Here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about hiring a catering service for any type of event.
What you are looking for when hiring a catering service will depend on three main things: what type of event you’re hosting, how many guests are attending and what kind of food you want to serve. The more information you can give to your chosen catering company, the more capable they will be of fulfilling your requests, ensuring that your event goes off without a hitch.
What’s the Occasion?
Whether it’s a wedding, an intimate Christmas dinner or a school fete, a good caterer will be able to tailor everything to suit your needs, but they will need to know as much about the event and the venue as possible. Most caterers provide far more than food, so don’t be afraid to ask about furniture, decorations, tableware and even dance-floor hire to make your venue as beautiful and as practical as possible. They’ll also need to know what kitchen equipment will be available to them, so they know what else they may need to bring. Hiring everything from the same company will mean you’re less likely to miss things, and they may even give you a discount if you spend over a certain amount.
How Many Guests?
It’s imperative to give your caterers as exact a figure as you can, because the chances are they are ordering ingredients specifically for you, and with many of the components being prepared in advance, there may well not be enough to feed the extra twenty that didn’t confirm their attendance. If in doubt, round up. Caterers charge per head for food, so it may cost you a little more money, but it’s better than the embarrassment of having hungry guests.
What Kind of Food?
This will largely depend on the type of event that you’re hosting. A buffet may work out to be a cheaper option, but is it appropriate for a formal wedding party? The catering company that you choose will be able to help you decide, as well as giving you some prices to mull over. Don’t forget that the clearer you are on what it is that you want, the more helpful they can be. Don’t forget to give them plenty of warning about any specific dietary requirements too – some specialist ingredients may be harder to come by and could set back your schedule.
What kind of food you opt for may mean that you need some servers too. A three-course sit-down meal will require more staff than a buffet, but it’s also a good idea to have some staff to replenish a buffet or to pass round hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Bar staff might be something to consider too.
Ultimately, a good catering company will do their utmost to make sure your event is as perfect as possible, and following these guidelines will ensure stress-free party planning for you. Lots of catering companies offer a clean-up service too, so there’s even less to worry about.