BEST ADVICE ON CATERED EVENTS
FROM THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW BEST
Catering Tips From The Pros

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6 Things You Better Know About Catering Before You Hire Your Catering Company

Just like most important tasks or duties in life, working with a catering company can certainly be a positive (or not so positive experience). The way to improve the quality of the experience and to prevent huge potholes along the way simply comes down to understanding some of the basics. To provide you with the "Rules of Engagement" ZZZippy went straight to the source, Michiana's Top Catering Professionals. Follow their directions and it will undoubtedly improve your Catered Event and your overall experience.

#1
Do Not Underestimate Experience.
Anyone can cater, unfortunately many folks can ruin an event because they don't have the experience it takes to cater an even properly. Catering is not about cooking food. Catering is about having an in-depth understanding of what your client needs are, understanding their objectives, having a grasp of their expectations. The having the staff to ensure that the meals are prepared properly, that schedules are kept and that guests are happy. These are not things that an inexperienced person or catering company can do day in and day out. You need to make sure that the catering firm you hire has the experience and people power (and the talent) to deliver to your expectations.

Deborah Dudas, the Legendary Skillet Catering, South Bend, Indiana

www.thelegendaryskillet.com

#2Plan Your Menu According To Your Event... Not Your Personality.A common mistake in catered event planning is that the planners often tend to want to please themselves as opposed to meeting a specific goal of the event. This is an easy trap to fall into because most all of us love great food and of course we all have our favorite types of foods. However, I recommend that you always plan around your event and what you want to achieve with that event. I assure you, if your guests are happy you will also be happy... even if you have to make concessions for your personal taste.
Chef Cynthia Gallero-Greer, Katharos Catering, Niles, Michigan
www.katharoscatering.org

#3
Develop A Reasonable Budget Upfront.
In the real world most of us live on some type of budget (regardless of small or large which is relative anyway). Catering an event is no different. Develop a budget, with or without the assistance of a catering professional. This budget should serve as a guideline, not an anchor, but you should keep that budget in mind as you plan your meal. Always be cautious of "all" aspects of the meal. That should include appetizers, beverages, cocktails, desserts and any other aspects of your catered meal.
Obviously it can be easier to develop a budget if you are working hand in hand with your catering professional. They can assist you in getting the most "bang for your buck" when it comes to the food. They may also share ways to stretch what you get with your budget. That's one of the things we strive to do with our customers.Evonne Corbett, Yesterday's Food & Spirits, Granger, Indianayesterdays-granger.com

#4
Know Your Event...
Know Your Audience.
The first thing that you must understand is your event. What exactly do you want to achieve with it (what is your objective)? What kind of feel do you want it to have? What do you want your guests to feel when they arrive? What should they feel when your meal is served? What do you want them to feel after dinner? This may sound quaint, but it is actually very important regarding any catered event.
Next, ensure that you understand your audience. What might their expectations be? Do you want to deliver to those expectations or do you have expectations of your own? Sometimes it's best to set your own expectations, but you should always understand your guests, their mindset and what image you want them to leave with.
Jonathan Lutz, Uptown Kitchen Group, Granger, Indianawww.theuptownkitchen.com

#5
Insist On Getting What You Pay For.
At Ruth's Chris Steak house, we believe guests should always get what they pay for (if not more). It's that philosophy that works in the restaurant business, but it also holds true in the catering business. We cater all types of events, from simple lunches to fancy dinners. But the one thing that we always assure our customers is that they will get the quality that they expect from us. One of the ways we have been successful in doing so is by helping our customers set realistic expectations. This is a big part of the success of any relationship. Develop realistic expectations and make sure you get what you bargain for. That goes a long way in making for a successful catering.

Tim Ruys, General Manager/Partner, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Granger, Indiana

www.ruthschris.com/restaurant-locations/south-bend...

#6
Match Your Food To Your Event.
Every event is special... and every event is different. When preparing for your event make sure you remember that it is special... and every event is different. When preparing for your next event make sure you remember to match the food to the type of event you’re having. It takes very little time to creatively pair your menu so that it compliments your audience and occasion. A formal event likely (but not always) calls for an upscale menu with serious consideration given to the finest details. A business luncheon or office catering can often be the most successful when you keep the menu simple (sandwiches, quiches, cheese and cracker plates and vegetable trays). This type of food is “clean”, easy to clean up and versatile for simple caterings.

Karen Wolfe, Karen's Homestyle To Go, Warsaw, Indiana

www.karenshomestyle.com

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