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Working as a catering professional in a busy environment, it can be easy to lose sight of the people you are actually working for – your customers. When you are busy working in a kitchen, you can feel very far removed from the people eating and enjoying your food.
It is important never to lose sight of the people you are catering for, as this stops the job becoming a routine. You should think about crafting your menus and your services to meet the needs of the different people you are cooking for. If possible, have a chat to people to work out what they are looking for and to decide on menus with them. This is especially important if you are catering for a wedding. This might be routine catering for you, but for the bride and groom, it is their special day. Make them feel special with your customer service and attention to detail.
A marquee makes a great venue for a wedding. It’s a good way to be able to seat all of your guests in one place, and have plenty of room to adjust the layout as you wish. It is also likely to be cheaper than hiring our a building.
One of the main things you will need to think about is the catering for your wedding. If you hire our a building, often there will be a kitchen and you will be able to book wedding breakfast and buffet packages along with the hire. This may not be the case with a marquee wedding.
If you have a marquee that is in the grounds of a house or hall, ask about whether you will also have access to the catering facilities. Equally, if you hire an external caterer, find out whether they will have space to cook and prepare food.
Sometimes, it just isn’t practical to buy everything you need for an event. Whether you are a caterer, an event planner or the person holding the event, you will be in the same position – in need of equipment to make sure your event runs smoothly. Looking for event equipment hire could be a viable option for you, as it will give you the opportunity to get hold of everything you need for a fraction of the price of buying it.
Where will you be able to get the events equipment you need? There are many companies that offer equipment hire, and lots of them are highly capable companies. They have high quality equipment that you can hire out for various periods of time, offering you a very flexible service. The equipment you can hire will totally depend on the company you select – the offering is different from events company to events company.
Why should you consider events equipment hire?
There are many benefits to hiring equipment instead of buying it. Here are some things you should carefully consider:
- Cost. You can save yourself a lot of money by hiring. Some companies will hire out items like crockery, glassware and table cloths for incredibly low prices. They will often come as part of a package as well if you hire higher cost items like marquees.
- Convenience. Many events equipment companies will be able to deliver your items to you. If you hire out a marquee or a bar, they will be able to come and set it up at a time that works for you. This saves you the hassle of having to do it yourself.
- Quality. If you hire from a company that specialises in events, chance are they will have items that are better quality. They need their customers to be happy with the standard of equipment they provide, so it is in their best interests to make sure it is all high quality.
- Ongoing relationships. If you run events, it will pay off to use the same company on an ongoing basis. They will be able to give you better prices (especially if you hire in bulk), and you get a better service when you work with a company regularly.
Who might use an events hire company?
- Events planners and managers, wedding planners.
- People planning a wedding.
- Commercial and corporate businesses who run conferences and events
- Anyone planning any kind of party of event
How to find the equipment you need
It’s important you find the right kind of events hire company to make sure you can get the equipment you need. Some will deal with smaller items, like crockery and tableware. Others will be able to hire out everything you need, including marquees, fridges, bars, kegs, electrical equipment, lighting, dance floors and speakers. Find someone local to you who has a strong reputation for what you do. This makes it more likely that you will be able to get the equipment you need, at the time you need it.
Catering is an industry where you will usually be expected to have a qualification of some kind. This proves that you are competent and understand the processes that are essential to what you are doing, like good food hygiene and good ingredient storage. There are lots of ways in which you can gain a qualification.
There are lots of different qualifications you may earn, including a Diploma in Professional Cookery, an NVQ in Hospitality, a Diploma in Patisserie and Confectionery, and many more. The qualification you decide on will depend on your ambitions for your career. For example, if you also want to work with customers in food service, and not just in the kitchen, you will also want some food service skills.
If you are going to gain a qualification, check what careers it can lead to and find a college where you can study at times to suit you.
More and more pubs are offering food and many are now known as gastropubs. For caterers, this provides a wealth of opportunity. Many pubs are teaming up with local caterers to offer food and bar snacks to their customers, without having to have their own chef. Here are some of the benefits:
- It’s good for business. Customers will now often expect a pub to offer a good food menu as well as their usual selection of drinks. A delicious menu can bring in new business.
- Pubs can advertise that they are using local suppliers. There is currently a large emphasis on where food is coming from and who is providing it. By showing they work with local caterers, pubs can boost their reputation.
- Pubs will be able to outsource all their food requirements. Caterers can prepare lots of the food off site and simple put the finishing touches to it in the kitchen.