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Parties at home – should I hire a caterer?

Many people love entertaining and if you have young children, it seems like parties at home are becoming an ever-more common occurrence. Booking venues for events can be expensive, especially when you factor in food, not to mention that you’re often time-limited, and the food may be primarily beige and leave more than a little to be desired. Plus, if the event or occasion is for one of your children, it’s often in a highly child-focused venue and there’s much less opportunity for the adults to interact.

However, catering for a number of people can involve quite a lot of work and preparation, so increasingly people are turning to professional outside caterers to assist. This can then leave you free to enjoy the party, without having spent days prior cooking up pots of food or making and slicing sandwiches.

You may think that it sounds expensive, but it can be surprisingly cost-effective, especially when you factor in the time you’re saving. Most caterers offer a range of options to suit all budgets, on a price-per-head basis. I’d recommend only ordering food for 75% of attendees – as the allocation for each head is usually generous, this seems to be about the right level.

Thinking About your Customers as a Caterer

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.

Hiring Out a Marquee for a Wedding and your Catering Requirements

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.

Hiring Equipment for your Event or Special Day

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. Read More

Gaining a Catering Qualification

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.

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