5 Finger Food Options To Have on Your Catering Menu for Summer

Goodman Fielder Food Service
5 Finger Food Options To Have on Your Catering Menu for Summer

5 Finger Food Options To Have on Your Catering Menu for Summer

Posted on 9th October 2019
As the warmer, busier months approach venues and catering businesses are busy adding trending concept of canapés to their menus. Find out what's trending now.


It wasn’t too long ago when finger food was frowned upon by customers who held the perception that it simply consisted of meat pies, sausage rolls, miniature frankfurts and chicken wings. But fast forward to today and the canapé concept is making a stylish and luxurious comeback, just in time for summer.

These days, more venues and catering businesses are adding the trending concept of canapés to their menus thanks to its versatile ability. Its no-mess and simple-to-serve capability has also proven to be a positive win for chefs and caterers, as well as generating less waste.

After being in the market for decades, the trusted finger food menu has received a shake up and transformed into a tasty foodie delight, with options that cater for all tastebuds. To help you prepare for the busy season, we uncovered the five biggest trends taking over traditional canapé menus this summer.

1. Croquettes:

Image shows golden fried croquettes next to sauce

Typically, a croquette contains cheese and mash potato covered in breadcrumbs and is deep fried to perfection, generating a golden crust. It is renowned as a fast food option, but recently the once bland and average dish has been transformed into a gourmet delight, thanks to the incorporation of fresh, new ingredients. Broccoli croquettes served with a tangy blue cheese dipping sauce are beginning to pop up on menus across the country, as well as bacon and mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes with a side of tomato relish. The easy-to-eat Spanish influenced Jamon and manchego croquettes have also risen in popularity, thanks to its creamy, cheesy filling. Along with their golden, crunchy shell, croquettes can also be served with a vast range of sauces, such as sweet chilli, tomato and coriander relish and sumac mayonnaise. Meaning your customers can ensure each dip and bite takes them on a different flavoursome journey.

2. Wraps:

Photo shows four wraps, each with different fillings

They’re considered the perfect option for lunch or daytime events, thanks to their ability of being easily customisable when it comes to fillings – that’s why wraps are making a comeback but now for all type of events. Wraps are faultless, not only for chefs who need a quick and easy-to-assemble offering, but for clients who are trying to stick to a tight budget. Despite what the budget may be, wraps can be built with premium ingredients such as aioli, premium egg mayonnaise or homemade relish. They can also be completed with smoked cheeses, a selection of cured meats and fresh garden produce. Head chef from The Catering Project, Emma Bradford explained to Goodman Fielder Food Service, wraps have remained popular amongst customers due to the perception that they are a healthier alternative. “When you look at a wrap, you look at the fillings verses the bread,” she explained. “Wraps are heavy on protein and salads, all bunched in there [in-between] a really thin piece of bread. Whereas with a sandwich you have these two big fluffy pieces of bread and then a little bit of filling.” To ensure they are keeping up with the trend, the catering business offer their customers a range of wrap and filling options. From a green wrap with falafel, hummus, tabouleh and baby spinach to a white wrap with egg toasted cumin, nigella seeds, mayonnaise, green shallots and spices – there is something for everyone.

3. Meatballs

Image shows meatballs covered with sauce and with toothpicks

Meatballs are usually associated with a big bowl of pasta but these days the ever-so-tasty menu item is making appearances on serving platters at many events. Miniature meatballs have grown in popularity in recent months, with catering businesses now including them on menus with the simple serving option of toothpicks. Usually made from either pork or beef, the flavours come to life with the use of spices (garam masala, paprika or cayenne pepper and cumin – for example) and mint. Though when it comes to all-time favourite, Vietnamese pork meatballs, they are packed with the flavours of ginger, fish sauce and mint; bringing the true taste of Asia to life.

4. Quiche and tarts

Five different tarts on a plate are pictured

Quiche and tarts are perfect for every event; whether it’s dinner parties, conferences, private functions or even weddings. With their small shape and minimal mess, they are also a great addition thanks to their flexibility with flavours and ingredients. From the use of basic ingredients like basil and cherry tomatoes or caramelised onions to using extravagant options such as salmon, dill and fennel – your options when it comes to quiches and tarts are endless. Over at The Catering Project they have taken the trend to the next level, providing customers with four varieties of quiches, seven savoury tarts and five sweet tart options. Chef Emma credited the goods versatility  as a big selling point. She explained quiches and tarts are “some of our best-selling items” when it comes to catering events “because they are a hand-held item”. Chef Emma said: “Being a one-hand item really makes a difference…you can stand there with your drink and you don’t have to juggle things.”

5. Miniature desserts

Image shows mini desserts on a serving platter

When it comes to dessert options, having a collection of sweets available to customers is important as it provides consumers to try more than one option of what is available. These days, everything from small bite-sized cheesecakes, chocolate brownies, salted caramel tarts, meringue pies, lemon curd tarts and even cupcakes are making their way onto canapé menus (especially during the busy festive season). Chef Emma revealed she offers customers a range of pastry options, as well a fresh fruit as part of their dessert selection. From mini chocolate muffins and cinnamon Danishes, as well as pastries filled with Nutella crème, chocolate soil and milk chocolate or raspberry mascarpone with dark chocolate, the options of turning a dessert into a canapé option are endless.


Canapé menus that offer everything from sweet and savoury are growing in popularity. These days, finger food options don’t have to be boring and old fashioned. They can be reinvented, tasty and fun. Now is the time to spice up your offering with miniature meatballs, a range of different wraps and a never-ending assortment of tasty, bite-sized desserts. With canapé menus becoming socially accepted at a range of events, now is the time to steer clear of the traditional meat pies and sausage rolls and experiment with bigger, better and more appealing offerings.

Related Ideas

10th March 2023

The Rise Of Plant-Based Products And Why It's Time You Jumped On The Bandwagon

The demand for plant-based products is on the rise within the Australian food service market. So, how up-to-date is your menu offering?
19th February 2022

The 7 Biggest Food Trends From the Past Decade

The 2010s was a big year for food - check out some of the biggest food trends from the past decade and whether they are still relevant to your menu planning today.
17th December 2021

Your Practical Guide to Crafting Better Bread Recipes

Bread has been a staple of the human diet for millennia, its popularity rising and falling with different trends and recipes. It was the ancient Egyptians, for instance, who came up with today’s coveted sourdough. But while their method of cooking in clay pots has stood the test of time, the same can’t be said of the ancient Greeks’ penchant for dipping bread in wine for breakfast.

More ideas

Women in hospitality: How Claire Van Vuuren and Lisa Margan became successful chefs and businesswomen

4th April 2023
To celebrate women in hospitality, successful chefs and businesswomen Claire Van Vuuren and Lisa Margan share their stories on reaching the top.

The Importance of Mentorships in Hospitality

25th March 2023
The hospitality industry is changing at a pace we have never seen before. To make these challenging times slightly easier, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on mentoring and training the younger generation of chefs to ensure the future of hospitality is stronger than ever before.

How Chefs can Deal with Dietary Requirements in their Kitchen

21st March 2023
One of the key issues that many chefs face in dealing with dietary requirements in the kitchen is that it changes the nature of their dish. We spoke to some experts on how they deal with dietary requirements in their kitchens.
Start Getting Fed with Ideas

Be inspired with recipes created by chefs.
Sign up for updates about products, special offers, news and promotional materials from Goodman Fielder.