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Common Catering Mistakes You Might Be Making

Posted by Smartbite on 11 February 2021

Whether it's a business meeting, conference, exhibition or any other special event, food catering can make or break any event. It is one of the most important aspects of any event. This is because your guests are more likely to remember your event if a delicious meal is involved.


Food and beverages tend to eat up a huge chunk of the budget for any event. Which is why planning and organising the perfect event can be tricky. To help make your event planning less stressful, we here at SmartBite have come up with a list of mistakes you can avoid making: 


Poor budget planning

Budget planning is key to hosting any successful event. For accurate budget planning you need to be aware of the number of guests attending, this helps estimate the headcount and gives you a clearer picture on how to allocate the budget accordingly.


Solution: Getting quotes from multiple restaurants and reading reviews of service is always ideal. As sometimes a low price could mean, low quality or there might be some hidden charges that may become apparent later. It's always best to discuss and get ahead of costing earlier on in the event, as there might not be room for negotiation as the event date approaches.


Unaware of the ingredients

Catering for a large group of people or even a corporate event can be a lot trickier than a personal gathering. The larger the group the greater the need to have options. Case in point, being unaware that some of your guests are vegetarians can get very awkward, if you do not have menu options for them.


Solution: It's always ideal to have a variety of options that cater to different preferences and requirements. For instance, Halal and Non-Halal or vegetarian options, as well as catering to certain common dietary restrictions and providing healthy alternatives. A great tip is to print out the menu, so your guests are aware of the ingredients. 


Running out of food

Running out of food is any event organiser's worst nightmare and it’s more common than you might think. Nevertheless there are some steps you can take to avoid making this mistake. For example, in a buffet style catering event, it’s difficult to plan how much your guests are going to eat. 


Solution: Plan the number of your guests as accurately as possible, and if possible add a headcount of 2-5 additional guests. Additionally, if you're ordering from a new caterer it's not uncommon to misjudge portion sizes. It’s advised to negotiate with your caterer and get written confirmation on bringing extra food to avoid any shortages on the day of the event.

Failing to enquire about other essential services

Lastly, you can have the right amounts of food that meets the necessary dietary requirements, but your event can fail if it is not served appropriately— Presentation is key. If you require wait staff, cutlery, dinnerware, warmers, table cloths and other utensils, make sure it is known to your caterer and agreed upon before the event. 

Solution: Keeping constant communication with your caterer is vital. Go over everything with your caterer to ensure the menu, services, and other details will be exactly as agreed upon. Make your needs clear by communicating them as unambiguously as possible to ensure that they keep their word and deliver on the day of the event. 



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