What to Consider When Hiring a Professional Caterer

Regardless of whether you’re holding a small intimate birthday party or a large business seminar, a professional caterer may be exactly what you need. Food and drink is an important part of any event.

Caterers are there to add value to your event, whether it’s by providing a five-course meal with waiters, a buffet for a wedding reception, or finger food for a conference. There are plenty of reasons to hire a caterer. If you’re in the process of looking for one, however, don’t just grab your laptop and start contacting caterers in the neighbourhood. Make it easier for yourself (and your caterer) by considering these four important things beforehand:

1 – When the event is being held
You need to know when your event will take place if you want to book a caterer. During the planning process, chances are you have a couple of potential dates but haven’t settled on a final date. Sure, you could call for more information about what your potential caterer can offer. However, you won’t be able to get as much done if you don’t have a final date in mind. It’s important to remember that weekend slots fill up quickly so if you’re planning a weekend event, make sure you book a caterer further ahead of time.

2 – The number of people you will have to serve
A range will suffice when it comes to the number of people you have to serve. Most experienced caterers can work with that. However, it has to be a realistic range. A caterer can probably work with a range of 40 to 50. A range of 50 to 100, however, is very different. Make sure you have a good idea of how many people will be attending prior to getting in touch with a caterer.

3 – Where your event is being held
Caterers who have been in business for some time usually have worked with many different venues and may even be able to help you find one if you haven’t settled on one yet. That being said, it would be better for both you and the caterer to settle on a location ahead of time. This makes it possible for them to give you a better price estimate. It will also help a lot with regard to the planning.

4 – The amount of money you want to spend
Some people don’t know or don’t want to share the amount of money they’re willing to spend on a caterer. However, it would be a good idea to set up a budget. This will make it easier for you to rule out ones that are definitely out of your budget and consider those that you can afford.

Wrapping up
It’s important to consider the basic information of your event prior to getting in touch with potential catering companies. This is not only because you’ll be forced to get started on the planning but also because you’ll be setting yourself up to plan effectively. It’s understandable that you may not have every single little detail figured out. However, the basics are important. Besides, great caterers may be able to help you figure out those little details and host an incredible event. Caterers specialize in using food and drink to add value to an event. Those with significant experience have attended and worked hundreds or even thousands of events. They’ll be able to give you tips on how to make sure your event runs smoothly.

When your event is successful, your caterer’s work has been successful too. By making sure your basic details are worked out ahead of time, you’ll be setting both you and your caterer up for success!

Elegant Touch specialises in catering services in Perth, get in touch today to see how we can help.

Catering for a Seminar – What Should You Get?

You’re organizing a business seminar but have no idea what kind of catering to provide. Try to take the number of participants, the location, and atmosphere into consideration to start with. For a seminar with clients, opting for a buffet or sit-down meal might be best, whereas a team-building or employee seminar may be more suitable for a cocktail lunch.


Meal Type

Before deciding what kind of food to serve, identifying the objective of the seminar will definitely help. Whether it’s for training purposes, management or team building, answering these questions will define the aim of your seminar, thus helping you plan it further. Whether or not your attendees will be standing or sitting for the majority of this seminar can be an important consideration to make as the stand-up format might feel a little more informal and is generally recommended with more than 50 people. A sit-down or lunch or dinner may make the atmosphere a lot more formal and the meals may be a bit more substantial, making it perfect for a seminar meant for business partners or clients.


Cocktail Party Option

A cocktail event would normally be held either mid-morning or late afternoon. For this type of party, there are no tables and chairs, but there may be bar tables for guests to place drinks and other items. Food is arranged on one large table and guests will serve themselves. Plates and glasses are usually made of plastic or cardboard, cutlery is limited and the food is mainly in bite-sized portions, making it easy to eat.

 

Aperitif Cocktails

Generally, this type of cocktail party involves hot and cold food, sweet and savory bites and even appetizers served before a sit-down lunch or dinner.

Cocktail Lunch

This involves gourmet-style food served for lunch from midday.

Cocktail Dinner

This replaces dinner and is served from 6 pm.

