your requirements for event or business catering ensure you put it in the hands of the experts with halal catering.
Avenue catering provides certified halal ingredients to prepare authentic halal catering cuisine.