How to Make a Budget-Friendly Charcuterie Plate

Charcuterie is a great dish for any occasion. Whether you are entertaining a few friends, or catering for a large party, charcuterie is always a crowd pleaser. It has something for everyone, and allows guests to indulge in small delicacies that they would otherwise pass up at the gourmet grocery store. Although charcuterie’s can be made into endless combinations, the price tags for the bits and pieces can easily add up.

For this reason, many hosts and hostesses forgo a charcuterie plate altogether, and opt for a simpler fruit and vegetable plate instead. But there are affordable ways to pull off the perfect charcuterie if you just use our guide below! Continue reading to learn some fun, budget-friendly charcuterie ideas and tips.

What is Charcuterie?

A charcuterie plate, or board, is simply a diverse spread of gourmet or artisanal meats, cheese, breads, condiments, vegetables, and more. The ways to prepare a charcuterie plate are infinite, and do not have to include all of the above-mentioned food groups. You can choose to be as creative as you like, using any combination of any finger foods imaginable. A good range is 3 to 5 ingredients, at least. You can use a serving tray, wood cutting board, or other fancy flatware. Gain ideas by choosing a theme, items in season, non-regional selections, or simply your favorite things to eat!

There are, however, a few helpful rules to follow when preparing a charcuterie plate. For instance, in terms of meat, be sure to have 2 ounces of meat per person. If you are catering to a large crowd, increase the weight to 5 ounces per person. And be sure to serve more bread for larger crowds, especially if the charcuterie is the main food attraction. Also, keep a good ratio of salty, sweet, and sour for a diverse and multi-layered gastro-experience. This ensure you have something for everyone too!

Considerations for Charcuterie:

• Olives
• Nuts
• Small pickles
• Preserves and jams
• Spices and brown sugar
• Ground mustard
• Pate
• Cheese
• Smoked Sausage
• Salami and pepperoni
• Fruit
• Crackers and bread
• Olive oil

You don’t have to visit the local gourmet grocers to make a great charcuterie plate either. Your neighborhood Kroger or March is sure to have a special section that offers a wide range of home-made, artisanal, gourmet foods. Typically, this section is found in the deli or produce areas. Here you will find better deals for all these fantastic foods. And don’t forget to pair it with the perfect cocktail, beer, or wine! Look below for a guide to the perfect (and affordable) charcuterie board!

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Indianapolis Catering 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for professional cocktail party catering in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of catering services, packages, options, and more. Choose from corporate catering and box lunches, to large-spread wedding catering, wait staff, beverage service, and much more! Or simply cater your next birthday or holiday party! Call us today at 317-842-5879 for information about our Indianapolis catering services, prices, and availability.

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Top Reasons to Hire Professional Caterers for Special Occasions

Whether it is a business meeting, open house, wedding, Bar Mitzvah, or another similar ceremony or occasion, food is generally expected by guests and clientele. This expectation leaves a party planner with three options; either they can prepare the food themselves, suggest a “pot luck” approach that requests guests to bring a dish of their own to contribute, or to outsource professional catering services. The first two options are not bad ideas, per say; however, they are not typically considered a sophisticated and tasteful dining selection for special occasions. Those options are great for backyard barbecues and family picnics; not for weddings, corporate meetings, and other elegant gatherings, congregations, and assemblies. Continue reading to learn the top three distinctive reasons why a person should hire professional caterers for any upcoming special occasion or ceremony.

Outsourced Catering Saves Time and Reduces Stress

Every detail of the preparation, presentation, menu, serving, and more are all thought out and taken care of by the professional catering company. Not having to waste time considering all of these details can truly reduce the stress and pressure a person can feel when planning a large event. Professional caters are extensively experienced in controlling the entire food process; from menu options to serving staffs.

Not only do they care for all the food planning and preparation, caters bring their own supplies, equipment, and often times, linens. This means napkins, utensils, plate ware, glasses, table cloths, condiments, serving dishes, and more are all provided by the catering service. Not only does this save loads of time and energy, it can save money as well. Purchasing all these items for one event can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. By outsourcing a catering company, they bring their own supplies and you do not waste money on items you will only need for one day or night.

