Getting guests to your event is only half the battle. You’re also in charge of ensuring everyone is entertained and satisfied. Get ready the ice buckets and tables ready because having food and beverages at your event is going to be the best way to keep your guests satiated.
Whether you’re hosting a graduation party or a networking meeting, having refreshments and finger food will make guests feel more relaxed. Here are 6 simple tips for setting up a catering area at your event.
1. Spread out the refreshments
People always get thirsty at events. Whether they’re trying to rehydrate, clear their throat, or fight away some nerves, there’s no doubt that your drink area will be the highlight of the night. In order to keep everyone from huddling around at one spot, it’s a good idea to have the refreshments spread out throughout the event.
Each corner could have a small table with a variety of drinks. When you opt for one bar, people will tend to cluster in that area. This strategic placement of refreshments ensures your event remains spacious and inviting.
2. Find a catering service that meets your needs
A quick online search will yield countless catering providers in your area. Instead of choosing one at random or opting for the lowest price, you should find the service that best meets the unique needs of your event. The size, location, and type of event your hosting should all be factored into your consideration.
There are some catering providers that specialize in particular areas and others that only work with certain sized events. It’s always a good idea to check these details before hiring a catering service to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
3. Consider setting up the catering area yourself
While you might not have the time to cook for all of your guests, you might be able to save money by setting up the catering area by yourself. Once you determine how many guests you’ll have, all you need to do is rent a sufficient number of tables and chairs to accommodate all attendees. You can buy wholesale tablecloths, silverware, placemats, and other more items directly from providers for a discounted price.
Feel free to ask some friends or family to help with the process of setting up the catering area. Don’t forget to communicate with your caterer to make sure you’re both on the same page.
4. Decide between service or self-service
Most caterers will offer bartenders and mixers to serve drinks at your event. While these professionals will drive up the overall cost of your catering bill, they do offer an important service.
While self-service might sound like a good idea at first, you should think about those thirsty guests who don’t mind helping themselves to that third or fourth cocktail. With personnel serving drinks, on the other hand, you can rest assured that drink limits are being enforced. This way, there aren’t’ any surprises when it comes to cost.
5. Make sure nobody has special food allergies
When talking with a catering service, they’ll undoubtedly ask you about any food allergies that exist among the event’s attendees. It’s always a good idea to have this information prepared beforehand to make the process quicker and easier.
Furthermore, you never want to assume that none of your guests have special food preferences or allergies only to order food that some people can’t eat.
Here are some common food allergies to ask about:
6. Always leave more space than you anticipate is necessary
When you’re setting up your catering area, you’re bound to underestimate how much space you’ll need between each table, chair, and between the catering and seating areas. It’s tough to get an accurate idea of what the event space will look like when everybody is there, mingling, and moving around.
This is especially difficult when you’re dealing with a smaller area where space matters. In order to keep your guests comfortable, be sure to add at least a few inches of space than you initially think in between each piece of your catering area.