How to Do Catering

Offering to cater an event for a friend means more than picking up a few things at the supermarket and spooning them into serving dishes. There’s an art to catering that not everyone can master. Here are some tips that will ensure the food and the preparations are a hit.

What’s the Event?

Knowing what type of event is happening does make a difference when it comes to planning a menu. What works fine for a wedding reception will not necessarily be ideal for a retirement party. Start with the nature of the event and work from there.

How Many Guests?

A head count of how many people will be present is essential. The goal is to ensure there’s enough of everything to go around without anyone missing out on anything.

What’s the Venue Like?

Will the event be taking place in a home, a meeting hall, or some other venue? The size of the venue, plus the availability of a kitchen adjacent to the space used for the actual gathering, will influence the types of foods that can be served.

Choosing the Right Entrees and Side Dishes

Always offer multiple choices for the guests. Some will prefer beef while others will like chicken or fish. Some type of vegetarian entrée also needs to be included. Assuming the event will involve space for people to sit down and eat, choose sides that vary in color, texture, and taste. Remember to include some choices that are low in carbohydrates, cholesterol, and fats. That ensures everyone has something to enjoy.

Advance Preparation

Caterers know the value of preparing ingredients and dishes ahead of time. Anything that can be chopped, baked, or cooked ahead of time without sacrificing taste or quality should be prepared the day before. This will reduce the amount of work that has to be done in the hours leading up to the event.

Presentation’s the Thing

Whether the event is casual or formal, presentation matters. Make sure the food is arranged in a logical sequence on the buffet table. If the guests are to be served at their seats, always arrange the food so that no two colors are next to one another. It’s fine if the guest wants two green vegetables. Just make sure there’s a yellow vegetable in between.

Catering requires attention to every detail. Plan ahead and take care of as much of the work in advance as possible. Doing so leaves more room to deal with any minor issues that may arise just before the actual meal.