Common Catering Blunders

Catering is a quintessential part of a successful event and can ruin an otherwise lavish and elaborately planned celebration. Menu choice, palatability of dishes and food service are just some of the critical catering areas where the simplest but most common catering errors occur. To help ensure your next event is a well catered affair, we’ve compiled a few catering blunders that can be easily avoided.

Not Having a Vision of the Event in Mind
Decide on a theme for the event and stick to it from the event decor to the catered menu. If it’s a black tie, formal event the catering menu should be built around a fine dining concept and should feature elegant and gourmet cuisine. A casual catered picnic affair can feature a more laidback and casual food array like a good ol’ potato salad to complement a selection of wholesome sandwiches, wraps and a fruit and vegetable platter.

Failing to set a Budget
Establishing a budget is a critical part of planning an event. Let your caterer know what your budget is at the start of your dealings, so that you can save time by having them  suggest a menu that's tailored around your price range. Make sure to discuss all inclusive charges with your caterer to avoid any hidden delivery charges, handling charges etc that may take the overall cost over your budget at the last minute.

Not Checking Catering References
Ask  a potential caterer for references from events they successfully catered in the past and make sure to actually call and check them out! You’ll be able to pick up a lot of vital information on the quality and type of service the catering company provides.

Not Sampling Food Before the Event
Setting up a tasting is invaluable to  both the caterer and the client. It helps a client experience a dish they aren’t entirely sure about before adding it to the menu, while providing the caterer with helpful feedback that can be used to refine flavours  to suit the palate of the guests attending.

Ignoring Dietary and Religious Food Requirements
When collecting RSVPs make sure to also collect food requirements  prior to the event. This gives your caterer enough time to accommodate these needs and making sure the menu has been constructed and prepared with a guest’s allergies or beliefs in mind.

Ordering the Wrong Food Quantities
Running out of food or having excess food without enough freezer space are both horrible situations to be in for a host. Collect RSVP information in an orderly fashion and send over the final headcount to your catering company by the day before the event.  You caterer will then be able to estimate the rough food quantities you’ll need to cater per guest. Having a professional catering service help with this, will reduce the likelihood of your guests going home hungry or destroying your budget by over ordering.

Posted by Jessica on October 24, 2012 at 01:47PM