Do’s and Don’ts for Party Catering

Let’s say it’s time to book your Christmas catering for your event in Melbourne, or there’s an important office celebration for departing colleagues, or even if you’re just thinking about doing a catered event at home, you always have a big choice in caterers and food options. There are so many ways that you can approach the catering, but there are a few important do’s and don’ts that anyone responsible for organising should be aware of.

Do’s

1. Work on Getting the Numbers Right

There are 2 bad situations that result from getting the numbers wrong at your event. The first is that you underestimate the numbers and there’s not enough food to properly go around the event. That’s incredibly awkward because you either end up with some people with nothing, or everybody having a lot less than is satisfying and enjoyable. The other problem is overestimating and having piles of waste food left at the end!

It’s hard to say which of these is worse. Waste is obviously bad, but no one will thank you or applaud your economy for under-ordering, either! 

2. Carefully Plan the Budget

It’s not so bad to splurge a bit when you’re planning a personal or family event at home, but if it’s a work or corporate event, the budget has to be well balanced. Companies are often criticised for largesse in entertainment, and brands are harshly judged on how well they make use of resources, reduce waste and use wealth and influence to benefit others.

Therefore, create a catering budget that will complement the event, but that also creates positive points you might point to in later marketing, such as using only local vendors, using recycled materials for flatware and cutlery, etc.

3. Make Accommodations for All Dietary Needs

Finally in the Do’s column, it’s important to make sure that any attendees with dietary requirements are catered for. The best approach is to find dishes that are suitable across different ranges of needs. For instance, the vegetarian option could in fact be vegan, too, and gluten free. That pleases several groups all at once.

Don’ts

1. Leave Planning to the Last Minute

Quality catering providers get booked up quickly, and you’ll soon find yourself without good food providers and a choice between the mediocre remainders. There’s also a lot that can go wrong, so the earlier you start planning, the more sure you can be that all contingencies have been planned for and all disasters averted.

Even if you did manage to get a good caterer in a last-minute booking, chances are they won’t be able to accommodate any special requests you have since they won’t have time to order and take delivery of needed supplies before your event. That’s another reason to secure the catering company early on.

2. Source Exotic Far-Away Food

OK, just to be clear, this isn’t some old-aged rant about the horrors of foreign food. Far from it. What we mean is that it’s best to use caterers who source local produce and support local farmers. Such a move gives you added points when it comes to boosting your brand and its green credentials. Sourcing locally has a smaller carbon footprint, and supporting local businesses goes down well with people who don’t want to see every event enrich some far-away international corporation.

3. Forget to Follow Up with Vendors

After making initial contact and confirming dates and times, good vendors should follow up with you to confirm various things, but even when they do, you should never sit on your hands as the date of the event approaches. Always be willing to send follow-up emails after every meeting or contact to ensure that whatever you’d discussed is still alright and everything is as it should be.

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