No matter what kind of gathering you’re having, food is almost always welcome. Whether it’s more of a sit-down affair or a cocktail hour, if people are drinking or mingling, they likely also want to nibble. However, if you’re throwing a bigger affair, figuring out how to feed everyone can be a bit of a struggle. This is where catering can come in handy. The average size of a catering party is between 100 and 250 people and there are tons of catering options. Event catering covers all kinds of cuisines, from sandwiches and soups to barbecue catering or comfort food, like wings and mac and cheese. Many restaurants offer catering packages as well, so it’s always worth inquiring at your favorite restaurant. Do keep in mind that one thing that can drive a catering cost up is an open bar — up to a quarter of the bill might be spent on alcohol for an open bar.
When Should I Opt for Catering?
A more formal event or an event at which you’re expecting a lot of people — like a holiday or office party, wedding, or promotional event — already needs a lot of planning. At most of these events, food is expected and most people don’t have the time or resources to adequately provide food for everyone themselves. This is where a catering company can be an invaluable resource.
However, any gathering can be easily taken care of with catering. No matter how small or large, a catering company will save you time and stress, be able to offer a menu that accommodates various dietary restrictions, and makes a professional and polished statement. They’ll often also set up and break down the food stations for a buffet, plate the food for a more formal gathering, and in some cases, may offer service as well.
What to Look For in a Catering Company
If you’re opting to get catering services from a specific restaurant, as you might with more specialized foods, like barbecue catering, you’ll likely be working with a catering company. Recommendations and references are always important elements to finding a good caterer. They may have specialties as well, so if you’re looking for a specific type of cuisine or are expecting a larger or smaller group, you might see what the company is most used to handling.
They should also be licensed and you can check them out with the health department in your area to see if there have been any complaints and make sure they’re compliant with health regulations. A catering company who offers you a quote (even if it’s a sample) and a tasting is definitely one to seriously consider. This will allow you to know what to expect in terms of food quality, and also what services will be provided.
If you’re speaking with a few different catering companies, collecting quotes from them allows you to see which one might have the best services and style for your event, before even looking at a contract or negotiating with them.
Why Barbecue Catering is a Good Choice
Pretty much everyone loves comfort food and barbecue catering can scratch that itch and has mass appeal. From finger food like wings and fries to sauce-slathered ribs, tangy coleslaw, and juicy pulled pork, there’s something for everyone with this style of catering.
It’s also great year round. Barbecue is often associated with summer and grilling, but sometimes mashed potatoes and ribs just hit the spot during the cold months of summer. And with the introduction of veggie burgers and other meatless mains, and because so much of barbecue is also in the sides, it’s a versatile option, to ensure that everyone gets fed.
Plus, barbecue is pretty common in most parts of the country, and so finding a place that can cater this type of cuisine should be pretty simple.
Reduce some of your stress at the next event by opting to hire a caterer. You won’t have to worry about food or beverages and rest assured that guests are getting quality, delicious food.