Caterers 101: Four Things Your Caterer Wishes You Knew

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“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” –Alan D. Wolfelt

We might think their jobs are easy enough and straightforward, but the truth is, a caterer’s job is quite complex. Whether they may be providing the canapes for your daughter’s eighteenth soiree or providing all the courses to your elegant wedding, catering for an event is not as simple as creating a menu and cooking whatever is selected for the menu. The truth is being in your caterer’s shoes can be quite an overwhelming and daunting experience. In fact, there is a myriad of things your caterer would want you to know, so that the next time you are thinking of hiring one, you would have a better understanding of what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Additionally, it would not hurt to know a few of some insider caterer’s secrets that might be helpful in aiding you make better decisions for the catering of the party you would be hosting next. So, before you start scouring for potential catering services in Bacoor, Cavite or elsewhere, here are some of the things you might want to know:

1.) Guests will drink more than usual

Guests tend to indulge themselves more at parties by drinking in excess and far more than used to. More often than not, this is because celebratory libations are free and of course, parties have an aura of euphoria to it which would prompt guests to drink. As this is the case, estimating the amount of alcohol needed for a particular event can present a challenge, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that as your guests tend to imbibe more drinks than usual, so if you want them to indulge their drinking desires, buy more than necessary, or you can alternatively avail of cheaper packages.

2.) There is no need to create a menu around special diets

Some of your guests might be vegan, and there might be a few who might be allergic to gluten, this does not mean however that you have to bend over your back and design an entire menu to suit those preferences. Your caterer can always provide a dish or two for the guests who have particular or strict diets. Remember, you are feeding every single one of your guests—not only a fraction of them with specific diets.

3.) The kitchen at your site matters

One of the major snags a caterer would hit when it comes to catering for an event is a small kitchen—or worse the lack of one. Even if the food for your party is prepared off-site, a kitchen would still be ideal in order to reheat the food or keep it warm. In any case, having your caterers operate in a site sans a kitchen would result in creamy food being congealed and food losing its crisp. While this is not the case all the time (as you can always plan your menu with food that does not necessarily need to be kept warm), having a kitchen on the site would still be a good contingency plan.

4.) Pinterest is not always realistic

Some brides-to-be would come up to their caterers and ask them to imitate a particular food or cake they found off Pinterest and expect their caterers to mimic every detail. While Pinterest is a good website to inspire ideas for an event, not everything on the website is necessarily realistic. Apart from relying on the skills of your caterer, you also have your own budget to keep in mind. More often than not, the praise-worthy posts you have seen on Pinterest were probably created by food stylists who have employed innumerable inedible things (from shaving cream to glue) just to make food look the way it was advertised.

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Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

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“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

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Five Ways to Throw a Successful Kiddie Birthday Bash

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Throwing a birthday party for a kid is widely different than throwing a bash for an adult. In some cases, it may be even more stressful and time-consuming. Whereas teenagers and adults would be fairly satisfied with food and drinks, kids, on the other hand, are another story. There are so many aspects to consider such as how to entertain your young guests and keep them entertained. After all, kids do not possess the same attention span as adults do and could easily get bored after a while. However, fear not, children are fairly easy to please after all. So, if you are planning a birthday party or are hosting a kiddie birthday party anytime soon, here are some tried and tested tips to make it a successful bash:

1.) Have a theme in mind

Generally, in planning a kid’s birthday party, it is best to have a theme in mind so that you can base the rest of the party from that theme. This is so you that the rest of the party’s aspects such as the decorations, the entertainment, and the giveaways would have congruence. One such example is to have a ranch style party that you can hold in a local barn with a petting zoo. There are so many caterers that would offer you fun ranch party packages that are affordable as well as fun and entertaining for the kids.

2.) Consider the Food Issue

Most kids would be picky eaters and are unlikely to eat something they are unfamiliar with. In order to have a good workaround to this issue, look for a neutral menu that you are certain kids would love. An example would be a menu that consists of hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, pizza, and stews. These are all inexpensive to make and kids will love it. Additionally, make sure to have colorful utensils as kids are attracted to color and as much as possible, these should be plastic so that should accidents happen, you would not have much to clean up nor replace.

3.) Get creative

To curb costs, opt to do the decorations and the souvenirs yourself most especially if you have a creative streak. It might be time-consuming but the money you will save from making this than buying them ready-made would be very much worth it. Apart from the money you can potentially save, kiddie party decors are pretty straightforward and are not all that hard to make. You would only need small inexpensive packets of construction paper, craft foam, a pair of scissors and some tape or glue which you can then transform into banners and paper chains of any color combinations you want.

4.) Decide whether you want to use your home

An integral aspect of planning a kid’s birthday party is the venue. This is because if your home does not have an area where kids can freely roam around and would have a lot of fragile objects, you are putting those items at a risk when the kids would run amok or when they play. True enough, home parties can save you a great deal of money as you can leverage how much you would spend on food and decorations, but if you do not want to put that much effort in and you would not want to run the risk of broken house items, then choose a venue.

