Catering for a Wake
- Catering Responsibility
- Number of Guests
- Quantity and Style of Food
- Finger Food
- Experienced Staff
Here is some advice we hope is helpful.
Our first piece of catering advice for a Memorial Service: delegate. When someone you trust says 'is there anything I can do to help?', ask them to organise the wake, or at least the catering for the wake. The grieving person is in no condition to be making decisions and the catering mishaps we've seen at wakes are invariably where the grieving person has been responsible. We've attended wakes where two caterers have shown up; we've attended where nobody has arranged the glasses and we've been sent to the wrong address.
Ask the helper to give you a one page outline of what they plan to do before they commit to anything and if you're happy with what they plan, let them go ahead and arrange it. The one-pager should include budgeted cost, name and background of the caterer and confirmation that they're available to do the function.
Have you found such a person? They may be interested in viewing this web page.
Number of Guests
Usually people have no idea how many will attend a Memorial Service but an experienced caterer will be able to make an estimate based on prior experience.
Quantity and Style of Food
If the bereaved is now living by themselves, they are likely not to feel up to cooking in the days after the Funeral Service. Food left over from the wake often feeds the bereaved for a number of days afterwards. A good caterer will know this and recommend food that keeps well. Typically, seafood and sandwiches would be avoided. Meatballs and other beef dishes, like stroganoff, are good choices.
You do you want people to mix at a wake; the advantage of Finger Food is that it encourages people to move around. Buffet service is an alternative if you plan to seat all the guests.
The wakes we have seen that are most 'successful' are those that celebrate in some way the personality of the deceased while retaining the dignity of the occasion. Consider the defining interests and character of that person. In some cases it may be appropriate to allow people to give that some expression at the wake. For example, did the deceased love a particular type of music or closely follow a particular football team? You can invite guests to wear the colours of the team. Did they love a particular colour or a particular country? Guests could be invited to wear the colour or the food could be themed for the country. Did they love sailing? Have a favourite drink? Look for a symbol of the person to include in the wake that will encourage people to share memories.
Make sure your caterer has presentation standards for staff (some don't) and ask if all staff members have previously worked at a wake. It's a sensitive occasion and you want mature people who have been properly trained.
If your wake is to be held anywhere in Perth or Fremantle you are welcome to call Santino Galati to discuss your requirements before you make any commitments. If you'd prefer to get an indication of food choices and costs beforehand, use our online ordering system in which case you'll receive a phone call after you've chosen the food.