How to Cater a Dinner for 50

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Entertaining large groups of people can be a little daunting on your own. If you can, enlist the help of a caterer.

Things You'll Need

  • Place Cards
  • Flower Bouquets
  • Votive Candleholders
  • Votive Candles
  • Champagne
  • Napkins
  • Silverware
  • Tablecloths
  • Catering Services
  • Find out about any meal restrictions. Contact your guests to ask if any are vegetarian, keep kosher, avoid red meat or have serious food allergies.

  • Decide on your budget.

  • Choose an area of your home or other venue in which to entertain. Inspect the area to see if it provides enough seating and space for your party.

  • Pick a cuisine. If your party has a specific theme, choose a type of food that appeals to this theme - California cuisine for a beach or pool party, French cuisine for a formal dinner party, or any cuisine that appeals to you.

  • Decide what services you want the caterer to provide. Caterers can serve the food as well as provide meals, place settings, serving utensils, bar service and linens.

  • Call recommended caterers or find some in the phone book. Ask about available services and costs. Be firm and clear about what services you want and what your restrictions are.

  • Ask if you can come in and taste samples of the dishes before you decide.

  • Choose a caterer that best suits your needs.

  • Check back several times with the caterers before the big event to see how things are going. Have they ordered the food, linens and place settings? Have they been able to get everything you asked for? Are the dishes ready to go?

Tips & Warnings

  • Many restaurants offer catering. If you have a favorite restaurant, call and ask if it caters meals.
  • While there's no need to plan a large meal around the dietary restrictions of a single person, it's courteous to make sure that every person has food on the table that he or she can eat.
  • If the caterer makes a mistake and brings the wrong dish, don't hesitate to speak up. You can probably get at least a partial refund.
  • Food that sounds wonderful may taste awful. Be sure to taste ahead of time!

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