5.) Decide if you want to have the parents stay

Most parents would leave their kids at the party venue and would go on about their day until it is ready to pick them up. Other parents, however, would want to stay and keep a close watch on their kids. To make sure there is no miscommunication, indicate it on the invitation if the parents are invited to stay or not.

 

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Planning for an Event? Here’s Why You Should Go For Online Reservation

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Let’s get to the point. Planning for an event is a lot of hassle. You have to think about how you can effectively work out your plan to make it a success. Not to mention simple details that bring a significant impact to the said event. If you are an event planner or organizer, your tasks do not just end with the decorations and flow of the program. You also have to think about the food. However, if you think finding the perfect catering packages is simple, then you better think again. Whether you realize it or not, there are also a lot of things you need to consider before you hire a caterer.

For some event organizers, going for an online reservation would do the work since it has many advantages. In fact, organizers who do not have much time in dealing such has no problem since reserving or booking a caterer online is a hassle free. To give you an idea, we list down some reasons as to why you should go for online reservations.

Convenience

Who would want to make things difficult? No one, right? We all do want to make things easier and faster. Whatever we may do, we want some convenience. That is why booking a hotel online saves you some hassles and disappointments. You can even make the reservations through your smartphones and tables, with just a click away and you’re already booked. Gone are the day where you need for lengthy phone calls or visits to a catering shop just to book a place. Moreover, this can saves more time than booking it in person.

Customer reviews

Again, there are hundreds to thousands of websites that offers online reservations. And aside from shopping around for an affordable price, you can also shop around and see what website can provide you great and satisfying services. Yes, although there are lots of them, it doesn’t mean they can all give you the right services. There are also websites or caterers that leave their customers hanging without any work. That is why, before you decide and make the reservation, make sure you know what other previous customers can say about the agency and services that they give to them.

You can book anytime of the day

Of course, this! You don’t have to wait until they open their office. You can book anytime of the day and anywhere. Using of online booking systems are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So you don’t have any reasons as to why you didn’t get a place for you to stay.

Prices

One of the advantages, when you go for online reservations, is that you will know their price range. Of course, there are a lot of online booking websites where you can shop around and see what particular website offers the lowest prices. Most of the times, booking over the phone with the customer service representatives will give you some extra charges. However, when you do the bookings online, you can save some money on all those extra hidden charges. What you see on their website is the fixed price, which is lower than having it over the phone.

Changes and cancellations

Websites that offer online reservations are not that strict when it comes to that matter. If you think that there are some changes in your schedules, then you can re-scheduled your bookings or even cancel it. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about such things since they offer free online charges and cancellations within 24-hours of departure. Just make sure that you make some necessary changes ahead of time for as not to make the transaction void.

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Q&A: 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Hiring a Catering Company

“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.” – Andy Rooney

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Planning an event is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times one can experience. The success of the event is a reflection on how capable you are in organizing and coordinating things. When initiating an event, planners need to think about the flow of the program, theme, some people to attend,and don’t forget the food – it’s one thing most attendees are waiting for. While others would rather go for a snack, many event planners and organizers prefer hiring a catering company.

 
There will always be advantages when you hire a caterer. Most companies have catering packages that offer not just coordinating with the reception timeline and the flow of the dinner but, in most cases, they will also supply the needed tablewares. On top of your priorities, there’s no pressure when it comes to food. However, just because you decided to hire a catering company, that does not mean you’re done. There are crucial things to consider when choosing the right catering company for your event – this is to ensure that attendees would be satisfied with their services.

 
Below, we list down some questions to ask and consider before you choose and hire a catering company.

Who am I meeting with?

The basic question you need to ask – who you need to meet and talk with regards to the overall process. As a planner, you need to determine whether you are meeting with the owner of the company? A manager? A representative in the sales department? Do you know the owner of the company in person? Knowing these questions would give you an idea on how to approach such person to work with you for the entire event.

How will you run this event?

The next question you need to think about is what kind of event you are planning? Is it a formal event? A party style event? This will determine how the food will be served. Moreover, don’t forget to ask a similar question to the company. Although it is not your job to tell the caterer on what to do, at least you know how the catering staff will be operating during the event.

What other services do you offer?

Apart from the main course, a lot of catering companies offer desserts, some have licensed bar services, and there are even companies that offer you a venue where you could have a rehearsal dinner. Availing their deals or packages is not only convenient on your part, but you can also have it in a less expensive than purchasing other services from different companies.

Can you provide me with a broken-down cost estimate?

For most event organizers, unless if needed, spending too much is a no-no. As much as possible they would find a way or alternative on how they can pull things off in an affordable way. That means, when it comes to the cost, you need to be skeptical enough to make sure there will be no hidden cost. Know how much you need to pay for the labor, set-up/breakdown, and anything that involves you paying.

What is your leftover policy?

Some catering companies are strict when it comes to the leftovers. If a catering company does not allow you to take the leftovers, then you are only paying for what your guests ate. Moreover, make sure to ask whether you can wrap up the food for you to take home after the event.

 
As the event organizer or planner, it would take you some time to think about the crucial things to consider when hiring a catering company. You do not want to ruin a good event just because you’re not satisfied with the food and their services they offer. Again, the success of the event would determine how you manage and organize things.

