If you have a large event coming up and are trying to avoid the cost of a professional catering company there are many things to consider. It can be more work than you expect. You may also want to consider the cost of the catering company vs. the amount you will spend on everything from the stainless splash backs to the food served. Here is a helpful guide to get you through catering your own event as easily as possible.
Step 1 – Head Counting
The true first step when planning to tackle a large job like catering is to prepare thoroughly. The most important thing to figure out first is the total expected guest count. That number is going to affect everything you need to have on hand. The amount of food you will need to supply and the number of catering tables will all be dependent on how many people are planning to attend your event. If you are unsure of an exact number, round up. It is always better have too much than not enough.
Step 2 – Menu
So what food are you going to serve? The type of event can dictate what is appropriate. You don’t want sloppy food for a wedding or petite finger food for a sporting event. It is also important to consider who will be doing the cooking. If you are doing that as well it should be something you are experienced at cooking as well as something that is not too difficult. You will have your hands full with everything going on besides just the food preparation. If you have someone else cooking for you meet with them to discuss what they would be most comfortable preparing.
Step 3 – Make Your Lists
Once you know how many people are attending and what you want to serve, start making lists of everything you will need. If you comfortable with Microsoft Excel it can be helpful in keeping track of the costs you are facing. Write down everything you can think of that you may or may not need just in case. Compile everything into one final ‘To-Do’ list that you can work from and mark off tasks as they are completed.
Step 4 – Shop Around
Now you just need to buy the supplies. For equipment rentals you should search around online for the best pricing options. Be sure to read any rental agreement carefully to see any fine print you may otherwise miss about return times and what insurance is provided if seething stops working.
To get the food you need, consider shopping at places like Sam’s Club or Costco where you can get discounts for buying in bulk. This can also influence your menu if you come across a certain sale on something you would be able to serve. For dinnerware, the easiest and cheapest method is to go disposable. While it may not look as nice it will save you hours of dishwashing at the end of the day.
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