Small Event Catering

Written by Shirley Parker
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Small event catering generally provides fresher food for the attendees than large event catering. There is less likelihood of being served rubber chicken, powdery sauce, and half-frozen broccoli stems, which often goes along with the convention circuit—outside of culinary conventions, that is. Not to be too critical—it's extremely difficult to prepare huge amounts of food that all has to be served hot (or cold) within 10 or 15 minutes to prevent a food riot.

A personal chef starting up a small event catering business will need to be good at logistics, as well as good at psychology. Small events still involve careful calculations to make sure everything runs smoothly. In addition to needing to know the what, when and where of the occasion, the chef taking the order will need an approximate head count, the more accurate the better. That way the food his catering firm prepares, and that the customer is paying for, is not wasted.

As that customer, you might want to plan for the possibility of having food left over, anyway. Is there somewhere close-by where you can donate containers of food before it spoils, without giving offense? Some elderly neighbors who don't get out much? A single mom and her kids? A single guy who's been out of work for months?

Small Event Catering and a Contingency Plan

The best food preparation in the world needs a contingency plan, in case extra people find out about the event. Along with the napkins and other necessities, maybe you'll have the caterer bring along a stash of hot dogs and buns, for when people unexpectedly bring their kids because all the babysitters eloped, or plates of small, soft cookies for when the pies and cake start running out at the retirement home Open House. A chef experienced with small event catering will often suggest something like this, depending on the circumstances.

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