Catering services: what do i need to know
When you hear the word “party,” what is the one common element at every party that immediately pops into your mind? If food wasn’t the answer you were thinking of, it should be. Food is always an essential ingredient for any party, including wedding receptions, corporate events, super bowl parties, family reunions, or bridal and baby showers. In fact, when we attend a party, we expect to eat some delicious food, whether it’s appetizers and snacks or a full-course meal.
If you’ve ever attended a large event or a party, you’ve probably experienced a catering service and have seen just how helpful they can be with taking some of the stress off the party host. Catering seems pretty straightforward and simple: you cook some food and serve it, right? That is the basic idea, but there’s more to it. In this article, we’ll take you behind the scenes so you know what to expect the next time you hire a catering service. Your vision is paramount to any caterer. With these few simple tips you will be better prepared so the catering service can execute your plan and fulfill your every wish.
Before you begin anything else, you need to have the location, date, and time completely finalized. Depending on where you are hosting your event, a catering service may be available on site. This can be beneficial because they are familiar with the layout, coordinator, etc. If you have to bring in a caterer, make sure the catering staff is completely aware and comfortable with the location in advance.
To decide your catering budget, ask yourself how important the roles of food and drink will play at your party. Are you having formal sit-down dinner with a four course meal or trays of appetizers that are merely there to nibble on? Do you have a theme or style at the event that will be reflected in the food? It is also important to know the following factors: the number of guests, the number of courses or food choices to offer, the cost of the food, the way the food is served (buffet style, seated service, or boxed lunches), and finally, the caterer’s level of expertise. The more flexible you are about these variables, the more wiggle room your caterer has to create the best menu for your budget.
The Catering Staff
Know beforehand whether the catering service will provide their own wait-staff and how many. A rule of thumb is one server for every 10 guests. You also want to make sure the dress code of the wait-staff is in accordance with the dress attire of the guests and the theme of the event.
Food is definitely the star of the party, but it’s only one part of the equation. Many catering services today provide full event planning. As catering services have moved toward the full-service, event-planning model, the focus has shifted. It’s not that food is no longer a focal point, but rather that it is part of a broader vision. Check with your caterer to see if they provide full event planning. If so, they will often supply you with a brochure that details their services.
If you are planning a themed event, this is a great service to make your event special and memorable. From candles to flower, lighting to linens, and dinnerware to music, catering services can make every detail complement the food to create a unified theme. The possibilities are endless but the decorations could be everything. You could have great tasting food, but if it is presented with flair, then it will become the greatest food your guests have ever tasted.
So whether you are planning a baby shower for 25 close friends or a corporate event for 500 guests, the goal is the same: deeply satisfying the guests. Let a catering service accomplish this grand task but leave you with the compliment of being a great host.
For some great information about catering services, please contact Seasons Catering today.
By: Amber Sell