The demand for private and corporate catering has increased by 20% over the past decade. This industry is expected to bring in $22 billion in 2019, making it a promising field. Below are some tips to help you improve your skills, avoid making mistakes and impress guests at events.
What are the basics of catering?
It would be best to learn how to prepare delicious meals, impress your guests, and properly prep for events. Continue reading for tips and tricks that address these important areas of catering.
Tips for beginning caterers
These top catering tips for beginners will help you create a menu, plan your event, and make a lasting impression on your clients. These are the best tips to help you excel in catering to corporate and private events.
Create amazing menus
You can create delicious menus that will delight your guests and work within your client’s budget. This will help you establish yourself as a professional in the catering industry. These are the basics to help you avoid making common mistakes in catering and make your first event a success.
Select your preferred service style
Choose from the following main catering styles: buffet, tray, or plate.
A buffet catering service includes self-service stations. This cost-effective option allows clients to save money on staff and increase food production by refilling large plates at once instead of ordering food.
Tray passes are servers who carry food displays around the group. This budget-friendly option allows you to add variety to your catering menu while using fewer ingredients.
Plated catering is any meal you prepare for people at an event such as a wedding or charity fundraiser. This formal dining option is ideal for large gatherings or building a community at smaller events.
Choose a theme.
Your event type, client goals and location will all influence your chosen theme. For casual events, such as private parties or barbecues during the warmer months, you can choose a casual theme like a Luau or BBQ. If you are familiar with the demographics of your event attendees, these appealing catering ideas for all ages may be an option. Start with one menu item, and then build the rest of the selection around it.
Use your signature dish.
If you want to stand out, make sure that your catering menus include a special dish or speciality cuisine. This will help you get more catering jobs. More than half of your business will come from word of mouth. Expect to be contacted by past attendees looking for the one menu item you created.
Take into account markup.
Remember that the catering markup should not exceed three times the price of the ingredients. This should be priced in advance so that there are no unexpected costs for your client.
You can save money.
These simple catering tips will help you service clients, on a tight budget. To fill your guests’ bellies without spending too much, choose a full menu of small meals over large meals. To cut down on ingredients, make soups and roasts in bulk.
When possible, choose veggie-friendly recipes and don’t hesitate to bargain for fresh produce at your local farmer’s market. You can also slice the meat so that guests can refill their plates as often as they need and reduce food waste.
You can order staples at bulk stores like Sam’s Club or Costco. Only price the items you will use for the event and keep the rest for future events.
Like a pro when you prep.
These practical tips for catering preparation are essential for beginners.
Separate cutting boards and utensils for raw, cooked, and fresh food should be kept. Before handling animal products, thoroughly wash cutting boards and utensils in hot soapy water. Switch between these two categories by changing your gloves.
This video tutorial will show you how to sharpen your knives. It will help you properly portion food, speed up the preparation process, and enhance your food presentation. Buy a Japanese whetstone (also known as water stone or whetstone) from highly-rated brands like Kitayama and Sharp Pebble.
Keep an eye on the temperature of food.
Your oven and refrigerator are your primary cooking tools. In the oven, cook meats and seafood at temperatures greater than 325°F. Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and use both an exterior and interior thermometer.
Hygiene is a priority.
Hand sanitisers, soaps, and industrial cleaning products for countertops should always be available. If you have long hair or a beard, wear the right size kitchen prep gloves. Every time you try out an item, make sure it is clean. Hands must be washed after handling seafood or meat, and jewellery should be removed from your wrists or fingers.
You can prepare some meals ahead of time.
Spend days leading up to your event shopping and the day before cooking, cleaning and packing. Cut vegetables like carrots and potatoes, and place them in an airtight container. Make sure you prepare any cold meals that do not contain meat, seafood, eggs, dressings, etc., so they are easy to open and finish at the event. Freeze fresh-cut dough for cookies, crusts, and bread to save time shaping and moulding. While you’re at the same time, add some chopped herbs!