Whether you’re seeking to know what event catering entails as a business or looking to order the services of a catering brand for your event, this article covers all you need to know.
Most individuals employ the services of event catering companies because they believe they have the experience and expertise to satisfy guests’ cravings and make events memorable. Moreso, it is time-consuming and stressful.
So, as an event catering brand you want to build a company that not only delivers mouth-watering menus but is known for professional, creative, and outstanding food preparation, delivery, and serving.
This article talks extensively about event catering: what it is, how it works, the types, and important things to consider when catering to events.
What Is Event Catering?
Event catering is the provision of food and drinks to guests in an event based on a contractual agreement with a customer.
It includes activities such as preparation, delivery, and presentation of food, table setup, decoration, lighting, music, and cleanup.
So, depending on the need of the customer, event catering can be handled by an event caterer or a group of individuals.
Additionally, family gatherings, corporate parties, weddings, birthdays, etc, are events that catering companies cater to.
How Does Event Catering Work?
Event catering doesn’t stop at food delivery and set up. It could also extend to venue setup and event coordination. This would require careful planning, attention to detail, and sheer creativity.
Here are four ways through which an event can be catered to:
1. Full-service catering
Here, event catering companies offer to handle everything about food in events. Their services include meal preparation, delivery and set up, serving guests, and cleaning up after events.
Oftentimes, they include plates and cutlery, linens, buffet tables, cloth napkins, china, etc, with every order. As a result, full-service catering services are usually costly but they guarantee peace of mind during events. Acme catering is a perfect example.
2. Mobile catering
This involves catering to events by bringing food in a cart, food truck, or through delivery in any vehicle. Unlike full-service catering, mobile catering isn’t much of a hassle and is relatively cheaper.
Mobile catering brands receive orders from customers, prepare accordingly, and deliver to customers’ destinations on the day specified. Furthermore, they may offer buffet options, platters, and family packages, to mention a few. A good example is Taco cart catering.
SEE: Essentials For Starting A Mobile Catering Business
3. Restaurant catering
As a way of extending their services to delight guests at events, many restaurants today have special catering offers. Generally, they employ catering staff and create a special catering menu.
Customers can then order and get their orders delivered to them or pick them up by themselves at a nearby restaurant. Examples include Fazoli catering, Bojangles catering, and Panda express catering.
Additionally, some restaurants such as Famous Daves go above and beyond to offer full-service catering.
4. Hotel Catering
Some catering companies offer to plan customers’ events and cater to guests in hotel venues. Some of them go into partnership with hotels and present the option of catering to guests there. Nonetheless, they cater to events in other venues too.
For hotel catering, their duties include event reservation, setting up decorations, entertainment, menu design and preparation, table setup, banquet arrangement, outsourcing of service staff, and so on.
Types Of Event Catering
1. Private event catering
These are events organized to bring people together in celebration of life, an achievement, or a special event. Some of them include:
- Family events
- Wedding anniversaries
- Themed parties
- VIP events
2. Corporate event catering
Corporate events are business-oriented events set up with a goal in mind. So, corporate event catering is the business of providing and serving food and drinks to people in events organized by companies or training programs. Examples include:
- Annual general meetings
- Trade shows
- Product launch
- Company parties
3. Charity event catering
These are events aimed at raising funds for a social course. Some charity events where catering is of necessity include:
- Seasonal events
- Networking dinner
- Themed sporting events
Important Things To Consider When Catering To Events
The integral aspect of event catering is the food. The food experience is one thing that guests are unlikely to forget at events. Hence, the following are things to consider in menu planning and catering coordination in events:
1. Know what event you’re catering to
The first step to menu planning is to know what event you’re being hired for. This will give you an idea of what to prepare ahead of the event. Moreso, it will help you know the kind of people to expect.
Weddings for instance would require an assortment of dishes; entrées, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and beverages because of the different classes of people that would be present. Whereas a kid’s birthday party would contain more children and may not require so much on the menu. You can check Zaxby’s catering and their menu
Although customers have the choice to customize their order, you can also give them expert advice on what menu options would do justice to their events and make them more memorable and successful.
2. Know your guests’ profile and preference
Knowing what type of event you’re catering to is not enough to inform you about those attending the event.
You’ll need to get detail of those who will be in attendance at the event. This will aid in knowing what type of food to provide more in the event.
For instance, you want to know if the event would contain more females than males, high-profile individuals, as well as their ethnic backgrounds.
Typically, serving tacos would be a great idea in a Mexican-family event. Also, chicken meals would go well for an American-filled event.
Furthermore, it is important to know if there will be attendees with special needs, such as vegetarians, those with food allergies or intolerance, or those concerned about fitness and wellness so as to plan ahead.
3. Provide several menu choices
When planning events, it is best to have at least two to three menu items available for each category. This is because guests may savor something completely different if you serve only one menu item.
So, instead of having just one entrée, appetizers, and side dishes, you can have two or three. Also, select some indulgent options, and others healthy and fresh. This way there’s something for everyone to feed on.
SEE: The Complete List Of Burger King Specials Menu
4. Consider the event time
The longer the time of an event the heavier the food to serve. If an event would take an hour or two, finger foods, snacks, and beverages will fit perfectly.
However, if the event takes a longer time, then you may consider preparing main dishes that would satisfy guests. The time scheduled for the event can also determine whether to serve plated meals, buffet options, or box lunches.
5. Final food presentations
The aesthetics with which you set up your menu are as important as the food taste itself. The setup and presentation should be appealing to the eyes, the food should smell nice, and the linens, cutleries, and dining materials should blend with the venue.
Also, to keep food warm, you could serve food in chafing dishes or warming trays.
Why is catering important in events?
The food presented to guests during events is integral to the success of the event.
Why do people hire event catering companies?
Catering to events is time-consuming and stressful. Also, it requires careful planning of menu and event coordination. So, in order not to mess up their events and to ease stress people hire catering companies to cater to their events.
What services do event caterers provide?
They plan menus, prepare them, as well as deliver and set up the menu. Some go further to offer services such as decoration, lighting, music, and clean-up services.
What events do they cater to?
Weddings, birthdays, conferences, themed events, galas, family events, etc.
Event catering is a worthwhile business today. Many individuals are seeking event catering companies to help cater to their events professionally. So, if you’re considering starting an event catering outlet, you’re on the right path.
Event catering companies have the needed equipment and experience to provide foods that would delight the audience greatly. Moreso, some of them can plan everything about the events, from event reservation to food preparation and serving.
So, hiring the services of an event catering brand relieves you of stress, and gives you the opportunity to share memorable moments with guests.
Finally, you can check the article on catering as a business, if you’re looking to launch your own catering business.
I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.