By Ajoke Akinola
FRI, SEPTEMBER 29 2017-theG&BJournal-Whether your corporate gathering is a business meeting, anniversary party, banquet, gala or award night, you can work around menus that are flexible and can accommodate a variety of serving styles –a breakfast or lunch meeting, a company BBQ or a holiday event. All you need do is hire a caterer that can offer an assortment of menus that match your budget and your appetite. Theme buffets, individual plated service, food stations, and box lunches can be arranged for either drop-off corporate meeting catering or full service catering for your corporate events.
- On-Premise Catering: On-premise caterers prepare and cook the food at the location at which it’s going to be served. While this generally refers to event facilities, many are also open to working in a home, provided there is suitable space and equipment.
On-premises caterers have a lot of advantages. They work in the same space every day and they’re able to walk directly from their kitchen to the venue floor where your event is being held. This means it’s easy to make last-minute changes or corrections if needed. But the main thing setting apart on-premise caterers is that they typically offer a lot more than food. Since they are attached to the venue, they have access to its supply of tables, tablecloths, stemware, dishes, and décor which allows them to manage many aspects of the event presentation. They are also likely to provide the bar service if needed.
However, on-premise catering can be expensive. As the official venue caterer, they can charge a premium, potentially far more than you would pay for the same food from someone else.
- Off-Premise Catering: Off-premise services will bring pre-cooked and pre-prepared food to the event location.
Off-premises caterers are essentially food delivery and service personnel. Since their kitchen is removed from the venue, they will arrive at the set time with everything you ordered, but making last minute changes may be harder. Many off-premise caterers offer full waiter service, and once they bring the food to your event site they can set up to begin table service. In general, your guests will never know the difference; all they see is that hot, delicious food arrives at their table. Because they don’t control the venue, off-premise caterers will likely not provide all the tables and flatware needed, though some may be able to or may have a vendor they recommend. The advantage is that off-premise caterers are highly competitive. You can get a better price and, often, they will work harder to help you plan your menu far ahead of time and make sure everything is what you want.
Which to Choose?
If your chosen venue doesn’t allow outside catering, the choice may be made for you. Otherwise, look to off-premise caterers for a better price, or to on-premise caterers if you want to pay a premium to have everything managed for you.
- Sit-Down Plated Meal or Full-Service Catering: This is generally the most expensive option, but everything is handled by the caterer. Even here there are options, as full service may or may not include appetizers, desserts, and drinks. In addition, full service catering generally includes accessories such as linens, plates, utensils, serving dishes, wait staff and full clean-up. This way, you can focus on what really matters — your guests and your special day.
- Take Out / Pick Up / No-Service Catering: With this option the catering service cooks the food and packages it in bulk for pick-up. Plating, serving, dishes and utensils need to be taken care of by you.
- Drop Off / No-Service Catering: With this option the catering service cooks the food and packages it in bulk and delivers it to the event site. Plating, serving, dishes and utensils need to be taken care of by you.
- Buffet: When talking about buffet style events, catering companies are generally referring to fully staffed serving stations, where the service includes dishes, plates and utensils. Buffets can include any number of items: appetizers, salads, desserts, coffee, assorted meat, drinks, and even special menu options for vegetarians.
buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners generally serve themselves. Buffets usually have some hot dishes, so the term cold buffet has been developed to describe formats lacking hot food. Hot or cold buffets usually involve dishware and utensils, but a finger buffet is an array of foods that are designed to be small and easily consumed by hand alone, such as cupcakes, slices of pizza, foods on cocktail sticks, small chops etc.
The essential feature of the various buffet formats is that the diners can directly view the food and immediately select which dishes they wish to consume, and usually also can decide how much food they take. Buffets are effective for serving large numbers of people at once, and are often seen in institutional settings, such as business conventions or large parties.
- Partial-Service Catering: In many cases caterers use this term to apply to “self-serve” style buffets, where the serving stations are not staffed. However, catering services are increasingly open to a variety of partial service catering options, which can include simply cooking and dropping off the entree, offering served appetizers only, no clean up, no serving dishes and much more.
- Personal Chef Services: Personal chefs come in as many different styles as caterers. Personal chef will create a customized meal plan, shop for all groceries, prepare the meal, and clean up the kitchen. The chef typically leaves prepared meals packaged in containers for the client to store in the refrigerator or freezer to enjoy later. Some personal chefs also focus on preparing dinner parties and other special events, which means they are responsible for shopping, preparing the meal, serving the guests and cleaning up afterward. The menu is preplanned and discussed with the client, then prepared in their homes
M9. Mobile Catering: Increasingly, many caterers are mobile – they work out of a food truck and will bring the “facility” to you! Another option is to simply arrange in advance to have a non-catering food truck arrive on site and cook from a pre-arranged menu.
- Box Lunch: A box lunch is a lunch consisting of a sandwich/snacks, chips, fruit and a dessert. A box lunch is typically prepared by a caterer and dropped off to a location for a client’s dining needs. Box lunches are used primarily in the corporate arena for working lunches when they do not have time to take a break from their meeting yet still need to eat. A box lunch order is placed with a caterer a couple of days before the delivery date and is a cheaper way to go instead of a full sit-down lunch. The box lunch option is strictly a drop-off service and does not offer any type of wait staff or cleanup. The caterer’s only job is to prepare and deliver the food. In some cases, the caterer can set up the food, which means placing the individual cartons on a table or another area that is easily accessible to the clients. A box lunch is prepared for each person, so that they have all of their food in one container. This makes for very quick efficient service. Drinks such as waters and juices will also be dropped off by the caterer in individual containers, but may or may not be included in the box lunch itself. The idea is for the clients to be able to grab their box and a drink and be on the move.
The boxes or bags should be visibly marked with the type of sandwich or snack included or grouped together for easy identification. The individual bags and boxes allow guests to dispose of their trash at their leisure and keep everything neat and clean. For example, if a company is holding their lunch meeting in a conference room, it is necessary that they can clean up easily. Every individual can simply place all of their trash back into the box or bag to clean up.
With such a large variety of catering styles available, you may be at sea deciding on which is the best for your guests. Pleasant Jay Events are dedicated to planning and making a catered event easy. We deliver mouthwatering cuisine that has attendees talking about your event for years to come.
We offer full-service catering services that can address your need for rentals, such as tents, tables, chairs, linens, floral, lighting and décor, including napkins, chinaware, utensils, serving dishes, wait staff and full clean-up. With our crew or highly talented professionals, your worrying about the big day is eliminated. Dont settle for less, go for the best!
Ajoke Akinola is CEO, Pleasant Jay Events| www.pleasantjayevents.com|Email : firstname.lastname@example.org|Twitter : @pleasantjay|Facebook: facebook.com/pleasantjayevents|Instagram: @pleasantjayevents|09024489401,08059184480