Professional Serving Staffs

Not only does having a professional serving staff scream elegance, it cares for many aspects of the catering job. For example, all catering servers are highly trained waiters and waitresses that have extensive experience in banquet-style serving. They come in full uniform, cleaned and pressed. They are there to cater to every guest’s needs; from refilling drinks to serving course after course, clearing, re-stocking salad bars and serving dishes, and much more. Also, they are there to ensure there is enough food for everyone, and that everyone gets a hot plate no matter what happens.

These staffs also handle cleanups. They remain after the gathering and cleanup dishes, pre-bus tables, remove dirty linens, replace chairs and tables to their original locations, break down serving stations, vacuum, dust, spot clean, and again, much more. Not having to wash dishes and cleanup after a party is a reason in itself to hire professional caterers for special occasions. We can make that reason number three!

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Indianapolis Catering 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for more information about professional catering services in Indianapolis, today. We have been serving Hoosiers with elegant and professional catering for more than 40 years! Our Indianapolis catering company provides a wide selection of packages, menus, themes, and services for all races, religions, and ethnicities. You can trust that your planned occasion is in the most experienced and capable hands when it comes to special event catering in Indianapolis, IN.

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Safety Precautions to Consider When Preparing Food for Large Crowds

Preparing meals, snacks, buffets, or beverages for a large crowd is a big job to take on. It is time consuming and requires a large amount of planning. This does not mean that it is impossible. Many caterers, professionals and non-professionals, prepare these size portions every day. There is quite a difference in preparing food for a small crowd versus a large one. Majority rules apply, and generic standards have to be incorporated to suit everyone’s palate.

Clean Catering

The first rule of thumb when it comes to large scale food preparation is cleanliness. Washing hands, sanitizing cooking stations and surfaces, cleaning and sanitizing dishes, and separating the two from raw and uncooked foods is crucial to safe catering.

Washing hands eliminates the potential for spreading germs and illnesses through food. Our hands touch our faces over 1000 times a day! When serving a large crowd, you never know who is more vulnerable to illness and who is not. Keeping your hands clean while preparing food avoids spreading the flu or a virus through food and possibly infecting hundreds of people.

Sanitizing all cooking stations, cookware, dishes, and utensils is also a very important component to safe catering. It is necessary to be sure all skillets are clean and dry, and anything else that contributes to the preparation of food is checked. Dishes have to be cleaned and dried and utensils need to be clean as well. It is a good idea to avoid plastic utensils to help the environment! By having all these items clean and functioning properly, it avoids contamination and the spread of food-borne illnesses.

Fresh Foods

Double checking the food inventory for spoiled or contaminated products is important before preparing food for large crowds. It is possible that a stray animal or insect can gain access to food products during the commute to the venue or store. Fresh food is key to safe cooking and dining. Other than food freshness, it is necessary to ensure that deep fryers have fresh oil in them and coolers and refrigerators are working and maintaining the fresh food properly.

Preparing food for a large crowd including children requires some extra attention. Since it is such a large crowd, applying majority rules as far as taste preferences is important. Pleasing children’s’ palates can be achieved by using few and simple ingredients. Kids are picky eaters so easy finger foods are a great way to keep kids entertained while eating, and gives the adults a break from having to feed them! As far as safety, eliminating potential for bones or other choking hazards in kids’ food is crucial. Drumsticks should be replaced with chicken fingers, and apple slices with applesauce. Small ideas like these are safe meals for children in large crowds.

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Indianapolis Catering 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for professional Indianapolis catering services at an affordable cost. We are a family owned and operated business that has grown into the large-scale catering company we are today as a result of our passion for quality, customer service, and integrity. We have been providing expert catering services for over 40 years here in Indiana! With a variety of menus and hundreds of employees, Jug’s Catering can cater any type or size event imaginable! Call 317-842-5879 to learn more about how to cater a large event in Indianapolis, IN.

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Safely Serving Alcohol for Large Group Catering Events

Catering is a wonderful amenity to share among friends at any celebration. There is much to think about when planning a large group catering event, especially with the addition of alcohol services. Alcohol is a great tool at social and corporate get-togethers and events. It reduces shyness and allows people to loosen up and socialize more. It helps people make connections with others while dropping their guard. It is a great perk to have at any social gathering. However, there are many safety precautions that are useful to know before planning a large group catering event with alcohol services.

Professional Alcohol Service

Alcohol is the center piece, so to say, in most catered soirees. Without the alcohol, it is just not a party. To guests, alcohol service looks simple and easy, but the truth is, responsibility is a huge key item in the process of serving alcohol at a public or private event. See, there are by-law and liability issues that most are unaware of, or neglect to consider prior to planning a catering event with liquor service. Catering companies are tied by very strict guidelines, so in actuality, there is a lot of work and planning for just this one element of your party.

