How Does a Catering Business Work?

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Types of Catering

  • Whatever your occasion, there will be a type of catering business to meet your needs. From the formal wedding reception for 500 to the intimate dinner for two, you won't have to do it yourself. With the average household today having two working adults, there just isn't enough time to prepare and arrange everything needed for a party. That's where the catering business comes in. Catering has steadily been increasing in popularity since the 90s. There are some very large caterers that have their own halls to hold parties and receptions. They provide everything from decorations and tableware to a professional staff to serve and clean up afterwards. If they don't own a hall, they will rent one for you or work out of one you have already rented. Some restaurants now package their food in bulk and deliver it to the location of the party. Then there are still others that work out of their own kitchens and can only handle small parties. Many of these caterers still offer serving and tableware options. Most caterers will offer to rent tents, tables and chairs as part of their service if you are having your affair outdoors. Many will allow you to choose which services you want in order to help you stay within your budget. But you can rest assured that whatever you need, there is a catering company that can do it for you.

Choosing a Catering Company

  • Choosing the catering company isn't that difficult if you make sure you keep it organized. Most caterers are known by their reputation and no doubt you've heard of some that are very good, or very bad. You might also really enjoy a certain food at a restaurant you frequent and want that food at your party. The most common way to choose a caterer is by making a list of the caterers in the area and making appointments to interview them. While there, you can taste the food, see pictures of other events that they have done and check the list to see if they provide all the services needed. This should be done over a period of a week or so. That way the most notable caterer will stick out in your mind. The last thing a party planner needs to be is confused by seeing too many caterers in a short amount of time. It also gives you ample time to compare services and prices to make sure you get everything you want. Some people will give up decorations in order to get the food they want and still stay within the budget. Then they will decorate for the party themselves.

Things to Watch For

  • In some states, caterers are required to have licenses. Another common practice is to have the kitchens inspected by the local health department. You can check with your state's professional licensing bureau to find out if this is true in your state. Always go online to bbbonline.org to check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints against the company. If a caterer wants to cook on site, and the site is a private home, check with the homeowner's insurance company to see if the people cooking and/or serving are covered if there is an accident. Lastly, the caterer's bill should never be paid in full before the event. Too many people have been swindled out of their money when the caterer didn't show up. Contracts for these events should always be in writing. When everything is done properly, it will be a wonderful party.

  • Photo Credit falconreid
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