8 Catering Tips for Your Next Event

Whether you’re planning a wedding or hosting a corporate event, finding a caterer is probably one of the first items on your to-do list. If so, you’re likely coming up with headcounts and maybe even planning menus. But, before you sign off on all the details, there are some factors you don’t want to overlook. Take your catered event to the next level with these catering tips.
Catering Tips - Catering Buffet

1. Always Overestimate Your Headcount

“Well, the California cousins probably won’t come. And, some of my coworkers might have other plans that day.” If you’re downsizing your headcount based on guesses, stop what you’re doing. While it’s a good idea to be realistic, it’s also important not to underestimate the amount of food you’ll need. To be safe, give your caterer updates on the number of guests as the event draws nearer. And, when a final head count is requested, always overestimate it. In general, too much food is always better than too little.

2. Know Your Venue Options

Depending on the level of catering you are getting (full-service, some servers, or just a simple buffet) you need to know the facility options. Make it a point to tell your caterer all about the event venue. Will they have access to a kitchen? Are tables and chairs provided? How early can the caterer arrive on the day of the event? This information can help them plan accordingly.

3. Choose an Appropriate Level of Service

So you’ve found your caterer. But, have you decided between a buffet or wait staff service? Formal events call for formal service, so it may be best to opt for wait staff. On the other hand, for casual weddings and meetings, a buffet may be more cost-effective. Not sure which is best or fits in your budget? Call Adam’s and we can help.

4. Select the Right Menu

Different times of day necessitate different menus. Traditionally, lunch menus should include a five-ounce entrée per person, two or three side dishes and a handful of appetizers. On the contrary, dinner menus should have even more appetizer options, a seven-ounce entrée, two to three side dishes and desserts. If you want to think outside the box, Adam’s can come up with a custom menu to fit your needs.

5. Consider Dietary Restrictions

Don’t forget to ask about guests’ dietary restrictions well before your event. Some people may be vegetarian. Others may have celiac disease or have an allergy to dairy, eggs, shellfish and other common foods. If you let your event caterer know beforehand, they should be able to accommodate any dietary needs.

Catering Tips - Alcohol

Pro tip: If you plan on having a bar or serving alcohol, make sure you ask your venue for their alcohol policy. Some locations may not allow it and others have a time restriction.

6. Ask about Additional Services

Are plates and silverware included? What about linens? Some caterers, like Adam’s Taphouse and Grille, will provide serving tables and coverings. They may also be able to assist with tents, tables, chairs and other supplies for even more convenience. When it comes to event planning, the fewer vendors you have to hire, the better.

7. Don’t Forget about Drinks

The menu has been planned. That’s great! But, what about drinks? Make sure your next event goes off without a hitch by planning a drink menu. Offer a variety of beverages to accommodate guests of all ages. Nonalcoholic beverages, like soda and water, are must-haves. For weddings, you may consider taking on alcoholic drinks, like beer, wine, and liquor.

8. Stick to a Schedule

Nobody likes cold food. And, we don’t blame them. Therefore, make sure you share your itinerary with your caterer. That way, they can arrange food service around your schedule. No cold meals – only happy guests.

Now that you’ve committed these catering tips to memory, it’s time to pick a caterer. From corporate events to wedding catering, Adam’s Grille & Taphouse in Severna Park offers a hands-on approach when it comes to planning the menu for your next event. Contact us today to learn more about our catering services or for more catering tips.

  1. I like that you suggested telling the caterer the number of guests you have to update them as the event comes nearer. I think that is important to ensure that the food will be enough for everyone. This is perfect for us since we are still unsure of how many people we will be inviting. This is because some of our friends and families are from another state that is why we are waiting for their confirmation. We will do this once we have hired a caterer.

  2. My little sister is starting to plan her wedding. I liked that you pointed out that she should overestimate your headcount. That does seem like a good thing to do with catering. So, then she won’t run out of food.

  3. Thanks for the reminder that it’s important to ask if they will adjust for any dietary restrictions, since it’s likely that some of the guests will have allergies or preferences. I’ve been trying to help choose a caterer for the grand opening party of the new building at my work, but it can be difficult knowing the right questions to ask. Dietary restrictions are an important factor to consider, so I really appreciate you sharing that advice!

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