Are you wondering what a special events caterer can help you with and how to go about finding the right catering company? We interviewed the special events manager at Caroline's Fine Foods for a helpful breakdown and some expert tips to take the guesswork out of your next event.
Types of Special Events
There are all sorts of catering services out there. Some cater to specific niches like weddings or events at a dedicated venue. Most companies will serve a variety of special event occasions. These events fall into two broad categories: corporate and personal.
Corporate special events
Popular corporate events include: business breakfasts/lunches/dinners, corporate retreats, VIP visits, team building exercises, lunch and learns, staff appreciation days and office parties. Corporate events can be traditional business events or can incorporate creative elements. We've catered several interesting fundraisers and even a corporate murder mystery event!
Personal special events
The most frequently catered personal special events are: bridal and baby showers, graduations, weddings, birthdays, retirement parties, bereavements, holiday parties, engagements, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries and celebration of life memorials. Less common catered events can spring from almost any gathering or cause. Have you ever been to a seance or a masquerade ball? A Kentucky Derby party or a movie set in an airplane hanger? We've catered all four!
When planning a corporate or personal event there are several things to bear in mind. First, it's smart to ask yourself the following before you approach a catering company.
- What is my headcount? How many guests will I have?
- What is my budget for the event?
- Do I want full service catering? A delivery with set-up? A drop off or pick-up?
- Where would I like to hold the event?
- Will I need other services: a venue, bar services/liquor, lighting, music (band/dj), rentals (plate, cutlery, glassware, linen, tents, tables and chairs), flowers, etc.
- Is my special event themed? What kind of food would work best for the guests and event I have in mind?
A good catering service will ask you all of the above, of course, but you will be able to flesh out a professional, well-organized, detailed proposal if you come to some conclusions about what you're looking for before you approach your prospective caterer.
Some points and further questions
Obviously, you're looking for a special event caterer who can accommodate your general needs.
Find out or ask:
- Are they local? If not, will they be willing to travel and how will this factor into your cost?
- What is their reputation like? Are they well-reviewed?
- Are they able to accommodate your event type and catering style?
When you engage them:
- Are they responsive and flexible?
- Do they ask you detailed practical questions about your needs and do they offer you practical solutions?
- Do they point out potential pitfalls or difficulties?
- Are they willing to work within your budget?
Successful special events planning depends on two main factors: A knowledgeable event planner and an experienced and creative kitchen staff. A good catering company will offer to schedule a tasting where you will be able to sample potential options that you're interested in. They should also be able to give you guidance concerning options like rentals, music, etc. Reputable caterers usually have networks that they partner with for the convenience of their clients and will work closely with you to ensure the smooth planning and execution of your event.
Caroline’s Fine Food is the perfect choice for your next event. With years of experience and a team of professionals who have been trained in all aspects of event catering, we can help you plan any type of event and make it a success.
Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a large-scale gala, Caroline’s Fine Food has the background and knowledge needed to make sure your guests are well fed and happy.