Checklist for Catering Equipment for Small and Big Parties
There are several crucial pieces of catering equipment that you would never want to be caught short with or else, you will end up ruining the whole event.
While other people find it nightmarish to come to the office without their due reports, the nightmares of caterers is all about showing up at an event without spoons and forks.
It is important to be well-organized to ensure catering success no matter what type of function or event it might be, whether it is a large business luncheon or a simple and intimate wedding reception. It is all too easy to overlook some items during the rush just to get out the door on time, from pepper and salt shakers, to cocktail napkins, and worse, even forks and steak knives.
This quick guide will help give you peace of mind if you are running a catering business. This includes all the things you need so you can cater to small and large functions alike. Of course, you can still add some more items depending on your personal preferences or your business’s own quirks.
Beverage or Coffee Station
Stations for coffee and other beverages will need its own pieces of catering equipment, such as a source of hot water, air-pots for coffee, and decaf backups for people who may not be fans of caffeine. Iced tubs for the cold drinks are also important. You will also require an assortment of coffee mugs or cups and glasses here.
You can also add a variety of cocoa and teas, and dairy and sugar packets. A small wastebasket somewhere close where guests can throw away their trash is also a nice touch that can make it easier for your own staff to clean things up afterwards.
Buffet Catering Equipment
You will need several items if you will serve a buffet although there will be a difference in the placement and you will also need several extras handy. It is quite common for certain items to get accidentally broken or dropped in buffet settings.
For instance, silverware should be put in rolls. You will also need additional chafing dishes as well as fuel cells for the chafing dishes to keep going. The fuel cells will need matches or a lighter for them to start. And don’t forget to afford yourself a very good dishwasher as well. That is a must in your kitchen.
You will also need large spoons and tongs for serving and at least a single sharp knife. You will also need a cutting board for that roast beef, ham, or turkey. It is also important to make sure that there is a cleaning cloth tucked away somewhere close for cleaning up messes right away. Of course, decorations are also necessary for your buffet tables.
After you have spent time preparing those delicious foods and refreshing drinks to the seated guests, you have to make sure that you can get it to them properly. Don’t forget those serving trays, water pitchers, and bus tubs. In fact, you might even need additional bus tubs for holding the dirty dishes after clearing each serving.
You will at least need dinner plates, salad plates, and bread plates if you will cater a sit-down meal. Add some soup bowls if you will serve a soup course.
You will also need glasses for water, wine glasses if you will serve wine, utensils, and coffee cups together with saucers. It is also a good idea to keep additional utensils handy.
Since you will not be placing all these out on a bare table, you will also need napkins, centerpieces, and tablecloths. You might also include some small extras such as pepper and salt, butter, and sugar in attractive holders or settings.
There are also other practical catering equipment you will need for off-premise catering. You will probably require some insulated containers for keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot, whether you are serving outdoors or indoors. A cooler may also be a great alternative to use for cold foods to help you save costs.
You also need to have garbage bags with you for holding dirty linens as well as disposable containers you can use for food storage. For all you know, there might be some guests who will want to take some leftovers with them. The cooler mentioned earlier will also come in handy for this. Don’t forget tin foil, plastic wrap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and disposable bags for carting off garbage and trash.
How Much and How Many?
Among the most common pitfalls when it comes to catering is to blindly trust your customer’s word for the number of persons you will feed. Most of the time, they will give you some figures even if they haven’t accounted for all their RSVPs yet. It will always be better to have more of everything handy instead of having them out at the most crucial time.
Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario
So, you still forgot something even after all the preparations you made. If you are truly lucky, the event might be held near your catering kitchen or restaurant. You can just send someone to go back and grab anything else you need without anyone noticing it. If you are even luckier, you can dash out and purchase some of the missing pieces at the local store.
But, if you are really not lucky, you might need to think of a convincing story about steak knives being out of trend and with butter knives being the “in” thing now. This might leave the guests wondering if this is even true.
The Bottom Line
The list above may seem very daunting. However, there is no denying that catering gives you the perfect chance to step into the world of the restaurant industry with no need to make a huge investment first. If you already have a restaurant of your own, catering services are a great way of increasing sales and growing your clientele. Whatever the case is, having all the necessary catering equipment can make a big difference in your preparations.