Throwing a party comes in many different forms and regardless of the occasion, certain things are always the same. As the person responsible for the whole event you have a lot of responsibilities. From inviting all the people and making the seating arrangements to finding the right venue and the music, it fall on your shoulders to keep everything together. Of course, this is more than most people can bear which is why party planners exist. Still, many want to try their luck in these waters and throw their own party while doing everything themselves.
Of course, even if you have all of the above-mentioned things solved there is still one important thing to consider. What will the guests eat and drink and who is going to provide it? Most parties, gatherings, and celebrations opt for catering of some sorts. Some venues come with their own catering solutions so things are that much easier. For any other scenario, it is upon the party planner to figure it out. It is these parties that often turn out much better because it means you will be catering your own party and not someone else. Venue package deals are neat but if you want a personal touch and certain elements they cannot provide you will have to find a catering service yourself. Or you can prepare your own food?
Worry not as this is hardly the end of the world. There are of course positive and negative sides to catering your own party. In the following sections, we talk about the pros and cons of catering your own party and whether or not it makes sense to hire professionals. Read on to learn more and be sure to check out thebespokechef.co.nz for more about catering in New Zealand.
Let us start things off with the positives and talk about the pros of hiring catering services pros to work at your party. There are also more pros than cons so it is best if we took care of them first.
1. Saving Time and Stress
The usual ‘to do’ lists that party planners have are extensive and complex already even without worrying about the menu and the amount of food and beverage needed for everyone. Do not forget that catering also comes with waiters who serve the food, not just the food itself. To save both time and stress of this huge part of your party, it is always best to leave it to the pros to figure out.
2. Experience is Valuable
This will hardly be the first party the catering service will work at. They have seen it all and served thousands of people already. Taking care of large groups of people and working in a stressful and rushed environment is what they do for a living. Cooking huge batches is different from cooking for the family, and they specialize in it. For something as important as a large party you are throwing, an outside experience like this is invaluable. More importantly, the chefs who prepare the food and the bartenders working the drinks are professionals whose recipes will improve any party.
3. Safety, Hygiene, Cleaning
Catering services nowadays come with numerous benefits that are often overlooked. The backbone of a food and beverage industry is not the things they serve, but how they do it. Safety of the workers and the food, hygiene standards they have, and the cleaning/washing afterward are all very important for catering. These businesses have the right knowledge that will ensure your guests have a pleasant time, that they are safe, and that everything they consume and what they consume it from is clean. After the party, you will not have to deal with the dishes since they bring everything back.
4. Flexibility and Variety
If you make your own food, you only have time to prepare certain things and only them. With catering services, you get the flexibility you need depending on the type of party and venue. They may already have their own solutions and deals but you can of course tailor them to your needs. In terms of variety, the menus are quite diverse and again suitable for any type of event. From seasonal food to thematic events, they have it all.
Now that you are familiar with the most important pros of hiring catering for your party, let us see what the downsides could potentially be. Are they enough for you to do your own catering entirely?
5. Original Plan Limitations
Perhaps the worst downside of catering services is the fact that you have to absolutely stick to your original idea and plan. There is little wiggle room once they arrive to the party and start serving the food you ordered. This is how the industry works of course, but you will be locking the choices of your guests to one or two meals and not much else. Unless you have a buffet or larger roasts where the guests can fix up their own plates, everything will be quite limited in terms of food and drink choice.
6. Often too Formal
Whenever a party has catering, it automatically looks and feels formal whether you want it to or not. When people see bartenders, waiters, and chefs on the premises wearing the same uniforms, they cannot help but think it is a formal event. Staff members walking with plates of drinks and food does not really spell a low-key event. If you want such an experience, you will need a catering service that can blend in or at least behave semi-formal, informal even. Smaller get-togethers like barbeques and home celebrations do not need such formality, so unless you can discuss that with the service it would be better to do it yourself.
7. Costs can be High
Last but not least, we must mention the prices. Some catering plans work in such a way that you cannot negotiate everything. For example, some businesses make it obligatory to use their staff or their dishes and cutlery. Even if you or the venue have it covered, their business model works in a way that they bring their own and charge you for it. Also, certain menu options are much more expensive and similar to high-end restaurant prices. Basically, unless you can work out a deal where you pay only for what was consumed, it may be better to do it yourself of look elsewhere.