Whether you’re learning how to cater or a catering veteran, it’s always nice to learn some new tips and tricks that might help you out during working hours. How do you know how much food to make? How many people do you bring to assist you? These are some of the tips that would help the new caterer starting out or the caterer that’s been around for years.
Probably the biggest question a caterer has to answer is how much food they need to make. Knowing what type of event for the catering and how many people will be attending is a must when planning. It can also be helpful to know how long the event will last if you want to make extra food that will keep guests full the entire time. Depending on the time of day the event takes place also tells you how many courses you will need to plan for, as well as if you should include appetizers. Overall it’s up to the caterer, but knowing your courses, how many to have, and what meal you are planning can be the make or break part of the catering event.
One nice tip for catering is to keep the main part of the event as short as possible. This will allow you to make your presence known, get people fed, and get out of there before you run out of food. You will also need to make less food as people won’t be expecting to eat for a long period of time. Also, trying to have a friend help you serve or eliminating servers all together (i.e. a self-serve bar) will be helpful in the long run as well.
Controlling the portions of food the guests get will also be helpful for the extent of the catering. If you have tiny appetizers and give each person one, or have someone serve the food and then take it away, it can be a time and cost saving measure on your end. Also, if there is a bar, sticking to a few different drinks can help cut costs as well as time for guests to choose what they want. If it’s just wine and beer and maybe a few special cocktails, people will be happy and it will be less of a headache for you.
Another cost saving measure is to try and come up with recipes that use cheaper cuts of meat or other ingredients than say an expensive prime rib dish. Using something like salmon, or a cheaper cut of beef to control your spending while making a creative dish can still be appealing to your guests and a huge cost saving measure for your business.
When choosing what to serve cut out things that you think you can do without also. Things like a bar may not be needed, so make sure to ask if that needs to be included. Dessert can be limited to something small if you make another portion of the meal fairly large. All you have to do is some juggling to get the right menu down while still keeping your costs low and you can make a nice profit from your service.