Monday, 8 August 2011

Event Catering

Hope everyone had a great weekend, I sure did!

Today's post is all about event catering. I would say that most events involve catering of some kind but there are some that of course do not have any. The amount of catering varies on the size of the event and the audience. In past events that I have attended I have noticed that some event planners do not put enough care into catering an event. Catering is an important part of an event and needs to be  planned carefully. If the event guests are not happy with the catering this will provide a negative experience for them which is of course no good. To avoid unhappy guests and have a successful event, here are some guidelines for planning your event catering: 
  • Amount/Type of Catering 
    The amount/type of catering that you will have depends on what kind of event that you have and the number and type of guests that are in attendance. I organized a Game Design Expo for several years and I learned that a lot of gamers like meat and sweets and not a lot of veggies or fruit. I also learned that gamers eat a lot and the catering numbers had to be significantly higher than the actual attendee numbers. You need to make sure that you have enough food for your guests because if you run out of food, the guests will have a negative experience.
  • Budget  - The amount and quality of the catering does depend on your budget. You can't have an extravagant sit down dinner on a shoe string budget, it just won't happen. Sometimes event planners do need to be creative when it comes to catering if they have a low budget (ie. get friends to help make food). It's also important to get quotes from several catering companies and compare prices.
  • Catering setup - There are a variety of ways to to setup your catering. There is buffet, sit-down dinner and cocktail reception to name a few. The kind of setup really depends on your budget, audience, event type and and event objectives.
  • Choosing a caterer - You do need to do your research when choosing a caterer. I would advise researching five or more catering companies to ensure you get the right caterer for your event. You should make sure they are reputable and have really good testimonials. I would also ask other event planners about their experiences with these companies. As I said above, it's important for guests to be happy with the quality of the food. 
  • Catering Quality/Presentation - The above point leads me to my next point which is ensuring that the catering quality and presentation is top notch.The food needs to look very appealing and it of course needs to taste good as well. This is something that is obvious, but no food should be rotting or spoiling. There should be someone checking up on the food frequently to see if anything needs to be refilled or taken away. Garbage and food scraps should be cleaned up often and quickly.
Planning the catering for your event does take some work but it's worth it as it will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

- Shira :)

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