Whether you are throwing a dinner party or a reception, a catering service can make the food and serve it professionally. They can even prepare and cook the food on site. In addition to the food, a catering service can provide other enhancements, such as linen and china, servers and on-site chefs, as well as bartenders and DJs. You can even add on decoration to your event. To find out more, read our guide to hiring a catering service.
Costs of a catering service
The cost of catering a function depends on the number of guests. Catering companies will give you an estimated price per person. A large event will likely cost more than a smaller one, and vice versa. However, the price you pay depends on many other factors, such as the type of event you’re hosting. Then, there are the additional costs of supplies, labor, and venue setup. For most events, the cost of catering will run between $20 and $80 per person.
Most catering services bill for labor on an hourly basis. However, it’s not always easy to determine how much administrative wage expense should be absorbed by each event. To avoid paying more than you should, estimate how much time each event will require of your staff. Then, allocate the costs of kitchen supplies, support staff, and food according to this estimate. Make sure you know how much each event is worth in order to determine your budget.
Equipment needed for a catering service
The type of equipment needed for a catering service will depend on the event and the style of service you’ll be providing. Dinner plates, for example, are typically eleven to twelve inches in diameter and are perfect for serving the main course. Salad plates, on the other hand, are much smaller and are perfect for smaller portions and lunch items. They’re also great for holding smaller items, like soup bowls. If you’re thinking of starting your own catering business, check out these essential items for starting up.
For your catering business to be successful, you’ll need several different types of equipment. One of the most important items is an insulated container for storing hot and cold food. You can use a cooler for this, or invest in an insulated cooler to store cold foods. Other items you’ll need include garbage bags, disposable containers, tin foil, and plastic wrap. And of course, you’ll need to have disposable containers for food storage and utensils for removing dirty linens.
Risks associated with hiring a caterer
There are certain risks associated with hiring a caterer. Using a company without the proper licenses and insurance may leave you exposed to food-borne illness. The health department and insurance agencies require food service businesses to meet basic standards. If the caterer cannot provide these, move on to the next candidate. If you do not have time to check the licenses and insurance of potential caterers, ask for references.
The legal responsibility for food-borne illness may fall on the catering company. In order to protect yourself from lawsuits, you should consider obtaining catering liability insurance. While a caterer typically maintains a high-volume of food, mechanical failures or power outages may cause the food to spoil. In these cases, liability insurance will compensate you. If you choose a caterer without insurance, make sure you understand their cancellation policy.
Ways to find a good caterer
One of the first steps in selecting a caterer is to talk with several of them to determine which will work best for your needs. Before you decide on a particular caterer, ask to see samples of their dishes. Most businesses have websites with sample menus and photos. If you don’t want to make a commitment to a caterer, request references and proposals from each of the finalist companies.
Another way to find a good caterer is to ask friends and family for recommendations. You may also want to look at their portfolios and contact their previous clients for feedback. If you can’t find any references, move on to the next caterer. If you’re still unsure about the caterer’s experience, consider meeting them in person to get a feel for their style and service. Also, if possible, try to visit them at least once so you can sample their food.