Ever wanted to cater at your next event? Or maybe this is your first time in ordering for so many? While catering might seem simple at first … it’s not. In fact, it’s easy to get caught up with promising catering prospects, and then go overbudget. Or, you might not the type of food that you’ve gotten from one catering provider?
So, when it comes to planning and organizing an event, make sure that you do your research before deciding on catering. While you want everything to be perfect, it’s not possible – and that’s okay.
With that said, when it comes to catering, be sure to keep in mind the possible mistakes that can happen when doing this … and how to avoid them FOREVER! Avoid these 5 catering mistakes, and organizing the food part of your event should run smoothly.
- Not Defining A Budget
It’s nearly impossible to look for prospective caterers, if you don’t have a set budget for the food. Having a catering budget is important to have, because it allows professional catering services to make their recommendations on the types of food that they can offer, based on that budget.
However, allowing catering services to decide on what food and beverages has implications.
If you allow catering service to decide on the menu options without having a set budget, then you’re running the risk of those services ripping you off. Therefore, it’s imperative that you set the budget, and then present it to catering prospects. When they know how much you want to spend on food, then they’ll have no choice but to recommend the right assortment of food items.
2. Not Timing Food Delivery Correctly
Another thing to note is that the time when the food is delivered matters. While you may think that timing food delivery isn’t important, it is. Consider these two scenarios:
- If you set the delivery time too early, then chances are, the hot food will get cold, or fresh food would get old by the time you and your guests can finally chow down. OR,
- If you set the delivery time to a later time, your guests might get antsy and hungry for having to wait for their food.
So, it’s best to have the food be delivered at least half an hour before it’s time to eat. And, don’t uncover the food, until it’s time to serve it to your guests.
3. Not Thinking About Dietary Substitutions
Sometimes, you’ll have guests with the following dietary needs:
- Vegan, OR
- Gluten-free only
Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind these dietary needs, when selecting what food items to order from catering. Be on the safe side and provide veggies, and even foods that have protein. Plus, consider adding gluten-free snacks and food items – you can ask your catering service provider to recommend gluten-free items.
4. Not Thinking About Personal Food Allergies
When catering for multiple people, you must keep in mind people’s food allergies. First, you must look at who you’re inviting to your event. Ask if anyone has any type of food allergy, so that you can order the right foods from a catering service. Then, once your guests tell you all any food allergies, then it’s time to research some prospective caterers. Now, when looking for prospects, ask for any labels or ingredients list that their food items have. You can even print out a caterer’s menu, if they provide that information online.
5. Not Adding Gratuity
Lastly, don’t forget to tip your caterer. Often times, catering services will issue a bill that includes gratuity. But sometimes, people forget that gratuity is on there, because restaurants hardly reinforce it.
As mentioned earlier, having a set budget is important. Therefore, make sure that you take into account the gratuity. You may want to ask the restaurant about gratuities, before sealing the deal, and having them work for you.
So, now that you’re aware of the 5 of the most critical (and most likely embarrassing) catering mistakes, be sure to avoid making said mistakes at all costs. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be able to pull off a successful event, with a great meal and or catering part that’ll make you into a gracious host.
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