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Why You Should Hire A Caterer for Your Next Event

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It could be argued that a sizeable chunk of planning a successful event is the food. Having food at your event can increase attendance, give people something to do before and after (it’s also a great networking opportunity to chat over food), and add a sophisticated edge. Besides, many people come hungry to events and always appreciate when there are snacks available, if not more. If you haven’t considered hiring an events and catering team for your next event–be it personal or business-oriented-you should. Events and catering staff know how to put on a good spread and save you the hassle and time of doing it yourself.
What Do Good Caterers Do?
It depends on the caterer and what services they offer–some may go as far to take charge of decor, table arrangements, or plating (food presentation), while others may only provide the food and staff. In all cases, caterers manage their staff, comprised of cooks, servers, cleaners, and dishwashers, and make sure their team knows about schedules, how the table should be set, serving rules, and food safety rules. Event catering services should always know and follow the most recent food safety laws of their state.
When to Hire a Caterer
Big events work well with caterers, especially if they’re themed. For example, if your office is having a night out as company bonding or networking, they may want specific menus, like an hors doeuvres menu, or a dinner catering menu. For lunches or more informal settings, a company may use corporate menus, with just the basics that appeal to everyone–sandwiches, salads, etc. Some caterers will have seasonally driven menus, which can be an exciting and new aspect for guests, who may get to try combinations of flavors or ingredients they haven’t tried before.
What to Be Aware Of When Hiring a Caterer
When hiring a caterer, do remember to be specific. For example, some recipes may need to be changed slightly to accommodate dietary concerns–whether they be religiously based or not. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, and any allergies will have to be taken under consideration when you make your guest list. Make sure to tell your caterer about these special needs and see if the price will change or if they can make the changes necessary.
It may also be worth checking into where the caterer sources his/her food from. If you’re conscious of buying food at the local level, that could be a selling point for a certain caterer or a turn-off for another. Finding out what the caterer will require from you and your venue is also important, as well as what services they offer. If you’re prepared to do more prep, that’s something worth keeping in mind, whereas if you’re pressed for time or don’t want to do do prep, it’s important to find a caterer who will.
Do keep in mind that usually you won’t get to keep the leftovers; you only get what you paid for: that is, what you and your guests ate. If you’re interested in keeping leftovers, you may be able to work something into the contract, but don’t assume you’ll be able to keep whatever is left.
In short, hiring an events and catering team can be a great marketing strategy–a relatively inexpensive, low-hassle option for improving your event and increasing attendance.

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