Catering is well-loved by businesses for taking the responsibility of providing food and drinks for guests off the host company, removing stress and over-spending. Catering services can be customized to fit any need or budget. From small business meetings to lavish wedding receptions, there is a catering option that will perfectly fit your needs. Below, we will look at all the different types of catering and what is typically included in each one. Whether you are looking for catering from restaurants or hiring a designated catering business for your next event, this guide will help you make an informed decision.
What is Catering?
Catering is the business of providing food and drinks to a group of people, usually in a public setting. Catering services can be provided by restaurants, catering companies, or even individual chefs. No matter who you choose to cater your event, you can feel confident that they will provide delicious food and drinks for your guests.
Types of Catering Services
There are many different types of catering services, each one tailored to fit a specific need or budget. Here are some of the most popular types of catering:
1. Full-service Catering
This type of catering includes everything from food and drinks to tableware and servers. Full-service catering is perfect for large events such as weddings or corporate functions.
Pricing for full-service catering can vary depending on the size and scope of the event. However, full-service catering is typically more expensive than other types of catering.
2. Drop-off Catering
Drop-off catering is a great option for small events or those on a budget. With this type of catering, the food is prepared ahead of time and then delivered to the event location. The catering company will typically set up the food on buffet tables or serving trays.
3. Buffet Catering
Buffet catering is a type of drop-off catering where the food is delivered to the event and set up on buffet tables. Buffet catering is a great option for events where you want guests to have the freedom to serve themselves.
4. Family-style Catering
Family-style catering is a type of drop-off catering where the food is delivered to the event and served family-style. With this type of catering, guests help themselves to food from large platters or bowls.
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Family-style catering is a great option for events where guests want to interact and mingle. Pricing for family-style catering can vary depending on the type of food being served, but it is typically less expensive than full-service catering.
5. Boxed Lunch Catering
Boxed lunch catering is a type of drop-off catering where the food is delivered to the event in individual boxes or bags. Boxed lunch catering is a great option for events where guests need to be able to take their food with them.
6. Hors d’Oeuvres Catering
Hors d’oeuvres catering is a type of drop-off catering where the food delivered to the event is not meant to be a full meal. Rather, the dishes are appetizers or small, bite-sized items to snack on. Hors d’oeuvres catering is a great option for events where guests will be mingling and networking.
7. Dessert Catering
Dessert catering is a type of drop-off catering where the food delivered to the event is all desserts. Dessert catering is a great option for events taking place after meal times, or for special, celebratory occasions!
Although dessert catering is typically less expensive than full-service catering, the price varies depending on the type of desserts served.
Catering Services to Avoid
When it comes to catering, you get what you pay for. Be wary of noticeably cheap catering. There are many catering companies that offer cheap catering services. However, these companies often cut corners by using lower-quality ingredients or hiring inexperienced staff.
The same should be said of free catering. Although it may seem like a good deal, free catering is often not worth the risk. Catering companies that offer free catering services often do so because they are inexperienced or desperate for business.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Catering from Restaurants
One of the most popular catering options is catering from restaurants. Catering from restaurants is a great option for those who want to save time and money.
Here are some things to keep in mind when catering from restaurants:
- Make sure the restaurant is reputable and has a good reputation for catering.
- Ask the restaurant if they have a catering menu.
- Make sure the restaurant is able to accommodate your catering order.
- Ask the restaurant if they offer delivery or pick-up.
- Make sure you understand the restaurant’s catering policies.
As you can see, there are many different types of catering services to choose from. When choosing a catering service for your event, it is important to consider your budget, the type of event you are hosting, and the catering options that best suit your needs. Catering from restaurants is a great option for those who want to save time and money. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above to ensure a smooth catering experience from start to finish.