Learning how to cater is not that difficult. However, a lot of work and preparation must be involved in order to cater successfully. Once you have mastered these key steps of learning how to cater, you’ll become better at catering through experience.
Things you'll need:
- Kitchen Staff
- Serving Staff
- Chafing ensembles and other supplies
- Ingredients to prepare menu
- Preparation–A rough estimate of the number of people you will be catering for should be established at least a few days prior to the catering event. The number of people will let you know how much food you’ll be expected to prepare. The menu should also be discussed as soon as possible (days prior) to ensure you have all the ingredients when it’s time to cook.
- Cooking–You should start cooking for an event at least six hours before serving time. Depending on the amount of food, type of food and the number of appliances and cooks you have available, you may even want to start the night before the day you are going to cater.
- Servers & Helpers–You will need a staff of people to help transport food, serve food and be on standby for anything else you or your clients may need to help your catering run as smooth as possible. It would look professional to have them in uniform.
- Serving–You, your staff and the food should be at an event waiting to cater for your guests, not the other way around. Start setting up as early as you can. Chafing ensembles are a must have when planning to cater with a serving line. They are widely used in buffets and include a food pan, water pan, fuel holders and stacking frames to display hot dishes ready for plating. Don't forget beverage dispensers and at least two or three variety of beverages to serve with the meal.
- Cleaning–Cleaning the area you’ve used to cater should be a courtesy along with your catering services. Leave every venue or home you have catered in exactly the way it was before you entered it to leave a positive lasting impression on your clients.