Whether you are hosting a small wedding or a large family gathering at home, hiring a catering service can give you more time to spend with your guests. Knowing how to prepare for your caterers can help the event go smoothly and ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience at your home. Here are just some of the things to take into consideration as you prepare your home and the catering staff for a private event.
Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may choose to have the caterers prepare the meal at your home or off-site. Schedule a walk-through with the catering event planner to determine what the space in your kitchen will support. You may have enough counter space for a full meal prep, but smaller kitchens can present more of a challenge. Once you've determined how much room the caterers will need, you can then clear out space for food staging. This might mean moving the table and chairs out of your breakfast nook or clearing hallways to make space for racks. Your caterer can work with you to determine which furnishings should be moved ahead of the event date.
Space For Breaks
Depending on the length of your catered event, staff may need to have time to take a break. You can set aside a table for your catering staff to enjoy a meal or snack, but you'll need to make sure you take this into account when renting tables and chairs for the event. If you have a guest bedroom and bathroom, consider setting it aside for your event staff. This provides a private area for servers to change into their uniform or tend to personal needs while in your home. Let the catering manager know what your plan is for providing space for breaks so this information can be communicated to staff.
Event cleanup services depend on the catering company, so be sure to discuss this with your caterer in advance. If the company is providing dishes and glassware, they will likely take care of that aspect of cleaning. You may be able to pay extra to have the catering staff help you break down tables and chairs after the event. For parties that only serve hors d'oeuvres, the staff may only need to pack up serving platters, chafing dishes, and prep materials from the kitchen. It's a good idea to define your expectations for cleanup ahead of time so you can relax after your guests leave.
Payment And Tipping
Catering vendors handle billing in a number of ways. You may have to put down a deposit and pay the rest of the bill on the day of your event, or you may have to pay in full when you sign the catering contract. Make sure you understand the terms and payment responsibilities before the day of the event. It's easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget to handle this essential task. Let the catering manager know who to approach for payment, and be sure to have gratuity ready for your servers. Some companies may add gratuity to the bill, but some may not. Having cash ready to tip out each member of the wait and bar staff is a great way to show your appreciation for a job well done.
To learn more, contact an event caterer.