In any catering event, it is important to be prepared with all the equipment needed to eliminate any unforeseen circumstances during the said event. You have to be extremely organized to successfully cater to any time of function, may it be a large reception or a simple business luncheon. Lots of items can be overlooked in the rush to get out the door, like salt and pepper shakers, cocktail napkins, and even steak knives or forks.
Here are some of the things you need to take note of as preparation for any event you might have, big or small.
- Table Settings
This should always be present in any event. You will need dinner plates, bread plates, and salad plates if you are catering a sit-down meal. If you will be serving a soup course, add soup bowls. You also need water glasses and wine glasses if wine is being served, while providing coffee cups with saucers, and utensils, if needed. It is always a good idea to have extra utensils on hand.
Aside from the utensils, it is also a must to have tablecloths, napkins, and centerpieces. You can include little extras like salt and pepper, sugar, and butter in attractive settings or holders.
- Serving Equipment
You need to get your wonderfully prepared food and drink to those seated guests, therefore, serving equipment is a must. Don’t forget to bring serving trays, bus tubs, and water pitchers. You can also add extra bus tubs to hold your dirty dishes after each serving has been cleared.
- Buffet Equipment
For buffet setup, you will be needing the same items, but placement will be different. It is more common for items to be inadvertently dropped or broken in a buffet setting. For example, you will need tongs and large spoons for serving, as well as at least one sharp knife. There will be instances that it gets dropped so an extra utensil should always be ready.
- Coffee/Beverage Station
This is often a neglected part of the service so it should be given enough attention. Coffee or other beverage station will require much of their own equipment, including air-pots for coffee, decaf backups for those who don’t want to consume caffeine, and a source of hot water. For cold drinks, ice tubs should be available, with an assortment of glasses and coffee cups or mugs as well. Add a variety of teas and cocoa, and sugar and dairy packets.
- Additional Items
You should secure a list of practical equipment for off-premises catering as well. It is most likely that you will need a Cambro or some other type of insulated container to keep hot foods hot, whether you are serving indoors or out. A cooler can also be a good cost-saving alternative for cold foods.
Take along garbage bags to hold dirty linens and disposable containers for food storage. For sure there will be leftovers and it is best to come prepared. Buy plastic wrap, tin foil, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and disposable bags in different sizes so it will be easy for you to wrap any leftover food from the event.
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