If you want a warm, personal touch to the party, your home is the best option. Entertaining at your home can be more work and worry. However, there is a way to entertain at home and still have most of the work done for you.
This is to have the party catered. Your guests will enjoy your unique type of hospitality and you can still have delicious food prepared by experts.
Even if you are having a small get together, hiring a caterer is still a great option because it will keep you out of the kitchen so that you can enjoy the party yourself.
If you are planning to hire a professional in home party catering, there are a few tips that you should follow.
- Start With the Basics
Before you sit down with the caterer, you should already know the number of guests that will be attending. You should also have a budget in mind. A reputable caterer will suggest items that fit into your budget.
At this time, you should also let the caterer know if there are any guests who have food allergies or any special requirements.
- Evaluate Your Kitchen
Before you meet with the caterer, you should take a look at your kitchen. The caterer will need to know whether or not you have enough counter space, how many burners you have on your stove, how much room you have in your oven, and the space available in your refrigerator for them to prepare the food. If not, they would need to bring in the necessary items.
Also, if you are planning a large party, the caterer may need a spot where they can set up a satellite kitchen. They will need to know if you have the additional space.
- Don’t Forget the Extras
There is more to planning a party than just planning the menu. You are going to need tables, linens, chairs, glassware, and serving dishes. There are some caterers who will provide these items. There are others who will coordinate the rental with an outside vendor.
It is very important that you ask these questions when you are sitting down with the caterer. If you need specialty items such as ice buckets and coffee urns, you might be better off buying them than renting them. It could be less costly.
- Discuss the Servers
When sitting down with the caterer, you should discuss the amount of service that you would like. This will give the caterer an idea of how many servers to bring on the day of the event.
- Discuss the Cleanup
Most caterers will expect the kitchen to be clean when they arrive and they will make sure that is in the same condition when they leave. It is important to find out if the caterer will take care of packing up any rentals and return them or if it will be up to you to handle this task.
You should also find out if they will wash the dishes that belong to you. If you want the leftovers boxed up and placed in your fridge, you should mention it at the initial meeting.
- Discuss Your Expectations
It is important to let the caterer know what you expect them to be responsible for and what you will do yourself. You should find out if the servers will arrange the tables and the place settings. Also, ask if the servers will refill the guest’s wine or coffee.
You should ask the caterer if the servers will clean up as the party progresses. Finally, discuss any other services that you need. You shouldn’t expect the caterer to read your mind.
- The Bar
When it comes to the bar, you should find out if the caterer will provide the drinks or if it would be more cost-effective for you to buy the drinks yourself. You should also find out if the caterer will provide a bartender or if you are going to have a self-serve bar. You should also ask if the caterer will bring ice or if you need to buy it on your own.
- Talk About the Timing
It is important that you get an exact time that the caterer and the servers will arrive. You should also discuss the time that the food will be ready and when the servers will begin bringing it out.
To make sure that your party wraps up in time, you should find out how long it will take the caterer to clean up, pack their things and leave your home.
Finally, if your guests are having a good time, you should find out if the caterer will stay later.
- Parking Issues
If parking at your home is limited, you should make sure that the caterer parks as close to the house as possible but ask that the servers park down the street. This will ensure that your guests have a place to park.
- Discuss the Cost and Payment
When you sit down with the caterer, you need to discuss the cost of the service, tips for the servers, and when the payment would be due. Also, find out what forms of payment the caterer accepts.
If you want your party to go smoothly you should make a list and check things off as you go along. This will ensure that you won’t forget anything. When you hire a caterer for an event, your responsibilities would include inviting guests, cleaning up, and having a great time.
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