 

Advantages to Cocktail Parties

These types of parties are great because they’re economical, requires less staff, less space, and is less cleaning after it’s over. Even though the atmosphere for cocktail parties is less formal, it is still ideal for meeting new people or building relationships. Guests can move more freely, making communication a lot easier.


The Buffet Option

Since a buffet means more substantial food, guests are generally seated. Buffets are best for lunch or dinner and this kind of catering will need enough space for tables and chairs, as well as the buffet itself. Even though guests can serve themselves, hiring a waiter can give a more formal feel to your seminar. With this option, the menu is more flexible and can include starters, salads, meat or seafood-based course and a dessert, possibly with a charcuterie platter or cheese board on the side. A buffet is generally either hot or cold, and you could provide a mix of cold and hot dishes to offer more variety. And just as with the cocktail option, the dishes and cutlery are often disposable, but if your budget allows for it, there’s nothing wrong with using actual cutlery.

 

Advantages to Buffets
Because the buffet option requires less staff, it will be cheaper. It will also be more comfortable as guests can sit down to enjoy themselves while having a proper meal. It can be quite the social even as well since guests can mingle and talk at the tables or even while getting a serving of food. Try to arrange a good amount and layout with your caterer to work with your number of guests to avoid having to queue up.

 

Sit-Down Meal Option

Also known as the three-course meal option, which is more formal as the guests remain seated and are served by waiting staff. Since the menu is provided in advance, things are more organized and schedules are easier to stick with. The downside is that guests will not be able to have second helpings and the wait between each course may be longer.


The Rest
If your seminar will take place throughout a full day, it is crucial to allow breaks in the middle of the morning and afternoon so that participants can get up, stretch and recharge. These breaks should include hot drinks or fruit juice, along with a sweet snack such as fresh fruit, biscuits, a cake or pastry. Finally, if your seminar is lasting more than one day, consider offering breakfast, preferably in a buffet format to save time.

Elegant Touch offers a range of catering options in Perth, get in touch today to see how we can help.

 

Essential Tips For Afternoon Tea Catering

A tea party is probably the most convenient and elegant way to tackle afternoon events. You can use it for anything from an anniversary, baby shower, birthday party, social gathering, and pre-wedding event. Traditionally, afternoon parties are perceived to be quite formal, but that doesn’t have to be the case nowadays. You can work with a catering service to make sure that you get the most fun and interesting tea party, no matter the event.

To make a proper tea party, there are a lot of things you need to consider. For example, you need to think about the type of foods you’re going to present with the tea. Do you want to go for the traditional English scones with jelly, or do you want it to have a unique twist with delicate tapas dishes instead? What about the dress codes? How do you make sure that everybody is dressed appropriately to your theme?

If you’re concerned with these issues, then you’re in luck. We have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to hold an afternoon tea event below. You can discuss these steps in details with your catering service to ensure the most memorable tea party ever!

 

Invitations

To start off, you need to think about the theme of the event. Think about the formality and the theme of the event and arrange your invitations accordingly. Each style of invitation has a different level of formality. For example, an email invitation is usually perceived to be more casual and homely, while a serious calligraphed invitation is obviously more serious and formal. You can also include a dress code in the invitation to ensure that every attendee gets the memo as well.

 

Food Preparation

Afternoon tea parties and finger foods are inseparable. Traditional English afternoon tea catering usually consists of sweet pastries like scones, cakes, bread, and fruits. If you’re looking for a more international event, you can offer tapas dishes, cold cut plates, cheeses, and sandwiches to tie your guests over. You need to make sure that it’s consistent with your theme, as you’d want your party to be coherent to ensure that the event is classy and graceful.

 

Arranging Your Table

Moving on from the food to the arrangements. First, you need to think about the venue. Is it indoor or outdoor? Will there be a speech podium of some sort? How can you arrange the tables so that everybody has easy access to the food? How is the table going to be decorated? We also suggest that you have a themed food table as well. For example, an English tea table should be where the scones and English cakes are, and the oriental table is lined with green tea and Japanese sweets. Your guests are guaranteed to be satisfied this way.

 

Serving Hot Beverages

As tradition dictates, the teacups and saucers are to be placed on the left of the teapot. If your afternoon tea event is a rather formal one, then you should keep these classic tea traditions in mind. Additionally, you should make sure that the tea is brewed ahead of time so that the guests can refill their pot easily. This will help the event to go smoother and ensure that all of your guests have enough tea to enjoy. Also, make sure that you provide each table with a way to discard their teabags and spoons so that they don’t pile up on the plates, making it looks messy and dirty.

