When considering options for preparing an upcoming event, it’s not unusual to talk with people who mention self catering. This leaves some people a little confused. What does self catering mean and how does it relate to food preparation for an upcoming event? Here is some information that will help sort out the meaning and allow the client to determine if this is really the way to go.
At it’s core, self catering focuses on who will do the actual food preparation. With this approach, the customer is the one who takes on the task of the chopping, dicing, boiling, baking, and anything else that has to do with creating the array of foods offered at the event.
The meaning is further illustrated by the way it’s applied outside of catering circles. Think of a self catering holiday. This usually refers to securing holiday accommodations that include a kitchen. Guests have the ability to prepare their own food during the holiday rather than relying on room service or having to eat every meal in a restaurant.
Many people choose this approach for a couple of reasons. One has to do with managing the cost of the upcoming event. There is a perception that choosing to take care of the food preparation provides the opportunity to save money. Depending on the type of event that is coming up and how formal the setting will be, this may be true.
Another reason has to do with control. By choosing to manage the task without the direct help of a professional catering service, it’s easier to make adjustments along the way. When there’s the need to replace a dish originally included on the menu, there is no need to call and consult with anyone. The person preparing the food makes the adjustment and carries on.
The fact that the customer will take care of the food preparation does not mean that a catering company cannot still be of assistance. Many professionals will still aid with the menu planning. Some will take care of purchasing all the ingredients needed and making sure they are delivered to the customer within a reasonable amount of time. It’s not unusual for a catering service to supply pots, pans, trays, dishes, and even the linens needed for the event.
While self catering is sometimes a practical approach, never assume it’s the most cost-effective. Contact a local catering company and go over what’s needed, then compare the quote with the time, effort, and cash needed to manage the event alone. The client may find that leaving the job in the hands of a professional is the better option.