Catering Tools & Equipment

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A variety of serving trays are a necessity for caterers.
A variety of serving trays are a necessity for caterers. (Image: Full House Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Caterers are hired to prepare food for events such as graduation parties, weddings and other family functions. But unlike restaurants, which have the luxury of preparing and serving at their own facility, caterers must not only prepare the food, but transport it and present it to the function location. Because of this, they must have a bevy of tools and equipment handy, which range from simple utensils to more complex equipment.

Chafing Dishes

Caterers often prepare food that must be available for hours at a time, and one method of keeping warm foods hot is by presenting the food in chafing dishes. They can run either on electricity or canned heat that are placed underneath the dish. The dishes often come in rectangular, round and oval shapes.

Serving Trays

Just like for waiters in the restaurant business, caterers also need to use serving trays. These trays range in material from stainless steel to rubber and vary in size. These are used for serving guests everything from cocktails to main courses. Serving trays are also generally an inexpensive item; an 11-inch rubber serving tray starts at around $3.

Coffee Makers

Unlike at-home coffee makers, ones used by caterers must be able to make and store dozens of cups. Coffee makers offered by Dvorson's Food Service Equipment, Inc. make anywhere 12-100 cups of coffee at a time. These coffee makers are also portable enough to be easily transported and are fairly simple to operate.

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