Restaurant catering offers an opportunity to increase sales and expand your customer base. There are many different types of catering options, from on-site to off-premise. Catering opportunities include business catering, holiday catering or large events like weddings, as well as community fundraising events. Read on for basics of catering at your restaurant.
Restaurant catering offers you a chance to increase both your sales and your customer base. People already love your food, so why not capitalize on that and offer catering services as well? Most restaurants have the resources – food, equipment, staff- for catering large and small events. Day-to-day operations of any restaurant require a tremendous amount of organizational skill. So does catering. You prepare and serve a large number of meals at one time, and orchestrate other aspects of the function, such as pouring champagne toasts, cake cutting and serving and overseeing the bar. Requiring a final headcount, setting firm time limits and requiring a minimum number of guests will ensure that you are making a profit on each catering job.
Whether you choose to cater only in house or expand to off-premise catering, you will need certain pieces of commercial equipment to serve food safety and efficiently. Full service catering requires complete place settings (plates, glassware, flatware) that you will need to purchase or rent for large events. Another area to consider when buying catering equipment is linen (tablecloths, skirting, cloth napkins). Typical catering equipment includes chaffing dishes, serving platters, serving utensils, punch bowls or other beverage dispensers.
A wedding is one of the most important events of a couple’s life and catering a wedding is no casual affair. It demands attention to detail and timing, as well as organization with not just the bride and groom, but other vendors, such as the DJ and photographer. It is also a long catering job- even if the reception is only four or five hours. Prep for a formal wedding starts days ahead of time. Restaurants who offer wedding catering services need to be organized and well-staffed. One of the biggest benefits of catering large events like a wedding is the free word-of-mouth advertising that it offers.
The holidays are the start of a busy catering season for many restaurants, from family thanksgiving dinners to-go, to corporate Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve bashes. Because of the high volume of parties from mid-November to New Year’s Day, it’s easy to find your restaurant overbooked and understaffed. Check this complete guide to restaurant catering during the holidays for tips on surviving the season.
Restaurant catering includes many different types of food service menus and themes. common types of food service for events, such as weddings, anniversaries and holiday parties. If you want to incorporate catering as a service offered by your restaurant, you should understand the different types of food services that customers will be looking for. From food stations to buffets and plated dinners, the more versatile your restaurant catering is, the more business you can bring in, outside of your dining room.
There are many questions that restaurant owners ask about offering catering services. Frequently asked questions about catering include Why should I offer catering services, as well part of my restaurant? and Does my restaurant need a contract for catering off premise?
If you are working outside of a restaurant, starting a self-catering business is one of the easiest ways to ease into the hospitality industries. Starting with small parties, you can cater right out of your own kitchen (so long as it passes local health inspection standards). This requires a minimal investment of money and time. Many people use a self-catering business as a stepping stone opening their own restaurant. Read more about starting your own self-catering business.