Guest safety is the most important responsibility the host and catering company have. There are several ways a host or catering company can get in trouble with alcohol at their event when it comes to the safety of the guests. Here are some examples:

Serving Minors

Along with guest safety, comes safety and protection for minors. There are laws pertaining to the drinking age, different state by state, but here in Indiana, the legal consumption age is 21 years old. It is important to make sure the staff serving the alcohol understands minors will be attending the event, and to I.D. anyone who appears under the age of 35. If a minor is served alcohol, not only will the host be given a citation to appear in court and face fees, fines, and possible jail time, but the catering company will be cited as well, which can result in a loss of their liquor license and fines. It is important to be aware of the children and minors at any event, and to protect them from harm.

There are different strategies that have been implemented in the past that make it easier to identify minors versus legal drinkers at a large event. For example, a designated person or persons can ask to see photo I.D. of everyone at the door before allowing entry onto the premises. Everyone of age will get a plastic snap-lock wrist band, marking them as legal drinkers. For minors, a large black X on both hands in permanent marker and no wrist band. This is a quick method for bartenders and caterers to identify who can drink alcohol and who can’t, without the hassle of asking everyone to pull out their wallets with their photo ID every time they approach the bar. There are flaws in the strategy to be aware of as well. Teenagers are tricky, and they can sometimes find a way to rub the black X’s off their hands or tape a used wrist band back together, to appear legal. This is a precaution to warn the catering company about, as well as the guests of children, before the party begins.


Over consumption of alcohol is no stranger to anyone who has attended college, a football game, or a night club. We have all seen the results of over drinking, and most of the time, it is not pretty. One way for caterers to protect themselves, as well as the host or client, is to hire a “Serving It Right” staff. This is basically any staff that has had formal training in responsible alcohol service. By doing this, a huge burden is released from the hosts’ shoulders, knowing that everyone on staff is on the same page and understands how to handle alcohol related serving situations. They can notify the host if anyone has reached their limit and needs to be “cut off” from alcohol service. The catering company and its servers are there to protect both the host and their guests from over consumption and possibly hurting themselves or others. They are always the “sober” ones at events, and their judgment is always unimpaired.


If a guest has become intoxicated as a result of over serving at a catered event and then gets injured or injures someone else at an event or after leaving the event, the caterers, catering company, bartenders, and even the host will all share the liability if the accident results in a lawsuit. This has happened in the past, but is nothing to be concerned about if all necessary precautions and arrangements are made prior to the party. As long as everyone involved in putting together the event understands the responsibility they hold when serving alcohol at an event, the party should run smoothly every time.

Food Born Illness

This blog is about alcohol service at large catering events, so we will skip the actual “food” part, and concentrate on illnesses possibly contracted through improper bar preparation and service. There are many ways illnesses can be spread through the bar portion of any catered event. It is important for the bartender and catering company to check all expiration dates on juices and mixers, as well as check for any possible cross contamination that may have occurred somewhere along the way. These kinds of contaminants can be very harmful to people. Expired juices and contaminated blends can make a person very sick. It is the hosts’ responsibility to ask the caterers to double check for these potential dangers. They especially do not want a child drinking one of the expired juices, and have to make a hospital visit to treat food poisoning.

Catering companies can provide fabulous alcohol services for events and parties, but providing these services is a careful and meticulous process when it comes to serving alcohol. Be sure to have all the proper knowledge before serving that first glass of wine at any event.

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Catering Company 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for professional alcohol catering services in Indianapolis, and its surrounding counties. We are family owned and operated, and have been in business for more than 40 years here in Indianapolis. Our staffs are highly trained and fully-equipped to cater events up to 75,000 guests! We are the professional catering company in Indianapolis to trust for flawless and memorable catering service for your planned event.

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How to Cater a Safe Family Picnic

Summer picnics are a fantastic way to spend time outdoors with the people you love most. And to honor the privilege of keeping such good company, it is important to plan a safe picnic experience for everyone. Proper planning and preparation ensures your picnic will be both memorable and fun! Continue reading for picnic catering tips you can use for your next family day!