 

Decorations

As for the decorations, we suggest you talk to a florist. You can tell them the event’s theme, budget, and preferred colours. This will help to keep the decorations that fit with the rest of the party.

 

Hiring High Tea Catering Team

We understand that all of this can be overwhelming to think about, which is why you might need professional help. A high-tea catering specialist can help you to come up with an appropriate theme for your event. What’s more is that you can be a part of every process and this will ensure that the party has your characteristics in it. So, if you’re looking to come up with an idea for an afternoon tea party, give Elegant Touch a call today.

 

Why Finger Food is Great For Parties

Upon hearing the term “finger food,” chances are one of two things come to mind. The first is delicate cucumber sandwiches that you can eat in two bites at elegant affairs, even while dressed to the nines. The second is a bowl full of buttery popcorn and an oozing grilled cheese sandwich that you unceremoniously shove into your mouth as you catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show.

 

What is finger food, really? And why are people so crazy about it?

People have been eating food with their hands for a lot longer than they’ve been eating with forks and knives. In South Asia, it’s actually more common to eat with your hands than it is to eat with utensils. Many people consider it to be completely hygienic and even tastier than eating with a fork and spoon. Even in the west, finger food is rising in popularity. Not only is it easy to eat, but it’s convenient to serve.

 

Finger Food Catering in Event Planning

Quite a few organizations turn to professional event planners to help them plan the perfect function. Event planners ensure that there is someone responsible for every task so the whole event can be pulled off seamlessly. Finger food catering is a service increasingly offered by event management companies and caterers all over. Regardless of whether you are hosting a birthday celebration, a wedding, or a business meeting, you may find finger food catering to be a great option.

Not only does finger food come with more variety and flexibility, but it’s quite affordable. You don’t have to pay for utensils and other pricey tools and you get a unique dining option.

 

Advantages of Using Finger Food Catering in Event Planning

Here are some reasons why people choose finger food catering in event planning:

 

1 – It’s convenient

The best thing about finger food is that it’s incredibly convenient. Cooking, serving, and even cleaning up is easier than it would be with cocktails or sit-down meals.

 

2 – There’s a lot of variety

One of the challenges about catering for an event is trying to make sure everyone is satisfied. Finger food can make it easier by offering lots of variety. The guests, and therefore the host and the event planner, will enjoy the variety that can be offered with finger foods. The possibilities are endless. Sausage rolls, chicken wings, cheese, olives, spring rolls, samosas, sandwiches, potato wedges, bread rolls, fruit, and even pizza are popular options when it comes to finger food. You can even integrate dessert by offering cookies, pastries, cake pops, and ice cream. The variety will leave your guests spoiled and happy to choose what they want from the options.

 

3 – It’s easy on your budget

The money you spend is an important consideration for any event. You can find finger food offered for a range of prices, and often just a few tweaks in the menu can result in major cost savings. This flexibility can allow you to stick to your budget so that you have enough to spend on other components of the event.

 

4 – It can be customized

Want all the sandwiches to be arranged in a giant “50”? Sure! Finger food can easily be customized in any way you want. Whether that means offering vegetarian options or arranging the food in a manner that suits the event, you’ve got tons of options.

 

5 – It eliminates the need for a sit-down dinner

You don’t need to provide large dinner plates and all the utensils that you would have to for a sit-down dinner. You don’t even need the same large tables! This means savings on equipment, space, and even the effort that it would take to create seating arrangements.

 

6 – It makes the entire affair more laid-back

Although some people do have impeccable table manners, many are not well-acquainted with them and may have no idea what to do with the three different spoons. Finger food catering means that your guests don’t need to worry about cutlery and about teaching themselves table manners before the event. This makes the affair a lot more casual and enjoyable for many.

If you’re planning an event in the near future, consider finger food catering. Not only is it easier for you, but it means that your guests get to enjoy options and a more laid-back atmosphere. If you’re looking for the perfect finger food caterer for your event, get in touch with Elegant Touch today!