If you are having a party and you want it to have a warm, personal touch, having at your home is the best option. Unfortunately, throwing a party at your home is a lot more work than if you were to hold it at an outside venue.
Fortunately, there is a way that you can have the party at your home without needing to do all of the work. If you have the party catered, all of the cooking and serving will be left to a professional. Your guests can enjoy your hospitality while enjoying different types of cuisine prepared by experts.
Whether you are planning a small get together or a large party, hiring a caterer will keep you out of the kitchen so that you can enjoy the party with your guests.
Home Catering Tips
If you are planning to hire a professional in-home catering, there are a few important tips that you should follow.
#1 Start With the Basics
Before you make an appointment to sit down with the caterer, you should have an idea of the number of guests that will be attending the party. You should also come up with a budget. If you are working with a reputable caterer, they will help you come up with a menu that fits into your budget. During the meeting, you should let the caterer know if any of your guests have special food requirements or food allergies.
#2 Evaluate Your Kitchen
Before you meet with the caterer, you should take a good look around your kitchen. The caterer will need to know how much counter space you have, the size of your oven, the number of burners your stove has, and the amount of free space that you have in your refrigerator for them to put the food that has already been prepared. This will let the caterer know if they need to bring additional equipment.
If you are planning a large party and the caterer needs to set up a satellite kitchen, they will need to know if you have the extra space for them to do so.
#3 Discuss the Extras
There is more to planning the party than planning the menu. You will also need tables, chairs, glassware, serving dishes, and linens. There are some catering companies who provide all of these things. There are others who will make the arrangements with an outside vendor. These are questions that you should ask the caterer during your meeting.
If you are going to be renting items, there are certain items that you should consider buying such as an ice bucket and coffee urns. It might be cheaper to buy these things rather than rent. If you don’t think you will never use them again, you can always sell them after.
#4 Talk about the Servers
When you sit down with the caterer, you should discuss the amount of service that you expect. This will give the caterer an idea of the number of servers they will bring on the day of the party.
#5 Discuss the Cleanup
Any caterer that you hire will expect your kitchen to be clean when they arrive. They will also be sure to leave it in the same condition when they leave. You should ask the caterer if they will pack up the rentals and return them or if it would be your responsibility.
If the caterer is going to be using some of your dishes, you should find out if they will wash them for you. Finally, if you want all of the leftovers to be boxed up and placed in your fridge after the party, you should let them know during your meeting.
#6 Discuss Your Expectations with the Caterer
During your meeting, you should let the caterer know what you expect of them and what you plan to do yourself. If the servers are going to be arranging the tables and the place settings, you need to know. Also, if the servers are going to circulate around the room and refill the guests’ drinks, you need to know that as well.
It is a good idea to ask the caterer if the servers are going to clean up as the party goes along or if you are going to need to pick up once in a while. Finally, discuss any other services that you need at the meeting. You cannot expect the caterer to read your mind and automatically know exactly what you want.
#7 The Bar
During your meeting, you should discuss the bar with your caterer. Ask if they are going to provide the drinks or if it would cost you less to provide them yourself. When discussing the drinks, remember to mention ice. Will the caterer bring it or do you need to provide it? Some catering companies will provide a bartender for events. You should find out if your caterer will. If not, you may need to have a self-service bar.
#8 Discuss Timing
You should get an exact time from the caterer that they will arrive with their staff. If you have a particular time that you want to serve the food, you need to let them know. If you want the party to wrap up at a certain time, let the caterer know. This will give them an idea of what time they should start cleaning up and packing up their things.
Finally, if you are having a good time and you want the party to last longer, you should find out if they are willing to stay a bit later.
#9 Discuss Parking
If you have limited space for parking, you should have the caterer park as close as possible since they will be carrying supplies. However, you should ask that the servers park as far away as possible, giving the guests ample place to park.
#10 Discuss the Cost and Payment Terms
During your meeting, you should discuss the cost of the job including the cost of the tips for the servers. You should discuss when the payment would be due and what forms of payment the caterer accepts.
If you are planning a party and you want to enjoy yourself rather than spending most of the party in the kitchen, you should consider hiring a caterer. To make things go smoothly, you should make a list of the duties that the caterer will handle and the things that you will handle. This will ensure that everyone has a great time.