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As a caterer, you will need a supplier you can rely on. This is incredibly important if you want to be able to produce the highest quality food and keep within the deadlines you have promised your clients. You need to know that your catering supplies will be arriving on time and will be to a good enough standard.
If you are looking for a new supplier, a face to face meeting is always advisable. Talk through the business side of things to work out arrangements for deliveries and don’t be shy to discuss prices. If you need catering supplies in a large volume on a regular basis, you can drive a hard bargain.
Test the quality of the ingredients from your supplier. You can attract new customers by using local suppliers and ingredients and this can actually become a good selling point. Make sure you try before you buy – know where your produce is coming from.
Children need to eat a good, balanced diet. It’s important for their growth and for their overall health as well. In many schools, children will be given the option to choose from meals provided by the school canteen. Here are some pros and cons of this, and some things for you to think about as a health-conscious parent:
- What kind of food is served? If it is healthy food, you may be able to get some good options for your child at lunchtime.
- Is there much variety? Children may be fussy and will sometimes have special dietary requirements. Consider how much variety there will be for fussy eaters.
- How much is it? Some children qualify for free school meals. For most parents though, school meals will be an expense. Make sure you and your child are happy with the options if you are going to be paying for the food.
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.
As with any business, a catering business needs to be advertised to obtain and retain customers. People need to know that the business exists and what it is able to offer. These are some of the ways in which to advertise catering services:
• Make the building itself noticeable. Choose a branded awning for the entrance and make sure signage is clear. It should be clear what the business does – have some images that suggest high-quality food and catering.
• Use print advertising. Distribute leaflets to the local area or place an advert in a relevant magazine. Focus on quality again and make the catering services look professional and the food look delicious!
• Advertise online. It’s easy to advertise on a range of online platforms, from social media to websites and search engines. Put together a campaign that targets the right people and again make use of images. If you’ve catered a successful wedding or have made a beautiful cake, use photos to show your actual work.
Catering for a party involves meeting many different dietary needs and individual tastes. It can certainly be a challenge, but a rewarding one as well. There are few feelings as good as seeing people enjoying the food you have prepared for them.
Part of the challenge is knowing quite what people will expect from the food at their party. If you are a professional caterer or events organiser, make sure you get a detailed brief from the client. Spend some time talking to them to see what they want and what kinds of foods will appeal. You may even want to give them the opportunity to taste some food samples, especially if the event is more formal and the food really needs to impress.
The most important part of preparing good party food is knowing what to prepare to meet the unique needs of the event. Ask some specific questions – should the party involve a sit-down meal or a buffet? Is it casual or formal? Will guests help themselves or will they be served?