A big catering event does not have to break the budget. Here are 10 ways catering experts suggest to have a great event while still keeping money in the bank account:
Shorten the event. Many traditional affairs usually start with a cocktail hour and then move onto a full- course dinner with desert. This adds significant costs to the affair. An option is to have a cocktail reception with food stations that last a fraction of the time of an upscale dinner reception.
Invite food establishments to participate. Many local restaurants might jump at the chance to advertise their products and may provide food at cost. One could set up various food stations dedicated to each establishment taking part in the occasion.
Control staffing costs. Not all events need to have extra staff on hand to handle duties that the people running the event can handle themselves. A caterer can provide the food and arrange the room, but keeping the tables in order and continually supplied can be handled by the event staff.
Be creative with bar offerings. Liquors and spirits can cost a lot of money and are not really necessary for everyone to have a good time. Try limiting these offerings to one or two brands of alcohol. One can contact wineries and micro-breweries in the area to allow them the opportunity to present their products to a potentially new audience at cost.
Simplify the glassware. Having different glassware for each style of drink is nice, but it also adds costs to the event. One may end up renting more glassware than necessary to ensure everyone has the type of glassware available for them to use for each type of drink. Some experts suggest renting a stylish glass that can be used for all the drinks to cut down on costs.
Watch how much people eat. Sit down meals are expensive and many people will opt to have a buffet instead. The problem with buffets, some catering experts note, is that one cannot control how much food a guest can put on their plate. Measured portions help to control costs. An alternative is having servers carry around food trays with appetizers during the cocktail hour instead of setting up an appetizer buffet.
Skip the filet mignon. Using high quality meats for the main course is expensive. Many caterers are now offering options such as stews, curries, ethnic and “farm-to-table” meals in place of expensive meats.
Delete some services. Many catered events have a coffee table set aside for guests. An alternative would be to put a coffee pot behind the bar for those who wish to enjoy a cup after their meal and save on setting up a full service table.
Choose accessible venues. Experts recommend choosing a venue that has a full commercial kitchen and easy access for the caterer to load and unload supplies before and after the event. This will cut down on the amount of time a caterer has to work and will help to control expenditures.
Relaxed affairs should stay relaxed. A poolside event should be kept simple with finger foods, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
These are ways to control the costs of events while everyone has a great time for a lot less money than a traditional affair would cost.
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il Tulipano is the name of establishment where Derek Whitney works. He enjoys blogging about party ideas, different ways you can save while catering and how you can throw the perfect dinner party.