top of page

Catering a Picnic

Who doesn’t love a nice summer picnic? Catering a picnic luncheon or event requires you to step outside the routine of catering for traditional indoor events. You will have to consider the venue, weather, and menu for the picnic and plan ahead. Outdoor dining and events have become popular amongst consumers in the past couple of years and continue to be a trend. Although a picnic seems like it may be easier to navigate due to the casual nature of them, there are still a few things to think about for your next picnic, when it comes to food! If you are big into catering picnics this summer season, below are some helpful ideas to get you started on picnic-friendly catering.

Choose a Theme

A picnic itself may be considered a theme to some, but of course there are hundreds of other themes that may be of interest to others. Some people may want anything from around the world, lemonade bar, sports themes, tea party or BBQ inspired picnics. Picking a theme will help narrow down the venue and menu options quicker and will set the vibe of the event! Be sure to search around for catering that has options to match your theme or that will work with you to customize the event to your needs!

Pick Outdoor Friendly Foods

Since picnics are outdoor gatherings and the food will most likely be sitting out in the hot sun or humidity, you will want to pick foods that won't spoil or melt in the heat. Most people will want foods that are cold or handheld and easy to enjoy outdoors. That way they will travel easier and stay fresh longer too! Some suggestions for cold menu items and finger foods are: Wings, skewers, sandwiches, pasta salads, potato salads, and cold desserts. You may consider offering personalized portions instead of a buffet-style meal, and handheld foods are perfect for that kind of lunch!

Consider the Venue

If you’re planning an outdoor picnic, make sure to do your research on the outdoor space and maybe even scope it out. This is especially important if you are planning a buffet-style picnic. You will need an area with enough room for a table or tables for the catered food and preferably in the shade. If you are having hot food, make sure there’s plenty of space for chafing dishes too. You will also want to ensure that after guests have gotten their food, there is space for them to sit and enjoy themselves for the remainder of the event. Pro-tip, always prepare for wind. You don’t want your bag lunches, chips or napkins blowing away in the wind, so preparing for it ahead of time will save some stress during the event.

How We Can Help

For summer, Milk Street Café has created a menu with three picnic inspired meals that come served cold, perfect for your next picnic event. Easily order for any number of people and have a well-rounded meal that is stress free in the outdoors setting. Our cold picnic meals include:

  • A Day at the Beach: Bone in fried chicken with dijon potato salad and a watermelon slice.

  • Beat the Heat: Chilled rice stick noodle bowl with lemongrass, snow peas, red peppers, ginger, and sprouts. Served with a berry compote dessert.

  • Sunset Basket: Grilled Tuscan Steak, panzanella steak and a dairy-free cannoli.

If you aren’t thinking family style and want something more grab and go style, our tote bag lunches are the solution. Tote bags come with a sandwich or salad of your choosing and include chips, drinks, and cookies and brownies perfectly packaged for one! Of course, if none of these are catching your eye, we have a full summer menu with dishes like fried zucchini, watermelon bites topped with mint marinated feta, or a cucumber canape with beet hummus and more. Download our full summer menu here or visit our catering site to plan the perfect summer picnic!

watermelon cupcake, creamsicle cupcake, blueberry almond cupcake
Summer Cupcakes


bottom of page