Chef's Blog

September Socials: Catering Tips for Hosting Outdoor Gatherings

Published August 31st, 2023 by Chef's Catering

September brings with it the promise of cooler temperatures and a touch of autumn in the air, making it the perfect time to host outdoor gatherings. Whether you're planning a backyard barbecue, a garden party, or a company picnic, catering plays a crucial role in ensuring your event is a hit. To help you make the most of this lovely time of year, here are some catering tips for hosting memorable outdoor socials in September.

Embrace Seasonal Flavors

September marks the transition from summer to fall, and it's an excellent opportunity to incorporate seasonal flavors into your menu. Consider dishes featuring ingredients like apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, and figs. These flavors not only taste delicious but also add a touch of autumn charm to your gathering.

Plan for Varied Dietary Preferences

When planning your menu, be mindful of dietary preferences and restrictions. Provide options for guests who may have dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free choices. A well-rounded menu ensures that all your guests can enjoy the feast.

Interactive Food Stations

Add an element of fun and engagement to your outdoor social by including interactive food stations. A build-your-own taco bar, a DIY burger station, or a s'mores-making setup can be a hit with both kids and adults. Interactive stations allow guests to customize their meals, creating a memorable experience.

Beverage Stations

Don't forget the beverages! Set up a beverage station with a variety of options, including water, soft drinks, and seasonal drinks like apple cider or fruit-infused water. If it's an adult gathering, consider offering a selection of wines, beers, or signature cocktails.

Seating and Comfort

Ensure your outdoor space is comfortable for guests. Provide ample seating, including chairs, benches, and picnic blankets. Consider renting tents or umbrellas to offer shade and protection from unexpected weather changes.

Food Safety

Outdoor events require extra attention to food safety. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to prevent foodborne illnesses. Use chafing dishes, ice baths, or coolers to maintain safe temperatures for your dishes.

Eco-Friendly Choices

Consider the environment by using eco-friendly serving ware and utensils. Opt for biodegradable or compostable plates, cups, and cutlery. Encourage guests to recycle and compost by providing clearly labeled bins.

Lighting and Ambiance

If your outdoor social extends into the evening, plan for lighting to create a cozy ambiance. String lights, lanterns, and candles can add a warm and inviting glow to your gathering.


Enhance the enjoyment of your outdoor social with entertainment options. Consider hiring a live band or setting up a playlist of favorite tunes. Yard games like cornhole, giant Jenga, or bocce ball can keep guests entertained.

Professional Catering Services

Last but not least, consider enlisting the services of a professional catering team. Experienced caterers like Chef's Catering can handle all aspects of your outdoor social, from menu planning to setup and cleanup, allowing you to relax and enjoy the event alongside your guests.

With these catering tips in mind, your September outdoor socials will be a resounding success. Whether you're celebrating the arrival of fall or simply savoring the pleasant weather, thoughtful catering and event planning can elevate your gathering to new heights. Cheers to a season filled with memorable outdoor moments!

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