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Personal Checklist in Choosing the Best Caterer for Your Grand Wedding!

Wedding is a once in a blue moon event. As such, it’s important to pay close attention to every detail necessary to make it successful.

One of the most important consideration when planning for one’s wedding is the catering menu. In any special event, the food can make or break the occasion’s impact so it’s crucial for couples and organizers to hire a caterer who is capable of providing certain menu at the right price.

If you’re currently stuck with the decision of who to call, then using the following checklist to narrow down your list could help.

Food and drink packages.

This is the most important part of the catering selection process. If you’re following a certain theme for your wedding, it’s only appropriate to choose foods that fit the motif. Different caterers have varied packages that contain predetermined menu selection so you’ll need to check what package fits your preference well.

Should you want to customize or create your own menu, it’s important to discuss it with the caterer in advance. Some may not be open to special requests, so giving them a heads-up saves more time.

Package cost.

As you go over the specific menu available, do take time to compare their pricing too. Needless to say, cross reference it with the packages offered by different caterers. This way, you’ll have an idea who gives the best-value prices for a specific package.

Granted that you’re working on a budget, knowing the price of the catering service is necessary to ensure that you don’t fall short of money on the other things that needs to be paid for your grand day.

Set-up and clean-up coverage

Will the company be in charge of setting up the foods for the venue? How about the clean-up? Choosing those who do will save you time and hassle before and after the event.

Some companies however require additional cost for this service so might as well include this in your considerations.

Utensil inclusions

There are caterers whose sole focus is the cooking of food and delivering them on your venue. Some doesn’t offer utensil such as plates, food warmers and linens to complete the entire setup.

Before agreeing on a deal, make sure you’re clear on this matter. For maximum convenience, it’s best to go for those who already include these tools in their service.

Beginning and end period of the service

Does the catering company offer an open-hour service? There are some who are strict with their services and only limit their service for specific hours.

Don’t forget to ask for this detail when canvassing for one. This way, you won’t have to worry about limiting your time in holding any program.

Clear details on deposits, insurance and cancellation terms

This is primarily concerned with the paperworks and payment for the service. In most cases, you will be asked to pay for a down payment before the event. Insurances are ideally part of the package too though some companies do not have this item on their inclusions.

Dealing with someone who have insurance details is an added protection that would hold the company liable in case there are issues with the food they serve.

Also, you may be presented with the terms of cancellation. This details the issues or grounds that are considered valid for you to cancel your request. It’s important that you understand its contents carefully to avoid wasted money just in case.

Choosing the right food for your grand wedding celebration is a crucial step. Factors such as the profile of your guests, their number, and theme of your event can potentially affect the type of package you must choose.

Work on completing your list with the thing we included in this post and start searching for the best catering service!

Four Things to Remember When Event Planning

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“The most successful event is the one that achieves your goals and exceeds your expectations.”

Events, whether big or small, require conscious and continuous planning. From this sentiment alone, it can be truly daunting. Any misstep along the way can cause you a great of stress and may have critical repercussions for your brand. This is why it is imperative to develop a checklist that is both strategic and helpful in your endeavors. This will serve as your roadmap in the initial planning phase and would help you navigate through the waters of your event. As you go along, you can then refine the details (from the event place down to the invitations to be handed out)

Here are four of the most important items to remember when you are planning an event. The next time you have an event to plan for, keep the items down below in consideration.

1.) The purpose of your event

Your event needs to have an objective–whether the event is a wedding reception, a birthday party, etc.—you need to ask what the purpose of your event is. This to ascertain that there is a real necessity for holding an event and a concrete reason for doing so. Without a defined objective, your event would be a costly effort, and you would not attract attendees or further your goal.

2.) Know your target audience

Carefully consider who you are inviting to your event. Is your event something that is only appropriate for select members? Or should you open the event to the general public? Knowing who to invite and who your target audience is for your event is crucial in having a good turnout of people attending your event.

3.) Getting the word out

To get people to attend your event, they need to know about it. Getting the word out is vital to make sure you have attendees and in today’s modern age, this is not exactly difficult to do. Tap in the prowess of social media, email, and snail mail alike to make sure people know about your event. But the best way to get your invitations across to people is to utilize is through email. This is as it would most assuredly get your event noticed minus the exorbitant cost of handing out invitations through snail mail. However, if your event is general in nature and does not require invitations, you may want to advertise through social media, newspaper event advertisements or posters.

4.) Overall logistics

You may think that things such as parking spaces and traffic flow are inconsequential aspects when it comes to an event, but you have to consider that what may seem like the small things can escalate into big issues if they are not addressed properly. Consider every aspect of your event from the parking space (make sure your event venue can hold the number of invitees you have) down to the food that is served (ascertain that there is enough for everyone and that there is always extra)

Holding an event may seem like a challenging endeavor, but more often than not, it is an event planner’s lack of preparation that could cause it to fail more than anything else. Be prepared by having a strategic plan and by furnishing yourself with ideas on how to make such an event prosper. Invite the necessary people that you think would benefit from the event and make sure the overall logistics are checked.

If you have carefully considered all of the things listed above, then you can guarantee that your event would be a success.

 

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