Catering can be a nerve-wracking affair. There’s a lot that can go wrong, and there’s nothing you want less than leaving your guests hungry.
Worry no more! We’ve compiled 5 common catering mistakes, and our tips on how to avoid them.
You ran out of food
Things happen. Sometimes unexpected guests show up, or someone eats more than expected. To plan for this, order more food than you need. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re serving mains, order 3-5 appetizers per guest. If you’re not, plan for 10-15 appetizers per guest.
When deciding portions sizes, take into account your event size and time as well. An office meeting that takes place after lunch doesn’t need as much food as a full-day seminar. A kid’s party at 3pm will need less than a reunion dinner for your whole family.
Tip: If you’re a CaterSpot customer, avoid having to do the math and order per pax. The caterers will calculate the optimal amount of food for you, and nobody goes hungry!
Don’t forget your beverages, either. Plan to have at least three portions of drinks per person, or two portions if you’re serving tea and coffee.
The food came late
Maybe your caterer is stuck in traffic, or they ran out of chicken. Either way, you don’t want to leave your guests hungry while you run back and forth trying to get the food to arrive on time. Always have a contingency plan in case the food doesn’t arrive on time!
Tip: Or just order from CaterSpot ? With dedicated fleets and trained drivers, we work very hard to deliver your food on time, every time. For the few orders we don’t deliver, we do all the stressing on your behalf to make sure the caterer is there when they should be.
Forgetting about dietary restrictions
Allergies and dietary restrictions are a part of life, and it’s polite to consider your guests. When planning your event, make sure you’re prepared to cater for dietary restrictions. This means turning people down if you have to! There’s nothing as embarrassing as having a guest arrive only to find out there’s nothing they can eat.
Ask your guests to provide you with dietary requirements when they RSVP. Specific diets like vegetarian and halal can easily be catered for if you provide this information to your caterer upfront.
Tip: CaterSpot makes life easy with dedicated pages to vegetarian, halal, and more!
You’ve run over budget
While it’s important to be flexible with your budget, it’s not a nice feeling knowing you’ve spent too much on food. Always account for hidden and add-on charges. Charges for glassware or hidden staff aren’t always included in an initial quote (you could argue these are actually add-on charges instead of hidden).
Tip: CaterSpot always presents hidden and add-on charges on checkout! You won’t miss a thing.
If you suspect you’re missing something, ask your caterer if there’s something they think you’ve missed. They’re the experts! Don’t be that guy running to 7/11 halfway through an event because you ran out of paper plates.
Serving the wrong style
The soup was cold, and the ice cream was warm. Despite what people may think, it’s not the type of event that determines the menu – it’s the number of guests. Serving a group of ten a five-course sit-down meal is easier than doing the same for a hundred guests. If you’re anticipating a large turn out, your best bets are canapes or a live buffet.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a sit-down dinner. However, we recommend you hire wait staff and chefs so if something goes wrong, there’ll be multiple hands to fix it!
Don’t want to worry about all these? We are here for you. Check out our cuisine for your catering.