You are an excellent cook. Your friends absolutely rave about your vegetarian lasagna, and Aunt Doreen specifically requests your carrot cake at family functions. Admirable though your dishes may be, with the utmost respect, you aren’t a caterer. And even if you were, there are a good many reasons not to cook for your own event, and instead hire out the pros. Here are five of them to ponder when party planning.
Let’s start with the most obvious benefit. Planning the menu, organizing the supplies, scratching out the original menu after some rethinking, scooting out to the market for ingredients, hunting down dinnerware, figuring out from whom to borrow a chafer, food prep, baking and cooking, rushing out last minute for the powdered sugar for the icing, setting up the display and buffet spread, then reconfiguring it so that everything flows and is accessible…do you see where I’m going with this? If you have time and a passion for menu planning, preparation, and execution, well, we’re hiring. Apply within! If you have a busy and demanding life as it is, a caterer might be for you.
It seems counterintuitive to hire a caterer, because anything DIY gives the illusion of value. Anyone who has opted to renovate their own home will alert you to the fallacy in this concept, since contracted experts know how to cut expenses without sacrificing quality, how to access wholesalers and internal connections for the best rates on goods, and what creative decisions are ultimately a money pit. Borrowing or renting china and cookware is more affordable than purchasing it all yourself, and with a caterer you aren’t blowing funds testing your own recipes in advance. Receiving a contracted price up front caps that expense, not to mention provides a budget carve-out so you’ll know exactly what’s left to finance the rest of your event.
Save the Headache
Absolutely no one wants to be an employee at their own party. The alternative to hiring a caterer is busying yourself in a hot kitchen, likely in your finest apparel, while guests arrive and do who-knows-what, because you’ll be too busy frantically stirring, plating, moving platters to and fro, replenishing the ice under the shrimp cocktail. What you should be doing, and what you likely envisioned when launching this event, is enjoying time with your friends and family, while out of view a team busily bustles and scurries, doing who-knows-what, because you’re too relaxed and distracted by pleasure to know for sure. Your outfit is pristine and free of sullied underarms, you have an iced beverage in your hand, and effortlessly to you, everyone is fed.
Count On Quality
Working with professional caterers ensures a professional result, something only training and experience can duplicate. Through repetition a catering team has refined the ability to turn out consistent food temperatures with each plate, a visually appealing presentation on a dish free of splatters or sloppiness, all on schedule like a choreographed ballet. Not only does the operation run smoothly, you can depend on your caterer to deliver a delicious meal, with respect to any food allergies or dietary modifications, and maintaining a level of hygiene frankly most of us don’t in our own kitchens. There is no use of the phrase “five second rule” among catering teams, and when all is said and done the taste and level of care will exceed anything one can do on their own.
After a few hours of entertaining, and draining every drop of that social battery, there is nothing less appetizing than the dreaded sink of endless dishes. Imagine you’re down to the final few guests, and the awkward dance of exiting without getting roped into party tear-down commences. They pretend not to notice the mountain of leftovers still on their platters, having aged considerably by then, and you pretend not to notice them walking right past it all so they’ll finally scram. Or worse, those few hero guests who see the mess and insist on staying past midnight to help out. God bless ‘em, they’re kind to scrub the burners and take out the trash, but all you want to do is shut the lights already. Well guess what, you can do just that with a caterer.
A homemade meal is certainly doable for your celebration, and there’s no doubt a personal touch leaves an impression. However for a polished and easy-breezy event, there’s no doubt what a professional can do to deliver upon your vision, and achieve the level of appreciation you mean to impart. Reach out today to get started with your All Occasions Catering team.