A party caterer is entrusted with the responsibility of taking some pressure off the hosts. Caterers are responsible for planning the menu for the party, prepare the food accordingly, deliver and set it up and subsequently clean up the area when the event is over. If you think you can manage doing the non food duties and still have some spare time with you, you may consider doing the job of a caterer yourself. Not only will you enjoy doing the duties of a caterer but also have some savings coming your way.
Here are few tips to allow your party catering venture go smoothly without any hiccups:
1. Don't Experiment
It is wise not to try a new menu on the guests. The best choice is to stick to the menu that you are comfortable with. This tip holds true for food prepared by professionals as well as homemade food. The secret to a successful catering is to offer food that you have cooked in the past or if you are ordering it from a restaurant, go with the dishes that you have tried before.
2. Order Early
When you decide to order food from another party, it is recommended that you order it early to ensure that you get what you want in time and in the exact quantity. Make sure you order your stuff at least a week before the scheduled date of the event. This tip holds true for both the conditions; whether you are ordering food from a restaurant or ordering the list of groceries required to prepare the food that you have decided.
While ordering food from a restaurant, it is wise to enquire if there are some discounts being offered. If the order is large enough, the restaurant may offer you a discount even if there is none being advertised currently. Also ask the restaurant owner if the food can be delivered at your place on the day of the party. You will be very busy in other jobs on the day of the event and may not get time to fetch food from the restaurant.
4. Preparation and Preservation
There are some foods that can be prepared ahead of the event and preserved for later consumption; say after a few hours or after a day. For example mushroom stuffed with cheese and spinach can be prepared and kept in freezer for a day. Vegetable kebabs and fruits can also be stored overnight. Strips of meat can be refrigerated for up to two days before they are taken out for grilling.
5. Alternative Needs
It is advised to stay away from an all meat affair. Unless you know that you have no guest on the list who has a vegetarian preference, it is in good form to keep some vegetarian dishes so that the ones with special food choices have some dishes to select from. Also try to keep some sugar free desserts for diabetics.
When you plan to throw a party, it goes without saying that economy is one of the issues on your mind. Most of you who have organised parties before would agree that bar is an element that compels you to spend a fortune when you plan to set up one.
Photo credit: Alisdare via Flickr
Here are few cost saving tips for a party catering when you decide to set up a bar:
1. If you plan to set up a bar in your party arena, it is recommended that you cater for limited but interesting offerings of beer, wine and only one specialty drink. When you try to offer a variety of drinks, you cannot gauge the taste of the guests. This results in one drink being undersubscribed to and the other being heavily oversubscribed to resulting in a disastrous imbalance.
2. Stick to an all purpose glass if you are going to rent glasses. Avoiding special glassware can obviate the possibility of you ordering extra glasses per person and also allow you to have a sleek and contemporary set up at the bar.
3. Try to club the coffee machine with the bar counter. This will save you the costs of placing sugar and creamers on each table as well as on cups and silver display urns.
Catering for a part requires meticulous planning and preparation. These tips will go a long way in enabling you to have a successful party. Pay attention to small details to make sure that you do not face any impromptu requirement which may result in the party going off the track. If you have an iota of doubt on your capabilities to cater successfully for the party, it is wise to resort to the services of a professional caterer.