Most of us here will organize social events at one point. You don’t need to be an event organizer or an entrepreneur to encounter the term “catering". After all, catering is everywhere. Be it for a company event, or a birthday celebration.
Knowing what is catering and varieties of catering will help organize the food side of your event. You don’t want your guests to be hungry, dissatisfied, or grumpy. Thus, it’s best to research on catering before inquiring about this service!
To put it simply, catering is a business service that provides food and drinks to guests in various events. These events can be either professional or casual in nature. Some of the examples are concerts, partnership ceremonies, weddings, birthday parties, and seminars.
Catering is one of the oldest businesses out there, dating back to the late 1770s in the United States. The first recording of catering was actually based in Philadelphia, USA. The catering was for a formal ball, which was organized for a general’s departure.
One of the first recorded ethnicities to start catering businesses were the African-Americans. This started along with their own restaurants and food diners. Ever since then, the catering business boomed worldwide, especially in the 1900s.
Convenience and ease
The convenience and the demand for this business are a large part of its success. The word “catering” itself means to cater, or serve. Thus, its very meaning centers around convenience for the customer. Every day, millions of events happen throughout the world. These events are usually held in enclosed venues. That gives an inconvenience to the guests if they get hungry during the event.
That alone gives this business lots of demand. However, the real success of this business probably comes from its safety. The catering business receives minimal losses because the portions of food are controlled. Unlike in restaurants, you don’t have a hard time balancing the food supply with the customers. The event organizer will give an estimated number of guests. Hence, pre-cooking sufficient portions will avoid unnecessary waste.
So, whether you’re planning to enter the business, or become a customer, it’s a great service that makes everyone happy!
I encountered catering a lot when I worked for a public relations agency. This agency focuses on organizing events for corporations. At one time, we were tasked to handle a partnership ceremony between two real estate companies. The companies were well-known worldwide. Thus, the people in attendance were also high-profile. Politicians, tycoons, ambassadors, and journalists were all present. Due to this pressure, the catering service must be top-notch, light, and classy.
Those three are one of the many natures of corporate catering. It depends on who’s attending. For instance, corporate catering can be done during a small inter-meeting of a company’s employees and heads. If that’s the case, it doesn’t need to be grand.
However, since in my case, it was between two conglomerates, the service must be the best. After all, you wouldn’t want to annoy guests that can affect the company’s earnings and shares!
Thus, the key takeaway here is to know the audience. Besides the service, the menu must be excellent but light. Businessmen attend corporate events to foster good relationships and business tactics, not to chow. With that said, food that’s light both for the palate and the stomach is preferred.
A good menu for this would be continental cuisines, boxed lunches, desserts, and alcohol if it’s done at night. If it’s done in the morning, exquisite coffee and international breakfast meals would be great!
Wedding catering is quite flexible in a way that it doesn’t have one definition. The reason for this is due to the changing wedding themes. Thus, a good catering for a wedding celebration should match the theme of the wedding.
For example, are you planning a rustic-themed wedding? If that’s the case, then simple but hearty dishes like pasta, stews, and soups would work well. Or maybe your wedding is Victorian? A posh French menu featuring steaks, pastries, and terrines will be a joy to your guests.
Remember, unlike in corporate catering, the food is a huge part of what your guests are expecting. After listening to the wedding officiator for hours, your guests will be hungry. So always keep in mind that the portions should be big enough for a second serving!
Unlike the first two, social events are a broad category. This can mean anywhere between birthday parties, balls, festivals, and concerts. Similar to a wedding catering, social events catering is usually dependent on the theme of the event.
However, keep in mind about the kind of people attending as well. Basically, it’s like using the principles of wedding and corporate catering to find a balance.
For example, are you hosting a house party with a small group of friends? Should that be the case, barbecue, fast food, and lots of alcohol would do the trick.
On the other hand, if it’s a concert, then finger food with big portions is a good way to go. Large social gatherings like banquets should usually stick to the safer side.
The reason for this is because there are many attendants with all sorts of backgrounds. So, neutral food with a good amount of serving should suffice. You’ll usually know it’s neutral if the food they’re serving is common to your culture.
Whether you’re planning to start a catering business, or you’re going to use one, the guests are always a priority. Many organizers fail to choose the right catering service because they rely on their own taste instead.
With that said, it’s good to know the varieties of catering and how it affects the menu. Remember, the event and the food always goes hand-in-hand. You can’t just plan an event where the food sticks out in a bad way. Good luck!
Click here to see the catering menu at Mr T's. We deliver in Brisbane and most suburbs around
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