Lunch Catering Ideas

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Whether you’re hosting a simple business lunch or something more elaborate, there are plenty of ways to make sure your catering is the talk of the town.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Types of Lunch Catering

Buffet Style

The buffet is a fantastic option if you’re striving to achieve a laid-back vibe that encourages social mingling and active participation.

It’s ideal for settings like garden parties, business meetups, wedding receptions, and other large gatherings.

What sets buffet style apart is the expansive smorgasbord of appetizing selections for guests. Not only does this offer a unique blend of various cuisines and food genres to cater to diverse tastes, but it also allows guests to manage portion sizes according to their appetite.

Plated Service

If you’re steering towards a formal and polished ambiance, a plated service might be the ideal choice. It’s frequently favored for gala dinners, celebrated banquets, or award ceremonies.

This type of service exudes a sense of sophistication and elegance, since each dish is carefully prepared and beautifully presented.

Boxed Lunches

Is speed and efficiency your motive? Boxed lunches are a convenient, no-frills option. Especially appropriate for corporate events such as meetings or team-building outings, where time-saving is key.

Each lunch box is prepackaged with a collection of balanced food items, often a sandwich or wrap, a side like chips or fruit, and a dessert, meaning there is no waiting time for food service.

Food Stations

If the idea of a traditional buffet doesn’t strike your fancy, why not opt for a more interactive and customized experience with food stations?

These work well for social events like cocktail receptions, corporate parties, or charity fundraisers.

Every station can feature a different culinary theme, allowing guests to experience a variety of cuisines.

Family Style

To evoke a sense of hospitality, belonging, and unity, a family-style catering arrangement could be ideal.

Well-suited to community gatherings, casual weddings, or holiday parties, guests are seated at communal tables where dishes are passed around, creating an intimate and warm atmosphere.

Lunch Catering Menu Ideas by Cuisine

American Cuisine

American fare is diverse and expansive, often evoking nostalgia and comfort. For an appetizer, consider miniature versions of classic sandwiches, such as sliders with smoked beef brisket or turkey and cranberry.

Mains could range from ever-popular staples like BBQ ribs, a juicy roast chicken, or a low-country seafood boil, highlighting regional flavors.

To cater to the sweet tooth, offer a selection of desserts like apple pie, Mississippi mud pie, or a build-your-own cheesecake bar that can certainly whip up some excitement.

Asian Cuisine

Asian menus offer an exotic blend of flavors, emphasizing balance, variety, and harmony. Start with appetizers like sushi rolls, satay skewers, or crispy spring rolls.

Main dishes might echo distinctive national plates such as Filipino adobo, Thai green curry, or Japanese ramen.

As a sweet finale, serve up desserts like mango sticky rice, matcha ice cream, or Chinese almond jelly. Don’t forget to include a selection of authentic teas or sake for a truly immersive experience.

Mediterranean Cuisine

For a Mediterranean-themed menu, look for a wealth of health-conscious options that are as flavorful as they are colorful.

Begin with mezze platters offering a spread of feta cheese, hummus, olives, and pita bread. For main courses, consider Greek Moussaka, Spanish paella, or an Italian Caprese salad.

Round off the meal with a dessert such as baklava, panna cotta, or a refreshing sorbet.

Mexican Cuisine

Spice up your event with the lively flavors of Mexican cuisine. Start with an interactive nacho bar or mini tacos for appetizers.

Main dishes could be a build-your-own burrito station, enchiladas, or chiles rellenos.

For dessert, consider churros with chocolate dipping sauce or a traditional flan. Don’t forget to include a dedicated station for refreshing beverages like margaritas or agua frescas to quench the heat.


Surprise your guests with the richness of vegetarian and vegan options. Appetizers could include roasted vegetable skewers or stuffed mushroom caps.

Mains could range from a hearty lentil shepherd’s pie to stuffed bell peppers. End the feast with delectable vegan desserts like dairy-free cheesecake or chocolate avocado mousse.

Consider a smoothie bar or a selection of herbal teas for the perfect vegan-friendly accompaniment. Bear in mind that this option isn’t just for the plant-based, it’s bound to impress all your guests with the depth and breadth of flavors.

Lunch Corporate Catering Ideas

Corporate lunch catering should strike a delicious balance between sophistication, health, and indulgence, essentially using cuisine as a tool to boost productivity. Kick off with shared platters of finger sandwiches, assorted cheeses, and fresh seasonal fruits for a light yet satisfying beginning.

For the main course, offer options such as grilled chicken salad, beef stir-fry, or a hearty pasta, serving both the preference of health-conscious attendees and those desiring comfort food.

Create a separate station for vegetarian or vegan guests, featuring dishes such as quinoa salad or vegetable lasagna. And conclude with a dessert bar featuring both guilt-free and indulgent items, such as fresh fruit skewers alongside chocolate truffles.

In addition, consider an espresso bar to reenergize the attendees during mid-day slump. Or a juice or smoothie bar to offer a refreshing beverage to attendees who do not drink coffee.

Remember, the goal is to keep your corporate guests satiated but not over-stuffed, ensuring they’re ready for the rest of the workday with fueled minds and satisfied palates.

Wrap Up

Impeccable lunch catering is about crafting an unforgettable experience that combines taste, ambiance, and presentation.

From casual buffets to elegant plated services and diverse cuisine options, these ideas cater to a wide range of preferences while ensuring an enjoyable and successful event for all.


  1. Lunch Catering Ideas. (n.d.). Retrieved October from
  2. Top 5 Boxed Lunch Catering Ideas. (2023, May 25). Retrieved from
  3. Our Favorite Catering Lunch Ideas For the Office. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. 20 Lunch Company Catering Ideas For Your Office. (2021, October 27). Retrieved from


  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

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