Picnic Catering Tips

When it comes to planning a picnic, the first step involves selecting a menu. Choose summer fresh foods like ripe fruits and crispy vegetables. These are perfect for hot summer days because they fuel you with energy rather than weigh you down, allowing the family to stay active and enjoy the day together. Also consider whole-grains and lots of protein-packed courses: like black bean salads or club sandwiches.

The second step is selecting a location. Be sure to choose an area with access to trashcans with lids, fresh running water, public restrooms, shady areas, clean grilling space, and tables. If you prefer a more relaxed version of picnicking without restrooms and tables, great! But the other commodities should really be sought after in terms of picnic location.

The third step to planning a safe and enjoyable picnic is to follow the rest of the picnic catering tips below. And the first tip is to start the picnic planning process a few days in advance to coordinate the perfect family occasion. Here are some more tips for picnic catering and planning:

• Always wash your hands before, during, and after handling food.
• Pre-season and pre-patty burgers and raw meat before packing them.
• Do not thaw your meat on the counter at room temperature. Either thaw overnight in the fridge or cook from frozen.
• Keep raw food and prepared food in separate coolers. Keep drinks in a third cooler.
• Keep all raw or cold food under ice, not on top.
• NEVER leave food outside exposed to sun for more than 2 hours. Bring lids to cover dishes on the table.
• Be sure all raw meat is cooked to temperature. Bring a meat thermometer to check.
• Be sure to pack and plan for plenty of ice. Better yet, take a separate cooler just for clean ice.
• Bring enough utensils for cooking and dining. This includes plates and cups.
• Bring plenty of drinking water for each person attending.
• Pack a big umbrella for extra shade on the ground.
• Pack a few blankets to sit on the ground, and a tablecloth for any picnic tables.
• Pack a first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen, and a fire extinguisher.
• Always pack hand soap and clean towels for hand-washing and cleaning.
• Immediately pack up and put away unused food or leftovers. Throw away any contaminated or over-exposed food. If in doubt, throw it out!
• ALWAYS clean up the picnic site when done.

For those who have a large-scale picnic coming up, perhaps a family reunion or corporate luncheon, call a professional catering company for affordable and flawless outdoor catering services.

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for outdoor catering services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide a wide selection of catering services for private, public, work-related, and personal events. Choose from endless menu and service selections, catering options, and more. Call 317-842-5879 for more information about large-event catering in Indianapolis, IN today.

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Tips for Catering Corporate Picnics

Sun and warm weather makes for a perfect summer picnic. Picnics are a great way for corporate businesses to give back to their employees and show their gratitude for all their stead-fast hard work. If you are in charge of planning your company’s annual picnic lunch, be sure to review some helpful hints before getting started. These tips can save time, money, and avoid hassles all at once! Continue reading for tips on catering a corporate picnic this summer.

Picnic Catering Tips

One of the first things to think about when it comes to planning a large-scale picnic is guest comfort. Consider a bug-proofing strategy to protect guests and food. This can include mosquito net tents, food covers, citronella candles and repellant devices, bug spray, and more. Create a large enough perimeter around the estimated picnic area with these devices to prevent pest interference. A trick to prevent yellow jackets from hovering over your meat entrees, hand a few strips far from the picnic area and out of reach of pets and children. This will distract them, keeping them away from the food and guests.

Another aspect of guest comfort is temperature. If it is predicted to be a sunny or hot day, it is wise to use tents, umbrellas, and blankets to protect from sunburn and overheating. Grass can get hot, hence the blankets, and umbrellas are perfect for shade-on-the-spot. Tents can protect food from spoiling in the sun. With this comes another quick picnic planning tip: never allow condiments and dairy-based foods to sit in hot sun, as this can cause food-borne illnesses and digestive discomfort.

It is important to know who you are feeding. A group of hardened loggers might love a lunch of hearty meats and potatoes, while a company of mostly women might prefer a lighter lunch cuisine. And on the other hand, a company that focuses on nutrition and healthy lifestyles probably wouldn’t want to eat a cuisine of heavy fried foods and desserts. Choose a menu that is pleasing for party.

If you are planning on a corporate budget, stick to chicken, beef, and pulled pork, and skip the hamburgers and hot dogs. After you add-up all the costs of condiments and ingredients needed to serve them, you will find that it is actually cheaper, contrary to popular belief.

