In this blog, we’re going to explore the dos and don’ts of catering a party. The highlight of any event is the food. No matter the occasion or purpose, people go to gatherings with excitement about the variety of edibles. The love for anything appetizing is what brings people together after all. The success of a party essentially depends on the catering; is the food good enough?
There’s always an option to cook and prepare the food yourself, but that’s a recipe for disaster for most people. Catering for an event is the way to go, especially if you’re expecting many guests. But before you choose a catering service, you’re faced with two issues: you haven’t done this before, and your budget is limited. So, how do you go around those issues? Let’s start by identifying the catering dos and don’ts relevant to your budget.
1 – Determine a budget.
Know how much you can spend before you start talking to catering services. There’ll be unexpected costs along the way, so prepare for them, too. Figuring out a set budget means covering everything – from the menu items to the number of hours that the caterer spends at the venue.
2 – Anticipate (and plan) possible bad weather.
You plan an event way ahead of time. While that is seemingly a good thing, the problem with it is that you most likely will forget about the weather. Prepare a Plan B in case the weather doesn’t cooperate on the day of the event. This has quite an impact on your catering, i.e., transportation and buffet placement for outdoor parties.
3 – Offer menu options.
See to it that you have various menu options when you expect a large turnout of guests. The last thing you want is for some guests to complain about the lack of vegans’ choices and those on a strict gluten-free diet. So, aside from the main attractions and condiments on the side, you should consider healthy options.
4 – Shop around.
You won’t have a hard time finding prospective caterers; the challenging part is finding one who can work wonders with your limited budget. Shop around to get the best possible deal; you’ll never know how far your money can go if you don’t do “comparison shopping” of at least three catering services.
5 – Minimize the staff.
Unsuspecting customers end up paying for a large catering bill because the catering service bought its entire team. As the event organizer, you have first-hand information on the number of guests, size of the venue, and menu choices. Relate this information to the number of chefs, servers, and other essential staff as listed in the invoice. If you think it’s overkill, don’t be afraid to ask the caterer for a way to cut down the labour cost.
1 – You make last-minute changes.
One of the ways to quickly increase your bill is by making last-minute changes. Although catering services use it to add to your bill, they hate it when clients do it. This is quite true when they’ve already placed orders and have made the necessary prep for the event. Stick to what you’ve agreed with the caterer once you’ve finalized everything.
2 – You demand fancy stuff on the buffet.
As much as you’d like to include a sushi boat on the buffet, you can’t ask for it without going overboard with your budget. Fancy menu options make events extra memorable, but you can’t afford to be extravagant. Instead, talk to your caterer about incorporating unique stuff on the menu without stretching your budget.
3 – You add more names to the guest list even after a number has been confirmed with the caterer.
Experienced caterers know all too well that there’ll be a few extra people who weren’t included in the client’s agreement. It’s why they always have a contingency plan for it. The problem with catering on a limited budget is that this contingency plan may no longer be on the table. So, never bring many unaccounted guests to an event, or you risk running out of food. The key is to keep your end of the bargain when you agreed on the catering service’s specific number of people.
4 – You give the caterer an unworkable timeframe to prepare.
Your caterer needs time to assign and schedule staff for the event. The same goes for ordering food. If you require a quick turnaround, don’t expect them to meet all your demands. The caterer intends to give the best service possible, but you should be reasonable, too. It’s why planning way ahead of time makes sense.
Don’t forget to give the caterer enough time to set up on the day of the event. You never want your guests to start arriving, only to see the staff cramming to set everything up.
Whatever your catering plans are, see to it that you decide to satisfy your guests when it comes to the food. Even with a limited budget, you still can ace the preparation by working with a dependable catering service.