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!

  4. Thanks for the advice that I should know my catering options before I hire a catering service for my party. As far as I know, none of my guests have dietary restrictions so it may be good to get paella as my main course. I’ll be sure to stick to a schedule so that I can host my event on time as well.

  5. You make a great point to remember to keep in mind people’s dietary restrictions when you are planning a party. I am trying to be vegetarian right now, so when people keep things like that at parties and have things without meat I am always very grateful. I can imagine that other people with even more severe things like celiacs are more grateful than I since gluten makes them so sick.

  6. You made a great point that you should not forget about drinks. This is a great way to make sure that you are getting a service that can accommodate everyone. My sister might like knowing this as she looks for a catering service for her wedding.

  7. I really liked how you said not to underestimate how much food you’ll need. This is really helpful for my family because I have a couple of brothers and cousins that are black holes. It would be really fun to have a caterer for our next family event when we invite everyone so one person isn’t stuck cooking for five days.

  8. My brother will be hosting a meeting and he wants to have great food for people. It was explained here that he should choose the appropriate level of service that’s suitable for the occasion. Furthermore, it’s recommended to consult experts when in need of restaurant catering.

  9. Thanks for letting me know that I should choose an appropriate level of catering service for my wedding. I think it would help if they provide me sample menus so I can select the right one. I’ll also consider the dietary restrictions of my guests so that everyone will enjoy their time being there.

  10. You said that we should always overestimate your headcount. I’ll be sure to do this for my sister’s wedding. She wants a catering service to help her with her big day.

  11. I like how you mentioned that depending on the level of catering you are getting, you need to know the facility options at your venue. My sister’s wedding is coming up in 8 months, and she has put me in charge of finding the caterer, but I have no idea how to go about it. I will definitely keep your great tips and information in mind when looking for the best caterer possible for my sister’s wedding.

  12. It’s good to know that you should keep your caterer updated with your estimated headcount as that number changes. My daughter is currently planning her wedding, and she wants to know the best way to go about telling the caterer how many guests she will have. I’ll be sure to pass this information along to her so that she can keep her caterer updated.

  13. You’re right about saying that I have to overestimate my headcount for my wedding. I think I’ll hire a mobile cocktail service if the venue’s options allow it. This way, I can choose the right menu that everyone would like to drink.

  14. I like that you mentioned considering the dietary restrictions of the guests at a wedding. If I were getting married, I would have to have a gluten-free cake! I would definitely have to find a caterer that customizes their menu to make that work.

  15. Thanks for the reminder to ask about silverware and other services that are included. That is good advice!

  16. I thought it was so smart that you recommended asking guests about their dietary needs and restrictions beforehand so that you know if you need to get any vegetarian or non-dairy options for them. My daughter just got engaged on New Year’s Eve and is now planning a fall wedding for October! I will make sure that we get guests’ dietary needs documented before ordering.

  17. It was really helpful when you said to not underestimate the amount of food you need to get. My sister was telling me last night about how she has an event coming up at her work in a couple of weeks, and she was wondering what she should do when hiring a catering service to help her. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to her so that she can know what to do when searching for a catering service for her event.