Choose a nice location that will be appropriate for any activities you have planned. Yes, you should have some activities planned as well to promote teamwork and co-worker morale. A few to consider include potato sack races, horse shoe, corn hole, or volleyball. You can also choose a fundraising activity like dunking the boss in a tank of water for charity.

Jug’s Catering

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for corporate catering services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of corporate catering services, including office catering, corporate event catering, large-group catering, and private catering services! Call 317-842-5879 to learn more about our Indianapolis catering services and packages, today.

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How to Cater Alcohol for Any Event

Choosing the right catering company is the first step to successfully serving alcohol and food at a private or corporate event. They retain the proper licenses, permits, training, and resources to responsibly and legally service alcohol at a party. Once the caterers are chosen, there are still a few more steps to take when it comes to serving alcohol for a large group event or celebration. Here are some topics to consider when putting a plan together:

• Estimate Head Count
• Determine the Budget
• Set a Time and Date
• Choose a Location
• Determine the Theme (optional)

Once these topics have been fully discussed and agreed upon, the fun can begin! Choosing the alcohol selections, pairings, and service-style for an event is always the exciting and best part to planning a party! You can be as creative as you like, and choose from an infinite assortment of liquors, sherries, beers, wines, champagnes, and more! Here is a basic guide to choosing professional alcohol service that’s right for your special event or gathering:

Type of Bar

What type of bar do you want available to guests at your event? One doesn’t usually realize there are a few different ways to cater alcohol at parties. Examples:

Beer and Wine Bar – These bars will only serve choice beers and wines picked out by the host, you, or organizer of the event. This is a more economical choice if the budget is slim but alcohol is a must for your event.

Full Bar – This is the pricier option, but the more fun option, none-the-less. This bar gives you all the advantages of a real bar in an actual restaurant or club. They serve everything from margaritas to Manhattans.

Dry Bar – This is the cheapest option for your large group catering event, because it means there is NO BAR. This is more prevalent for school and church functions.

Number of Bars

Most catering companies recommend setting up a bar for every 75 to 100 guests, with the idea of having one bartender for every 75 guests. This is just a recommendation and is not mandatory, but if you want effective bar service at your event, it is suggested to have a sufficient amount of bartenders or bars. This will reduce traffic at the bars as well as long lines.

Payment Options for the Bar

There are three options to consider when planning a large group catering event in Indianapolis. These options are:

Host Bar – This is a scenario in which the host, that’s you, pays for all the drinks for the night. This is often referred to as an “open bar” to guests. This can be paid for by the drink, by the bottle, by the hour, or by the person. This all depends on your preference as well as what the catering company offers.

Cash Bar – This is a situation in which guests pay for their own drinks. A cash bar is also called a no-host bar.

Cash Bar with Tickets – This is when the host, you, passes out drink vouchers to guests, who in turn, use them as currency for drinks. Once the vouchers are gone, guests are responsible to pay for their own drinks the remainder of the night.

Deciding among the three options depends on the occasion, style, and budget of your party or event. It is often times perceived as “tacky” to have a cash bar at an event such as a wedding reception. It is considered poor etiquette. As far as budget, a cash bar would be the least expensive option because you only have to pay the company providing the service, not the service itself.

Bar Budget

If budget is in question, and you want an open bar, there are a few ways to save money. For example, it is common for the host to put a time limit on the open bar. So drinks are free for a few hours, then the rest of the evening guests are required to pay for their drinks. Also, another way is to allow beer and wine to be free but require guests to pay for any other type of cocktails or hard liquor. Another common practice to save money on an open bar is to put a “cap” on the amount spent on the open bar. So the host can tell the bartender or catering company to serve cocktails for free until the cost reaches $1000, and from there, the guests are required to purchase their own drinks.

In all, planning a large group catering event can be a tedious process but always well worth the time put into it! Hiring the right catering company is the key to a smooth and effective catered evening. It isn’t as easy as it may look so leave it to a professional to handle the details. A professional experienced Indianapolis catering company is the root to a successful catered party or event.

Jug’s Catering

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana

Catering Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-842-5879

Call Jug’s Catering at 317-842-5879 for superior catering services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our caterers are highly trained professionals with extensive experience in food service and catering. We are fervently dedicated to providing the most professional and delicious catering services at the most competitive prices in town. We service all races, ethnicities, and religions, as well as, cater all types of events and occasions imaginable. Call for free estimates, information, and advice the next time you need professional career caterers in Indianapolis, IN.

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