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?        How Do We Create Our Catering Menu?


Creating a menu for your event is easy if you consider these five things:


1. Budget

2. Type of Service

3. Amount of Food

4. Style of Food

5. Other Considerations





OK, we admit this is not the most fun part of creating your menu, but it is a good place to begin. Delicious food does not have to be expensive! If you start off by giving us your per person budget or overall budget, we can help you create a menu that will match your style that is within your price point.

Different catering companies have different methods for calculating their cost, so to clarify our method: By default, our “Per Person Cost” includes the food and all of the catering related rental equipment such as the chafers, warmers, serving utensils, appetizer trays, etc. It also includes delivery (anywhere on O’ahu), set-up and break-down as well as trash removal. It does not include other rental items such as the buffet tables and linens, the umbrella and lighting, plates, silverware, etc. You can rent everything you need from Aloha On The Rocks so please let us know if you need anything else. Staffing costs are also calculated separately.





The type of catering service that matches your needs will depend on the guest experience you are aspiring to achieve. 


Tray Passed Appetizers: This service is common at wedding receptions and other events that have a “Happy Hour” or “Cocktail Hour” before the main course. The appetizers are prepared on site and passed by wait staff. The advantage to tray passing appetizers is the level of customized service it provides to you and your guests.


Appetizer Table: An alternative to having your appetizers tray passed by wait staff is to display them on your buffet table during “Happy Hour” instead. The advantage of an Appetizer Table is the value it provides because it requires less staff to facilitate.


Buffet Service:  All of your food will be displayed on a buffet table for your guests to help themselves. Staff will be provided to set up and replenish the buffet table. Buffet Service is the most common and practical way to feed a large group of people.


Food Stations: Sometimes called “Action Stations”, Food Stations create a fun and interactive experience between the chef and the guests. The most common example of a Food Station is a carving station. Food Stations can also be more creative such as our Gourmet Waffle Bar where a chef creates waffles and the guests add their own dessert-style toppings.





You want to give your guests a reasonable amount of options, but too many options will result in a lot of food left over unnecessarily. Here is an easy guideline to follow:

3-4 appetizers; 1-2 Salads, 1-2 Sides; 2-3 Entrees = 7-11 Total Courses


Easier said than done! With so many delicious options to choose from, sometimes the hardest part is not deciding what to have on your menu, but what not to have.  





This is the fun part! We’ve included some of our more popular menu items on the EAT page on our website...


... or you can download a more comprehensive menu         .


Still don’t see what you want? Just ask! We are always happy to refine a menu item or create something from scratch. Have a theme in mind? Let us know and we can develop a menu just for you.


Schedule a Tasting! A tasting is certainly not required, but if you want to meet the chef and see the presentation, this is the best way to do so. Typically a tasting does not include every single item you intend to have on your menu, so our suggestion is to choose 4-6 of your more unique items. Bring a bottle of wine and make it a date! 

And save room for dessert! We have a tempting variety of Decadent Desserts


A few practical questions to ask yourself: Are any of your guests vegetarians? Does anyone have food allergies?





We include the catering related rental items in our “Per Person Cost” but you will also need somewhere to put everything. An outdoor event typically has tables and linens covered by several umbrellas with lighting. Alternatively, you can put the buffet table under the main tent. Of course, indoor events won’t require a tent or umbrella, but you will still need tables or counter space. We can provide all of your rentals. If you are using another rental company, please ask us what we need for the buffet service. 



Once we know the type of services you are looking for and have your menu selections, we can begin to work on the food costs part of your Quote.

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