Hiring a catering service for an upcoming event certainly takes a lot of pressure off the event planners. While many people understand part of what a caterer does, some of the other tasks that are included in the quote may come as a surprise. Here are a few examples of typical catering expenses and why it pays to leave these tasks in the hands of the caterer.
One of the services that caterers offer is coming up with a menu for the event. That may range from coming up with selections for a cafeteria style serving line to a buffet to a formal sit-down dinner. Many caterers do include a consultation fee that helps to compensate for the time spent coming up with a menu that meets with the client’s approval.
A major part of the catering expense is purchasing and preparing the food. The caterer must allow time for each item on the menu to be cooked, boiled, broiled, and otherwise prepared to perfection. The time spent shopping for food that’s of the highest quality also takes time, translating into one of the reasons why this part of the quote is one of the highest.
Depending on the nature of the event, all sorts of serving dishes may be needed. If the client does not own appropriate dishes, many caterers have them in stock. They can be rented as and brought along with the food.
There is the matter of getting the food and other supplies to the event site. Many caterers will include a fee if the venue is more than a certain distance from the site where the food is prepared.
If the caterer is expected to provide serving staff for the event, that cost will also be bundled in with the quote. That includes staff who deliver plates of food to guests during a sit-down meal as well as staff to dish up food in a cafeteria style line.
Other expenses may be incurred, depending on the nature of the event and what type of support the client wants. A good rule of thumb is to begin with a list of everything the client wants and then go over each line item one by one. That makes it possible to decide if a certain idea will fit into the budget, and what can be done to eliminate it and still ensure the plans are suitable for the event.